It was a great day out and very successful as we finished second behind an extremely talented 5 from Yorkshire. It was no disgrace losing 5-0 to a team who’s top 3 players are currently 4,5 and 6 in ESR rankings. Their 4th string also won the Derbyshire Junior open U13 last year and is also ranked higher than any of our players and it was Harry who almost caused an upset against him pushing him all the way in a brilliant first game. I’m sure all the boys gained some valuable experience playing against such a strong team.
But full credit to all the players as next up was the host County – Durham. First on was 3rd string Matt who started like a train and didn’t take his foot off in a great 3-0 victory which seemed to set the tone for the next two ties with Joe at 5 repeating the same score line, hardly giving his opponent a chance of serving and then Harry, at 4 easing into a 2-0 lead before being pulled back to 2-1 but then he seemed to go up a gear and quickly dispatch his opponent in the 4th game making it a comfortable 3-1 win and sealing the match. Next up was O J who at 1, had a much tougher opponent to deal with as he was over 1.5 years older and 81 ESR ranking places above Ollie. A big ask but OJ battled to the last point but alas went down 3-0. ( next time OJ …next time !!). The final match saw Michael take on another highly ranked opponent who is currently 47 ESR ranking places higher. Michael went into a 1-0 lead against his opponent who seemed to be struggling with a leg strain. But Michael did very well not to let his opponents injury related outburst distract him from the job in hand and quickly doubled his lead. His opponent realised that he was not going to get past Michael and decided to ‘ retire injured’ at the start of the 3rd game.
So a terrific 4-1 victory over Durham, putting Derbyshire into 2nd place overall. A great result with two team members making their County debuts and Alex getting some valuable match experience against 3 different opponents from the other two Counties.