Saturday 7th October
County Cadet Championships (Division 1B) Day 1
Cambridgeshire (4) v Warwickshire (6)
Warwickshire sent five cadets (3 boys and 2 girls) to day 1 of the county cadet championships in Rugby, Lawrence Sheriff School. Cambridgeshire were up first and the Warwickshire boys Ricardo Bolanos (Warwickshire’s no 1 ) and making his debut for the county Nathaniel Saunders (Warks no 3 ) got the team off to a fantastic start winning both their singles matches in straight sets. Bolanos beat Mathew Pryke (Cambridgeshire’s no 2 ) and Saunders comfortably dispatched Mark Balon (Cambs no 3 ).
Milly Green (Warks no 2 ) performed valiantly but went down 3-0 to Sophie Chang (Cambs no 1 ). Chang was in superb form and managed to take down Sophie Rinnhofer (Warks no 1 ) in some close games. Rinnhofer and Green did get on the mark both against Chloe Pryke (Cambs no 2 ) 3-0. Dan Hearne-Potton (Cambs no 1 ) proved too strong for the duo of Bolanos and Nikit Sajiv (Warks no 2 ) victorious in four sets in both matches that could have gone the distance. Saunders on a high after opening his account for Warwickshire then doubled his tally by sweeping aside Mathew Pryke. This left Sajiv to battle past Balon in 3 tough sets to give Warwickshire a deserved 6-4 away win.
Warwickshire (9) v Suffolk (1)
Buoyed by the opening victory against Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire were keen to keep the momentum going. Nikit recovered from losing the opening set against Mckenzie Lowe (Suffolk no 3 ) to thrash his opponent in fine style. Saunders was then involved in a titanic clash against Alex Attew (Suffolk no 2 ) succumbing to a five-set defeat. The promising 11-year-old demonstrated that he is certainly one for the future.
Next up were the girls Sophie and Milly who really started clicking into gear. Rinhoffer defeated Isobel McGerty (Suffolk no 2 ) in four. She then added to this with a routine win against Lucy Curtis (Suffolk no 1 ). Whilst her counterpart Green clinched a huge 3-2 victory over Curtis and not to be outdone by Rinhoffer, also dispatched Isobel. This put Warwickshire in a commanding position over their opponents but there was still work to be done to stamp their authority. Saunders showed great mental strength and poise to be on the right side of a five setter this time round, winning against Lowe.
Bolanos triumphed over Alex in four contesting sets and repeated the feat against Luke Davies-Stokes (Suffolk no 1 ) to gain his first double of the day. Nikit then added the gloss by triumphing in an epic match against Luke, winning 11-6 in the deciding set. The final score, an emphatic 9-1 win in favour of Warwickshire.
Leicestershire (1) v Warwickshire (9)
Two counties down and two to go as we approached the halfway mark of the championships. Leicestershire were the opponents and Bolanos was fast out of the traps with a 3-0 win over Edward Brown (Leicestershire’s no 2 ). Saunders doubled Warwickshire’s advantage with another 3-0 victory against Oliver Wynne (Leics no 3 ).
Green and Rinnhoffer added a further brace to the score line with respective wins over Frankie Hallam (Leics no 1 ) and Roma Morjoria (Leics no 2 ). Green also made light work of Frankie with a resolute performance. However, Rinnhofer despite her miraculous ability to keep on coming back from the brinks of defeat did finally get outdone by Frankie who won game eight in the fifth set in a nail biting encounter.
Nathaniel impressively took apart the number two Edward in straight sets, whilst Nikit then beat Oscar Bentley (Leics no 1 ) in four and dispatched Oliver 3-0 to get Warwickshire back on track. Bolanos then underlined the strength in depth of Warwickshire by demolishing Oliver in straight sets. This equalled Warwickshire’s best result of the day with a subsequent 9-1 victory.
Warwickshire (8) v Staffordshire (2)
The final match on day 1 of the championships saw Warwickshire host Staffordshire. Nikit and Nathaniel got the county off to the perfect start winning their opening singles matches. Sajiv defeated Joshua Webb (Staffodshire no 3 ) 3-0, whilst Saunders was involved in a roller coaster of a match with Harry Fletcher (Staffs no 2 ) and managed to seal the game with a marvellous comeback in the decider.
Sophie was up next and she overcame Bethany Wooton (Staffs no 2 ) in four sets. Milly was unable to find a way past Amelia Baker (Staffs no 1 ) going down in straight sets. Bolanos then faced Alex Lee (Staffs no 1 ) in a challenging contest. Despite losing the first set Warwickshire’s number one reeled the next three sets to secure a fine win. Nathaniel went 2-0 up against Josh before he levelled at 2-2 but he kept his focus to secure a 13-11 win in the deciding set. Milly’s match with Bethany was equally as incredible and it underlined throughout the day that you should never give up no matter what. Green secured her fine comeback and result in the decider 12-10.
Amelia and Sophie were also involved in an intense battle which neither of them deserved to lose, yet it was the Staffordshire number one who was celebrating in the end, closing the game out 11-9 in the fifth. Bolanos defeated Harry in four sets, before the last match took place between Nikit and Alex and after losing the first set he never looked back finding his second wind to power through the remaining sets. This resulted in an 8-2 win for Warwickshire.
Ricardo, Nikit and Nathaniel all won 7/8 matches. Milly won 6/8 and Sophie won 5/8. Warwickshire should be absolutely thrilled with their performance today. Winning all four matches on day 1 really makes day 2 interesting. They are in the mix for promotion to Cadet Premier next season but will have to recreate this form or even better it on December 16th and I feel they have got what it takes to do it.
Harry Purewal (Warwickshire County Cadet Captain)