Berkhamsted Women’s and Men’s Teams Closing in on Playoffs
Berkhamsted teams returned to action this past weekend with 4 of our teams competing; the women, then men, the U14 boys premier team and the U12 boys.
The weekend started with the women’s team travelling to St Albans for a crucial encounter. As a couple of players were out of the match due to exams it was an opportunity for a few of the youngsters to get a match in the women’s first team. The team was lead by Maddie Brooks and Anna Popescu who got them off to a winning start in their singles. Emily Ineson and Amy Stoker both playing there first match at this level struggled to get to grips with the style of play of the home teams number 3 and number 4 players. Unfortunately, both girls lost their matches and so the tie was locked at 2-2 going into the doubles. Maddie and Anna separated for the doubles to add some experience to each team. Anna and Emily at number 1 doubles were rarely troubled as they restored Berkhamsted to the lead 3-2. Maddie and Amy however, were in a battle which was in the end decided by a championship tiebreak. Berkhamsted always had their nose in front throughout and managed to close out the match 10-7. The 4-2 win over St Albans put our women into a great position in the league with 4 wins out of 4 with 1 match to play. This match will be at home to Radlett and with another win in this match the ladies will secure first place in the county standings and a regional playoff spot. Next up on a rainy Saturday afternoon the U12 boys hosted Gosling. The match was very tight with the Berkhamsted boys going very close to forcing a tiebreak shootout in the final doubles match. But it wasn’t to be as they went down 4-2.
On Sunday it would be the turn of the men and the U14 boys to try to emulate the women’s results from Saturday. The U14 boys travelled to local rivals and top of the standings Batchwood. Batchwood are historically strong in juniors, so this would be a tough match. Berkhamsted took and early lead in the tie winning the number 1 and number 2 singles as Joel Pierleoni and George Carter had wins over Oliver Tarvet and Callum Cawsey respectively. However, from this point Batchwood turned it on to win the next 3 rubbers and claim the match 4-2. This result means that Berkhamsted can no longer finish top of the league, but have the chance to consolidate 3rd spot when they host Gidea Park in a few weeks time. Finally the men’s team hosted Rye Park. The men had a first up win away to Leverstock Green earlier this month and were looking to continue the momentum. Berkhamsted had a solid team led by Ed Harwood at number 1 and proved far too strong for Rye Park and made it another 6-0 win to go to the top of the standing with 2 matches left the play. As with the women, the men are looking to win the county league and gain a regional playoff spot.
The next round of matches will be played after May half term, with the U16 boys also back in action looking to consolidate their top spot in the standings. In the meantime the half term events will take place with tournaments in Chesham and Welwyn, Craig Blythe will be taking a group to Barcelona to train at our partner academy Sport & Life and Joel Pierleoni will be getting his Summer Tennis Europe campaign under way in Budapest, Hungary. Good luck to all!