The U13 girls team of Jayne Oswald, Maria Bainbridge and Lucy Beecroft headed off to Birmingham to play in the finals weekend of the Inter County Championship. Their opponents in the semi final on Saturday were Gloucestershire which featured two players ranked in the top five in the country.
Jayne got the team off to a great start by beating Madeleine Penlet, 3-1, meaning either Lucy or Maria needed to win to get them through to the finals. Lucy played first and unfortunately was not able to get the better of Eleanor Lake and lost 3-0 against the country’s number 3 ranked player. This meant Maria had to win for the team to progress to the final. The pressure was on and both Jayne and Lucy found it very difficult to watch, but were delighted when Maria beat the England number 5, Kip Quiney, 3-1, to get them through to the final on the Sunday against Warwickshire.
The girls knew the final would be even tougher with the Warwickshire team containing the top two players in the England ranking list, Lucy Pallet and Alicia Mead and also the England number 15, Alice Harvey.
In the final Jayne got them off to another good start by beating Alice Harvey 3-1. This meant that Jayne went through the entire competition, from the first round through to the final, without losing any matches. What a fantastic effort. The pressure was now on Lucy or Maria to get a match to win the title. Lucy was on court first and after falling behind twice, she pulled the match back to beat Alicia Mead 3-2 in what was the game of the competition to make the girls well deserved National Champions. This meant that the pressure was now off Maria, who went on to lose her game against Lucy Pallett 3-0 in a game that did not matter.
The girls had a fantastic weekend both on and off court. The team spirit was brilliant and all three contributed significantly to what was a great team effort. Well done girls.