U15 Hat-Trick For Berkhamsted Girls
Mark Williams reports:
07/02/19: Twenty-two pairs from five schools entered the U15 girls competition at the National Schools' Championships in association with Advanta Wealth, the first of this year's competitions to be completed and which had been won for the last two years by the current Berkhamsted 1.
Shrewsbury and Ipswich arrived 90 minutes late due to dreadful traffic, and Highgate 2 pulled off an unexpected win in an early group game, defeating Shrewsbury 1 12-7; meanwhile Highgate 1 won were beaten 12-10 by Shrewsbury 3. Three pairs qualified from each pool for the knock-out rounds.
In the second round, Pool 2nds played 3rds (pool 1sts had a bye), and all matches were conclusively won by the former. In the quarter-finals, Shrewsbury 2 narrowly defeated Highgate 1 14-13 in the deciding game, otherwise Berkhamsted 1, Shrewsbury 1 and Highgate 2 won easily. In the semi-finals, Berkhamsted 1 were made to work hard by Shrewsbury 2, and Shrewsbury 1 reversed their pool game result against Highgate 2; both won relatively easily in straight games.
Although Berkhamsted won the final in straight games, they were pushed hard in both first and third by a talented and determined Shrewsbury pair: Shuker cut well and played some effective strokes from the back of the court, whereas Morris returned cut consistently, retrieved skilfully and always looked to volley. Miles stood out for Berkhamsted: cutting left-handed, but appearing ambidextrous in every other way, she volleyed to a good length in the back of the court back of the court, and her approach shots had a testing weight. Hannah cut consistently effectively, volleying regularly and playing well from the back of the court. They supported each other throughout and their experience of six playing years and confidence eventually won the day, but not without a fight.
Many congratulations to them and their coaches at Berkhamsted on a hat-trick of wins in this competition (and a very rare feat at any level); the Shrewsbury pair were only in their second season and had clearly improved from last year.
Berkhamsted 1 beat Mill Hill 1 2-0 (12-1, 12-0)
Shrewsbury 2 beat Highgate 1 2-1 (8-12, 12-3, 14-13)
Highgate 2 beat Shrewsbury 4 2-0 (12-1, 12-5)
Shrewsbury 1 beat Shrewsbury 3 2-0 (12-1, 12-1)
Berkhamsted 1 (B.Miles & L.Hannah) beat Shrewsbury 2 (L.Barden & L.Taylor) 2-0 (12-5, 12-5)
Shrewsbury 1 (I.Morris & H.Shuker) beat Highgate 2 (C.Vos & E.Anderson) 2-0 (12-5, 12-4)
Berkhamsted 1 beat Shrewsbury 1 3-0 (12-8, 12-4, 12-8)