County Championships  Seniors 1A – Report for 2nd and 3rd April 2011

Seniors Division 1a was played over a splendid weekend at Draycott and Long Eaton TTC with the winning team looking forward to playing in next seasons Senior Premier Division

At the end of Round 1 Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire were equal top as they’d both won 8-2. Essex 2 were always going to struggle against Nottinghamshire as they were short of a Lady player throughout the whole weekend and consequently lost but the 2-8 score line was a credit to them.

Round 2 saw two front runners emerge with Nottinghamshire and Lancashire being the only two unbeaten teams left as Notts recorded a 7-3 win over Lincolnshire, a feat that was repeated by Lancashire who beat South Yorkshire,  and it was Nottinghamshire just had their noses in front due to their better result in the first round. Of the teams that lost in the first round Leicestershire and Bedfordshire recorded wins to get some scores on the board.

Round 3 confirmed the front runners with Nottinghamshire confirming their top place by opening up the match difference gap from 2 to 4. South Yorkshire beat Leicestershire to lift them from 6th to 3rd and keep them in the mix after losing to Lancashire in the previous round. Essex 2nd got themselves off the bottom of the table by having a better match result than Northumberland. Bedfordshire had a creditable draw against Lincolnshire to keep them just in the top half of the table.

Round 4 was a disaster for Lancashire as they lost 3-7 to Lincolnshire whilst Nottinghamshire had an easy 9-1 win against bottom of the table Northumberland. Nottinghamshire remained the only unbeaten team after this round and, having beaten Lincolnshire 7-3 in Round 2, they looked odds on to be the overall winners. South Yorkshire also kept up the pressure by winning their match in this round. The next round looked as though it would sort everything out as the two top teams where scheduled to clash.

Round 5 saw the top two teams making a draw and but wins for South Yorkshire against Essex 2nd and Lincolnshire against Leicestershire 1st really mixed things up. Nottinghamshire remained on top but South Yorkshire had pushed Lancashire down to 3rd and Lincolnshire kept up the pressure by being equal on points with Lancashire. Nottinghamshire had the best match difference at 26 whilst South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire were all equal at 8.

Round 6 saw 6-4 wins for Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire and, as South Yorkshire lost to Lincolnshire, it dropped them from 2nd to 4th. This meant that Nottinghamshire remained 2 points in front of Lancashire and would win, due to their superior match difference, even if they lost 10-0 to South Yorkshire in the final round. The interest in the next round would be who got the best result between Lancashire and Lincolnshire as they had the same points and match difference figures.

Round 7 saw the 2nd and 3rd place position reversed when Lincolnshire beat Essex 2nd by a score of 9-1 whilst Lancashire could only manage a 7-3 win against Northumberland.  Bedfordshire’s 6-4 win over Leicestershire reversed their positions in the final league table getting to a creditable 5th place.

John Alsop must also be congratulated with setting up a schedule that gave a tournament that produced so many changes in fortune for the different teams. Nottinghamshire didn’t know for sure that they’d won until the end of Round 6 and changes in positions 2 to 6 also occurred in the last round.

Lancashire had two Chinese players, Lingyu Yang and Eux Bai who are in this country attending local Universities. They proved to be a strong part of Lancashire’s team, Lingyu only lost to Lincolnshire’s Emily Bates and Lesley Keast. Eux only lost to Sophie Neil of Nottinghamshire and Sandra Harper of Bedfordshire having not taken part in the match against Lincolnshire.

Final League Table

County Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
Nottinghamshire 7 6 1 0 51 19 13
Lincolnshire 7 5 1 1 44 26 11
Lancashire 7 5 1 1 42 28 11
South Yorkshire 7 4 0 3 37 33 8
Bedfordshire 1 7 3 1 3 34 36 7
Leicestershire 1 7 2 0 5 34 36 4
Northumberland 7 1 0 6 21 48 2
Essex 2 7 0 0 7 16 53 0

Having up to the minute league tables and scoreboards, for the match scores as they occurred, generated plenty of interest with the players. They could watch how the struggle for supremacy between the teams developed over the two days. Mr Trevor Kerry, Tournament Organiser nominated Sam Walker and Emily Bates as Players of the weekend.

Graham Gobey