The inaugural County Challenge Tennis Trophy took place on Sunday, with girls from Northumberland taking on Durham and Cleveland in a bid to take home the trophy. This was a tournament with a twist, as younger players were allowed to sit on-court and give advice to older players, and vice-versa, whilst quizzes and ‘mini tennis’ games kept the girls entertained whilst off court.
The event was created to reward and support girls from the two regions, who have performed and competed well in tennis throughout the year. Girls aged nine to fourteen competed across four age groups, with Durham and Cleveland winning the 9&U, 10&U and 14&U titles, whilst Northumberland won the 12&U event. The overall winner, taking home the trophy was Durham and Cleveland, captained by Sunderland-based coach Anthony Reynolds.
Jo Cunliffe, Regional Tennis Participation Manager for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said "This was an excellent event, which the Local and National LTA, along with Wimbledon Junior Tennis initiative were delighted to support. To witness so many girls working so hard and enjoying their tennis was a great sight to see. The players and parents created a superb atmosphere, and they should be proud of making the event so memorable. This inaugural event will hopefully be here to stay and we are already planning for next year’s".
Chris Lott, Chairman of Northumberland LTA who presented the trophy to the winning team and individual awards to all the players, said that “both counties were delighted to support such a worthwhile event and to be able to provide an opportunity for the girls who would not otherwise have received such recognition to be rewarded for their efforts to represent their counties in such a welcoming but competitive setting”.
The event organizer, and Northumberland captain, James Newman said ‘The event was created to provide a big reward for some fantastic young players. The friendly spirit between the two teams was exceptional and all matches were played in a fun but competitive atmosphere. After each match, the girls wrote a comment for their opponent on something they did well, this gave all girls a boost!’
The event was made free for all participants thanks to financial support from the LTA, LTA Durham & Cleveland and LTA Northumberland.
FULL RESULTS & TEAMS:
Overall Result: DURHAM & CLEVELAND 14.5 v 9.5 NORTHUMBERLAND*
*Each match won = 1 point, except for 9&U which = 0.5 points)
(Brackets) Indicate number of points won
9&U Winners: (6.5) Durham & Cleveland (Emily Cassip, Emma Close, Alexia Reynolds, Beth Sullock)
9&U Runners Up: (2.5) Northumberland (Elena Baggett, Paige Charlton, Aimee Knowles, Lilly-May Tod)
10&U Winners: (3) Durham & Cleveland (Vineetha Kandikonda, Emily Cassip)
10&U Runners Up: (2) Northumberland (Elizabeth Graham, Scarlett Wilson-Baker)
12&U Winners: (5) Northumberland (Eleanor King, Tamara Thorpe)
12&U Runners Up: (0) Durham & Cleveland (Erin Forster, Lauren Taylor)
14&U Winners: (5) Durham & Cleveland (Sophia Greystoke, Lily Spensley)
14&U Runners Up: (0) Northumberland (Emma Lawson, Louise Smith)