Report by team manager John Crichton:
This season's Inter County Championships saw Cumbria Girls under-13s hosting Northumbria and Yorkshire 1 at Carlisle on Saturday.
Cumbria was represented by Rebecca Smith (Carlisle), Rebekah Hall (Windscale), Ashton Telford (Windscale) and Mila Barnard (Wigton), and their first match was against Northumbria. With three girls only per team Mila missed out playing in the scoring games, leaving it down to the other three girls to fight it out.
Under-13 girls: L-R: Ashton Telford, Rebekah Hall, Mila Barnard, Rebecca Smith
Mila, making her county debut played a friendly against Naomi Appleby and gave a good account of herself losing in three games but again didn’t look out of her depth, and can have taken a few positives away from the experience. The game scores were 8/11, 3/11, 3/11.
Ashton was another girl making her county debut and played Anna Moore, she looked good taking the first game 11/6, but then lost focus and let Anna take the next two games 8/11, 3/11. Once Ashton was back focussed she took the next game easily 11/3 to tie the score at 2-2, but Anna managed to hold on in the last game taking it 11/7 to give Northumbria a lead.
Rebecca played Beth Dean and in a tight first game it was the Carlisle girl who pulled away late on to win it 11/8, in the next game Rebecca was into her stride with Beth always under pressure from Rebecca’s great drop shots, Rebecca taking it 11/6. Rebecca piled on the pressure from the start of the third game and Beth’s resistance was just about broken as Rebecca took the game 11/5 and the match 3-0 to level the score at one tie all.
Rebekah played Katie Barker in the deciding match, but never got started in the first losing it 1/11, though she played much better in the second once she had settled her nerves, but still couldn’t dominate Katie’s all-action game, losing that one 4/11. The third game followed a similar pattern to the previous but with Rebekah having the better of some great long rallies showing that her fitness is good, however Anna wasn’t to be denied taking the third 11/6 for a 3-0 win, to give Northumbria the match, 2 ties to 1.
After lunch a strong Yorkshire 1 team beat Northumbria comprehensively 3 ties to 0.
Cumbria played Yorkshire 1 next with Mila in the scoring matches this time and Ashton playing the friendly. Yorkshire moved all their girls ‘up-the-order’ for this match from their previous game giving Ashton the Yorkshire 1 number 1 to play. When you consider that all four of the Yorkshire team are within the top 22 in the country it was indeed a team of great strength and ability!
Ashton acquitted herself well throughout what was always going to be a difficult match and there was plenty to take from her 4/11, 4/11, 4/11 three game loss to Ophelia Watson, currently ranked 11 in the country.
Mila played a ruthless Amy Royle and despite getting no points (not for the want of trying) in the first two games, she was still smiling in the third despite the onslaught. Mila gave it her best shot, but when your opponent has all the shots and can play them at will, a 2/11 game score in the third was not a bad return from Mila, Yorkshire 1 tie up.