Kate Cheer was in good form for England, winning three five-setters. Picture courtesy of John Upham

A day that started positively for England ended in disappointment as both boys and girls squads ended day one of the Cadet Six Nations with a record of one win and two defeats.

The boys opened with an 8-2 win over Norway, but were then beaten 8-2 by a classy Swedish squad before being edged 6-4 by France.

Meanwhile, the girls defeated The Netherlands 7-3 in the morning only to be defeated 8-2 by Norway in the afternoon session and 7-3 by Germany in the evening.

France were the success stories of the day, with both their boys and girls winning every match, while Sweden also have a 100 per cent record in the boys’ event.

It had all begun so well for the host nation at Lilleshall – though the boys’ A team of Tom Jarvis and Luke Savill did not have things all their own way.

Jarvis was on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline in his first match, having clawed back from 2-0 down and wasted two match points of his own against Norway’s Fredrik Meringdal.

Savill saw off Adrian Wetzel in three straight, but then needed treatment on an ankle injury. Having been strapped up, he and Jarvis lost the doubles in five.

But with Hugo Pang and Alex Ramsden sweeping through their match on the B table 5-0, England were still in a winning position, and Jarvis improved the margin further with a 3-0 win over Wetzel.

It was then left to Savill, showing little discomfort from the injury, to wrap it up with a stirring 3-2 win – 15-13 in the decisive game – against Meringdal.

But the Swedish squad proved a much sterner test, with only Jarvis winning in the first two rounds of singles. And it got no better as both doubles pairs were beaten – though Pang and Ramsden took it to 16-14 in the fifth.

Jarvis then lost another five-setter – 14-12 in the decider before Savill cut into the deficit on table A by beating Melker Nilsson in three.

Pang was on the wrong end of yet another close match, going down 13-11 in the fifth, and Ramsden then lost in four to Truls Moregardh as the impressive Swedes closed out victory.

But it was the 6-4 defeat to France that was probably the most agonizing of the day. Pang and Ramsden found their opponents too tough as they lost 5-0 – though they did take the doubles to the fifth.

But Jarvis and Savill reversed that form on the A table, the former coming from 2-1 down to beat Bastien Rembert in five and the latter seeing off Leo De Nodrest in three straight, before they teamed up to take the doubles in four.

Jarvis finished his day with a win against De Nodrest in four but Savill was unable to clinch a draw for England as he lost in four to Rembert.

The girls had to fight to see off a stubborn Netherlands quartet in their opening clash as the first three rounds of matches were all shared.

Denise Payet lost her match against Vera Van Boheeman in four, but Kate Nixon won on the B table against Yoeke Gunsing. The positions were then reversed as Kate Cheer won in five against Rachel Gerarts on A and Zahna Hall was beaten by Felicia Faas on B. And it was 3-3 as both countries won one in the doubles – Nixon and Hall the winning England pair against Gunsing and Faas.

But from then on it was all England as Hall and Payet both won in three – though Hall was extended to 19-17 in the first and 13-11 in the third. The last matches both went to five but the two Kates, Cheer and Nixon, both came from behind to win.

It was a very different story in the afternoon session, though, as Norway steamrolled to an 8-2 victory, despite an early victory for Payet and a terrific comeback by Cheer in the final match as she recovered a 2-0 deficit to win in the fifth.

And Cheer continued her form into the final match against Germany, beating both Franziska Schreiner and Johanna Wiegand in four. The other victory came from Payet, in three straight against Qian Wan.

Cheer was happy with her day’s work at only her second tournament in an England shirt – and proved something of a five-set specialist, winning all three of her matches which went the distance.

“I just tried to stay positive about everything and if I was losing not cry about it,” she said.

“I think it’s gone well for me personally and I think we all played pretty well. France are the strongest team here, but hopefully we’ve still got a chance to finish third, even though we play France last.”

Before that, the girls face Sweden in the Saturday morning session, while the boys take on the Netherlands – who have yet to win a match – before closing their campaign against Germany.


Morning Session – Boys
France 8-2 Netherlands
Germany 4-6 Sweden
England 8-2 Norway

Morning Session – Girls
France 6-4 Germany
England 7-3 Netherlands
Norway 5-5 Sweden

Afternoon Session – Boys
France 10-0 Norway
Germany 8-2 Netherlands
England 2-8 Sweden

Afternoon Session – Girls
Germany 8-2 Sweden
England 2-8 Norway
France 8-2 Netherlands

Evening Session – Boys
Netherlands 3-7 Sweden
England 4-6 France
Germany 9-1 Norway

Evening Session – Girls
France 9-1 Sweden
England 3-7 Germany
Netherlands 3-7 Norway

by Paul Stimpson (May 23rd 2014)