By DaveBradbury on 03 January 2015
Inter-county Girls U13
Stage 2 was played on 22nd November 2014 at Ipswich SC, Suffolk.
Darcie, Ellis and Ellie travelled with the belief that they could qualify for the finals against Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire 1 and Suffolk.
After a routine victory against Oxfordshire, the battle against Buckinghamshire 1 for 1st place in the group and guaranteed qualification for the finals was epic. Ellie Burgess recovered from losing the first game to take the 2nd on extra points 12/10, and then went on to come within a few points of winning at 3. Final scores were agonising............8/11, 12/10, 10/12, 10/12. A great effort that will have taught her a great deal about match play!
Darcie Mounter playing 1st string went on at the same time against Katie Malliff, who had recently beaten her in tournament play. A see-saw match unfolded, with both girls taking it in turns to play great squash or losing focus slightly. Darcie edged the 1st, before going to sleep in the 2nd. She responded brilliantly in the 3rd to regain control with better length, only for Katie to do the same in the 4th and take the match to a decider. Darcie wasn’t going to be beaten and once again imposed her style well in the early stages of the game. This pressure told, and she completed an important victory to keep Cambs in the tie.
Ellis Miller then went on in the 2nd string decider......and the match boiled down again to just a few key moments. After a slow start to the match which saw Ellis lacking the ability to get the ball to the back wall, she fought back brilliantly in the second. A missed straight forehand drop that clipped the tin at 9/8 up proved costly, and Florie Moir took a 2 game lead. A tense, close 3rd game unfolded to the moment at 11/10 when a frantic rally unfolded which saw several opportunities to win the game pass Ellis by (with some determined defending from Florie to be fair!). Again mentally this was hard to take for Ellis, who unfortunately lost the game 13/11, and the match 3-0.........but deserved so much more then that!
The team recovered to beat Suffolk 2-1, leaving an anxious wait to see if it was enough to reach the ICC finals.
There was some confusion due to the wording/structure of the qualification, so initially everyone thought we’d done enough, then ESR told me that we unfortunately hadn’t qualified.......only then to discover that in fact the team had actually qualified for the finals in Pontefract on the 17th & 18th January 2015! It’s a superb achievement, and a superb reward for the girls effort across the two stages. It also represents the start of a new era in Cambridgeshire Junior squash hopefully, as we have not had a team in the finals for many years, and this is hopefully the first of many in the future.
Colin Griggs, Cambs Junior Squash Lead Coach, GU13 Team Manager.