Played 9 Lost 2 Won 7
Coaches Ben Garnham, Tom Woodcock
Players Ryan Curtis, Ryan Chan, Will Sadler, Ollie Brine, George Wood
Meg Diggle, Meg Hassall, Charlotte Baron, Alicia Ip, Alice Fletcher.
Managers Amanda Clancy, Paul Woodcock.
First of all, I would like to thank the unsung heroes, the parents for their support, but mainly for entrusting us with their pride and joy’s, because they must be proud of their children, the way they have played and conducted themselves on and off court. There is not one that I would not be proud of to call mine, which of course for four days and three nights they are, well ours Amanda’s, Ben’s, Tom’s and my self’s.
Now onto the matches, group E, first one Staffordshire, the usual Lincolnshire start, tough, why can’t we have an easy one to start with? 6-4 to Staffs, now the one we should have started with, Gloucestershire 8-2 to us. Onto the real tough one Yorkshire, eight rubbers in, 4-4, 4-4 I hear you gasp against Yorkshire, yes that’s right, and let me tell you Yorkshire couldn’t believe it either, they were worried, with five rubbers going to three, we were playing so well not just one or two but all. Ended up with Yorkshire taking the last two closely contested rubbers,6-4 to Yorkshire. This leaving us in the bottom half of the draw.
First one, Northamptonshire 2 Lincolnshire 8, very good start. I think what set this up is the exceptional game that everyone had against Yorkshire, we were on a high. Next Middlesex 9-1 to Lincolnshire. Now for the one we dread Cornruddywall, YES! 7-3 to Lincs, I’ve never seen Amanda look so happy. Puts us in top spot for group Q. Leaving us playing for 17 to 20 already beating last year’s 21st place.
As I pointed out to some people, it’s better to be in the bottom half winning and coming 17th than being in the top half and losing and coming 16th. It’s always better going home wining, than going home losing.
Group V (17-20)
Suffolk could be close, not wrong, rubbers 5-5, games 10-10, points 233-241, Lincolnshire’s 8 points win. I think that could be the first time we have won on points we usually lose out. This emphasising the fact that even if you are losing keep fighting because every point counts. Avon another close one rubbers 5-5, games 10-11 to Lincolnshire, good job it didn’t go to points 256-250 in Avon’s favour. Last game of the campaign Sussex with 2 to play, Lincolnshire 5-3 up, only needing one of these, both going to 3, nerve racking or what, came out one apiece, 6-4 to Lincolnshire, 17th place, wow, I was choked, so pleased for our
supporters, but mainly for the players, who have fought tooth and nail for every point, even when things look lost, they just kept going.
Now for some special mentions, no detriment to other players as they all played their part and played it well. Charlotte Baron came into the squad late, Alicia Ip never stopped smiling, these two young and inexperienced girls playing either mixed or level doubles, helped to win some very hard fought, and important rubbers. Ollie Brine, brought into the squad for one thing, singles, did he disappoint? not Ollie. Ollie doesn’t give a monkeys about reputations, you’ll get the same treatment 110% effort, this allowing him to take some good scalps.
Ryan Curtis playing mixed with Meg Hassall and level doubles with Ryan Chan, only losing one game in the men’s doubles against Yorkshire, so winning it in three, taking everything else in two. Playing with an ankle brace on for an Achilles tendon problem. George Wood playing with Will Sadler in MD against Cornruddywall taking it in two, what a vital rubber that was. I must give thanks to three of our old campaigners Meg Hassall, Ryan Chan and Will Sadler in the way, whilst playing doubles with our youngest duo they gave sound advice and encouragement to win some much-needed games. Amanda, well Amanda what can you say about Amanda, the only person I know whose wall paper on her phone is Lee Chong Wei, her enthusiasm for the sport of badminton must rub off on people around her to gee every one up, thanks for looking after the girls and the washing, but most of all thanks for being there and being my friend. The coaches, Ben and Tom, these two have played top grade badminton over the years, both started playing at the age of 8 and I am sure this helps in their coaching and the respect they receive from the players. They are young and I think that this helps them to get along with the players, and as they get more experience in coaching and life I can see them developing into great coaches.
Now for the sad part, the goodbyes, Meg Hassall a key player for a number of years now and this year leading Charlotte and Alicia to some great double wins. Ryan Curtis his performance this year should tell you how much he will be missed. Will Sadler, well, Will Sadler, came in last year as a late replacement, awesome, as Ollie, it does not matter who you are, or what Will plays, singles, level or mixed 110% is what you get from Will, a great team member and a good player, I wonder what he would have been like if he had had some one-one coaching. These three leave some big holes, and I will miss them greatly.
Thanks to all supporters who came, Mike Willans, Niki, Paul and John Mayfield there may have been more that I didn’t see as I was a little bit busy. I would also like to thank Paul Mayfield for running the I.C.T training on the run up to I.C.T, now it’s time you came back onto the L.B.A coaching staff anyway.
Last, I would like to thank Wendy (Maurice Robinson Sports) and Andy Hartley Racquets Manager at Maurice Robinson Sports not just for helping with the kit, but also Andy’s advice to Tom as a coach, and both coming down court side, on more than one occasion and supporting us, thanks.
Paul Woodcock I.C.T Manager