The Under 12s ended their competitive season by taking part in the Shires League Final at Stoke Mandeville having finished the regular season in 1st position. This gave us the advantage of being drawn againt teams who finished in places 5-8 in the first round.
We got drawn to play Essex and took all four mixed doubles, but any complacency was quickly removed when Essex took 3 of the 4 Boys Singles to bring the match score back to 5-3 in our favour. Our girls took 3 of their singles and the boys shared the Doubles to give us 10 rubbers, one more for victory, and place in the semi-finals. The girls went on to take all of their doubles to give us a 14-6 victory and a semi-final against (plot spoiler alert) eventual Shires League Winners Hertfordshire.
The semi-final was tough, despite scoring 16 or more in 8 rubbers, we were beaten 18-2 with the only victories coming in Boys Doubles and Girls Doubles. Herts had greater strength in depth and they were the better side. So we had to play off for Bronze against local rivals Leicestershire.
The Bronze playoff was equally tough, we fell 10-1 down after the Mixed Doubles and Singles, with Max and Keerti winning their games. Despite sharing the Boys Doubles, defeat was confirmed and we won one of the Girls Doubles.
Despite a difficult day, the players fought bravely, a lot of the games were close but some were not so close and it takes a lot of courage to go back on court after a loss like that, but the U12s were up for the challenge throughout and gave their all.
There is no doubt that the standard at U12 is improving, Herts beat Surrey 11-9 in a high quality final and Berkshire, beaten 11-9 by Herts in the first round, could have staked a claim for a medal but for their unfortunate draw. Serious thought is already being given to how we can improve what we do for next season.
Well done to the team Emma, Keerthi, Keerti, Riddhi, Aaron, Harry, Max, Rishi and Tanush and also to Anoushka and Saanvi who played in the league matches.
Thanks to all the U12 players and parents for their support this season.
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