Promising Shropshire tennis aces impress in 14U County Cup
Shropshire’s youngsters impressed in the LTA’s 14U County Cup - with Nigel Hunter, the county’s director of tennis, insisting he's excited about the future.
Shropshire’s girls side reached their first County Cup final at Oxford, eventually losing to Hampshire & Isle of Wight, while the boys made the short trip to Wrexham and finished third out of six teams in their group.
Hunter said: “With both teams doing so well, it’s probably our best weekend of county tennis in recent years.
“It just proves that the pathway we’ve put in place with weekly county training sessions at The Shrewsbury Club is reaping rewards now with all the children from all age groups coming through.
“We’re getting much stronger, especially in doubles.”
The girls team, captained by Nikki Hoy, secured impressive 4-2 wins over Oxfordshire and North Wales on their first two days competing at Oxford Sports Lawn Tennis Club.
That took them through to the final where they were
beaten 5-1 by a strong Hampshire & Isle of Wight side, with Tamzin Pountney, who enjoyed an excellent weekend, winning her singles match.
Hunter said: “The whole team did well and Tamzin, who will be able to play in this event again next year as she’s a year younger, led the way.”
The other promising members of the girls team were Imogen Dudson, Eleanor Yeats, Amy Humphries and Isobel Redding.
The county boys side, captained by Ryan Bedwell, travelled to Wrexham Tennis Centre for their group matches.
They started with a 5-1 defeat against Cheshire but responded impressively the next day to beat North of Scotland on a tiebreak following a 3-3 draw, with Roan Jones and Shinglok So holding their nerve.
Shropshire were also victorious on the final day, getting the better of East of Scotland 4-2.
The team also featured Jacob Rogers, Tomas Cores Birch and Matthew Harris.
“It was a great team effort,” added Hunter. "Roan Jones had a stunning weekend playing at No 1 and winning all his singles matches.”
Hunter believes the county’s junior players are improving all the time and feels that will continue to happen with plans in place for them to get together to train more often.
He said: “We’ve had some funding from the LTA which will allow us from September to invest in a bigger and more advanced programme for the juniors.
“We will still have county training on a Saturday night, but there will be some additional monthly sessions for each age group team.
“We’ll also have more fixtures against other counties like we’ve had recently when we played Lincolnshire over a weekend and also Hereford & Worcester.
“We’ll look to organise more matches against other counties, so the future is certainly bright.”
Pictured: The Shropshire girls team, with captain Nikki Hoy, at Oxford and the Shropshire boys team at Wrexham.