COUNTY JUNIOR TEAMS
Northants Junior I match report:
From left to right Anna Wilson, Shay Graham, Sam Wilson, Abin Islam and Evie Elliott.
Division 2a, Day 1, 21st October 2017
Draycott Table Tennis Club hosted Day 1 of the Junior County Championships (Div 2a). The Northants first team consisted of Sam Wilson, Shay Graham, Abin Islam, Evie Elliott and Anna Wilson.
Match 1: Chesire II –vs- Northants I
The match started well for Northants, with Sam comfortably defeating Nathan Bradshaw 3-0. Abin soon made the score line 2-0, with a 3-1 win over the Cheshire number 3. Niamh Scarborough got Cheshire on the board, beating Anna 3-0. Shay restored the two-point lead when he beat the Chesire number 1, 3-1. Evie lost a close five-ender against the Chesire number 2, Ruby Bennett. Sam, Shay and Abin all won again, and Anna also got on the scoresheet, beating Ruby Bennett 3-1. Evie found the Cheshire number 1 in good form, losing 3-0. On balance, a reasonable opening match.
Final Score: Cheshire 3, Northants 7.
Match 2: Northants I –vs- Derbyshire
Next up Derbyshire, whose boys were well ranked. Shay continued his good form with a hard fought 3-1 win over Jack Finney but found Daniel Allen a tough nut to crack, losing 3-1. Abin found the going tough and was only able to pick up one leg in his two matches. Anna and Evie were also finding it hard, with neither able to gain a leg against Helena Dicken or Lauren Thirlwell. Sam’s two 3-0 wins, highlighted the gap in the ranking between himself and his opponents. A much tougher match, ending in a 7-3 defeat. Looking around the room, the strength of the remaining counties look equivalent to Derbyshire.
Final Score: Northants 3, Derbyshire 7.
Match 3: Leicestershire I –vs- Northants I
Our third (and final) round of the day was against Leicestershire. Sam made it five out of five, with a comfortable 3-0 win over Rayan Kotecha. Abin played well against Dan Andrews but the Leicestershire man was just too consistent, and he eased to a 3-0 win. Anna lost to Frankie Hallam 3-1 and the vastly improved Jack Rogers made short work of Shay in a 3-0 win. Evie and Anna both beat the Leics Number 2 girl and Rayan beat Abin 3-0 to put Leics 4-3 ahead. Next up was Sam against Jack. After a slow start, Sam squeezed through 11-9 in the first end. The next three ends were all very close and hard fought, but it was Jack who came out on top in all three and secured a 3-1 win. Shay finished off a disappointing match for Northants by losing his match 3-2 to Dan Andrews (having led comfortably, then switching off).
Final Score: Leicestershire 7, Northants 3.
A bit of a mixed bag. Some performances of note, mixed in with some ordinary play as well. Looking back, I think the Girls will be disappointed with their performances (I have seen both play better). More practice will be required before the second round of matches in March.
Kevin Bird (23.10.2017)
NORTHANTS JUNIOR 2 REPORT
This the County Junior 2 Team that played in the County Championships in Essex on Saturday 21 October 2017. They are from left to right Daniel Mann, Travis Holly (Captain), Jacob Tattersall, Ashleigh Maynard and Swati Jethwa. They played against Sussex 2, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire 2, and Essex and although they lost each of these matches this was not perhaps surprising as they were one of the youngest Junior teams we have put out. Three of the team are in fact still Cadets and earned the right to be selected as a result of their performances in the recent County Under 18s tournaments. They fought hard and will have gained valuable experience from playing at this level for the most part against much older players.
Many thanks to Hitesh Jethwa who took over the management of the team at short notice.