Youngsters across the Vale competed at Elmhurst Community Centre last week for this year’s Riddell Trophy which was open to under 15 year olds and doubled up as this year’s Cadet Tournament. Twelve juniors competed in four groups with last year’s Riddell winner, Aaron Taylor and Rose Luscombe, a runner up in the 2009 Cadet competition, nominated as top seeds.

Aaron and Rose proceeded to the knock out stages with comparative ease. Jake Davis and Robert Dunsford won their group matches and were joined by group runners up, Nathan Ball, Joe Gerrans, Anthony McCormack and Dominico Palmigiano. Dominico faced Aaron but lost in three straight sets despite a brave fight. Jake fell in four sets, losing at deuce to Anthony but Joe won impressively against Robert in three sets. Rose moved through in three against Nathan.

At semi final stage Anthony could not stop the irrepressible Aaron from winning three sets to meet Rose in the final. Joe gave a good account of himself in making Rose fight hard to get her win.

The final was another brilliant advert for the sport. Both Rose and Aaron looked to forge openings to make use of their forehand attacking capability and Rose revealed a new strength to her game with a strong backhand attack. Both players looked strong but whenever either took a good lead, the other fought back to take the set. Aaron won the first to 9, but Rose took the second to 7. The see-saw continued with Aaron winning the third and Rose the fourth. The scene was set for a fine fifth set battle and sure enough it went to deuce after Rose held a two point lead at 10 – 8. Aaron continued unbowed and won 12 – 10 to loud applause for a fine contest.

In the runners up plate competition Ethan Luck outfought Liam Ball in four sets. Many thanks are due to the Organisers, Brian Whitehead and David Ballard and also for the enthusiastic supporters.

By David Badham