TENNIS: Oxfordshire youngsters find it hard work in County Cup

First published in Sport

OXFORDSHIRE found the going tough in the Under 14 County Cup.

The boys secured victory in their final game to avoid the wooden spoon in their group, but the girls struggled and ended bottom of their section.

It started well for the boys in their opening match against Avon at Oxford Sports.

Singles wins for Edward Green (Newbury) and Connor Ferguson (Drayton) put Oxon 2-0 ahead and in great shape.

However, their opponents hit back and levelled, before winning both doubles rubbers in tie-breaks to record a 4-2 success.

A 6-0 whitewash against Kent on day two meant they had to win their final match to avoid finishing bottom.

Louis Manson (Oxford), Green and Ferguson all won singles matches, and with Ned Batstone (Appleton) and Manson, as well as Guy Mobey (Faringdon) and Green clinching doubles successes, Oxon ran out 5-1 winners.

The girls had a much harder time in their matches at Woodford, Essex.

The team of Raia Jagger (Botley), Annabelle Denly (Watlington), Evie Phillips (Faringdon), Lauren Keeler (Steventon), Olivia Christie (Goring) and Laila Zugic (Oxford) registered just seven games in 12 sets in a 6-0 opening-day defeat to Middlesex.

They also failed to pick up a rubber against Cambridgeshire, but did register a point against Berkshire.

Denly’s singles win meant Oxon trailed 3-1 after the singles, but despite being given a walkover when an opponent conceded one doubles rubber due to injury, Berkshire won the other for a 4-2 victory.

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