The players: Market Deeping are the four boys to the left, Stamford the three to the right. Will had already gone partying (see below).
The final AEGON match of the season for the 12U boys on 18th June was always going to be a tough one. Both Stamford and Market Deeping had 3 wins under their belts, and so this was the head to head to decide the league title. The similar score sheets from their previous matches wasn’t giving the bookmakers an easy task in identifying the likely winner.
The boys opted for an early start to the match, and the weather was kind with light cloud and still winds. Stamford was fortunate this year in having a very deep team, with 6 very competent players in the squad. This time up were Will Stanier, Jamie Anderson, Gabriel Rudman and Jonathan Watkinson.
With court space at a premium, we started proceedings with the two doubles rubbers. All 4 pairs had obviously been working on their doubles skills this season, with good communication between the boys, lots of solid cross court play, and some clever angled volleying from the net players. Both matches were tight, but Stamford took both matches, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-4, 6-4.
This set up the four singles rubbers, and all 8 boys fancied their chances against very well matched opposition. Will stormed through his match at pace, securing the first win 6-3, 6-1, with the added incentive of a party to head off to..! Jamie and Jonathan both played very well to take their matches 6-4, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-3. Gabriel had the toughest match, against a strong opponent, and despite trying every shot in the book, was finally pipped in a tight second set tie break, to end the match 4-6, 6-7.
With a 10-2 win, that puts Stamford at the top of the league, an excellent result from a great “band of brothers”.
Market Deeping lived up their pre-match billing as solid and sportsmanlike opponents, and the boys are looking forward to setting up another social event later in the season.
Thank you to Jenny Hall for being such a thoughtful and organised captain this year, rotating the boys between matches without fear or favour..!
This year’s squad will break into two age groups for next year, giving us a strong core for two teams – Jamie, Gabriel and Flynn will remain in 12U, while Will, Edward and Jonathan will head on up to 14U.
Match Report by Mark Anderson