Did the Developing Team 1 and/or Team 2 follow in the Raw Teams footstep from yesterday?
As with the Raw yesterday we were hoping that this year the DEV groups would yield success for the WMPC. This year we entered two DEVELOPING teams on Sunday 12th July.
Team 1 – Amy Gravett, Kiara Henry, Selina Liang and Ed Groves.
Team 2 Sam White, Chris Maneffa, Joe Ball and Matt Bickerton.
Same Rules as yesterday players ranked in singles ability (see Raw Teams HERE) etc. The start was scheduled for the same time as Saturday, but with less teams, start of play was a little more laid back. Most of the players being a little older meant the early start was not so much of a shock to the system and players were keen to get on with it.
Team 1 with 4 in the group saw opponents Potteries, Cumbria 1 and Bolton. Match results saw 3-2, 1-4 and 0-5. Team 1 was first up whilst Team 2 spectated and supported big style. It was commented on my other teams how good the support and encouragement from the side line was.The first two games we’re hard fought. Evey point was worked hard for and won. They went in to the last game needing to win to stand a chance. However, one of the team members fell ill and was unable to play. With a team member down it was impossible. We changed the team round and other team members played knowing that their scores would not count but still they played and played well. Doing themselves proud. At the end of the match it was time to go home and they could travel home knowing they had played some great games.
Team 2, their draw saw Cheshire 2 (an all girls team), Bolton 1 and Merseyside. Match results 5-0, 5-0 and 3-2. First up Cheshire, the girls played well and pushed the lads hard. The lads kept their cool, stayed focused and although the girls battled for every point the strength of the boys prevailed for the win. Bolton saw some closer scores with one game going to 23-21, well done Sam and Matt. All on the last game as Merseyside had also won two matches. If we won this one it was though to the play offs. Everything to play for. Joe was up first and wow what a singles game. Two points one way, two points the other way, 20 all. Every point counts Joe was just pipped 23-25 a well played game from both sides long rallies, waiting for the right moment and the right shot to win the point. Chris and Sam up next they stayed focused to win 21-15. Matt up next for the second singles, a whippet springs to mind running from side to side to get each shot back. Worth every step to deservedly take the win at 21-19. Joe and Sam up next a good game but the opponents experience partnership shine through to win 15-21. This left the match at 2 games all. Everything was on the last end. Chris and Matt stepped on to court, everything to play for. The first half saw the lads 6-11 down, but a quick pep talk and they went out all guns blazing. Long rallies with Matt on the floor diving for the shuttle to get it back. What team work and determination fighting for every point to triumph with a fabulous 21-17 win. Team managers shock hands with the comment of ‘that match could have been the final’. Everything that you wanted to see.
So through to the play-offs, if nothing else we are guaranteed a Bronze, first up the lads meet Cumbria. Very close games put us 2-1 up. It was all on the doubles we just needed one game. Two very close games, losing both to 19 and 16. Overall 2-3 to Cumbria. Now to redeem ourselves taking on Manchester. Although after two games we were 0-2 down both games lost to 19. So not a lot in it really. I think the early start and long hard matches were starting to take its toll. Lost the next two games but Matt and Chris fought back in the last game to make it 1-4. So Bronze it was, well deserved I thought. Well done lads and thank you for making my job easy. So proud of all of the teams. Both of the Raw teams and both of the Developing teams. Heres to next year.