2017/18 - NORTHANTS CADETS
Our Northants Cadet team got their 2017-18 County Cadet Championships underway on Saturday November 11th at Draycott Table Tennis Centre in Derbyshire. The team consisted of Bipasha Ganatra and Swati Jethwa (WHDTTA), Shay Graham (Northampton), Jacob Tattersall (Burton Baptist TTC) and Daniel Mann (Chesterwell TTC). The team was once again captained by Henry Arthur.
Northants 4 vs Worcestershire 6
A nervous start by both Jacob (vs Ben Rycroft-Stanley) and Daniel (vs Alex Emms) quickly saw us 2-0 down in our opening match against Worcestershire and with Swati also going down 3-0 to Evie Ellicott, very quickly we were facing an uphill battle and it looked like the score would become 4-0 with Bipasha trailing Abi Ingles 2-0 (6-11, 6-11). A change of tactics by Bipasha though saw her slowly edge her way back into the match to take the third set 11-7. She completed a fantastic comeback win with nailbiting 15-13, 11-9 sets to score a memorable win and get Northants onto the scoreboard.
Shay recorded a 3-1 win over Jesse Bunn and Jacob’s 3-0 win over Emms saw us level the match at 3-3. Swati lost out 3-1 to Ingles and Bipasha went down 3-0 to Evie to move Worcestershire to the brink of victory. Shay kept Northants in the match, coming back from 2-0 down to defeat Rycroft-Stanley 13-11 in the deciding set but unfortunately, despite a valiant attempt, Daniel couldn’t quite get the win that would have given us the draw, losing out 12-14, 8-11, 11-6, 10-12 to Bunn.
Lancashire 9 vs Northants 1
A strong Lancashire team saw Northants succumb to a devastating 9-1 defeat in their second match of the day. Jacob picked up the solitary win with a fine 3-0 victory over Ben Strapps. Daniel came close to adding a second point but Strapps just held on to oust him 3-2. Jacob (vs Daniel Watkinson) and Shay (vs Matthew Westworth) both managed a set in their 3-1 defeats with all the other games finishing 3-0.
Norfolk 7 vs Northants 3
A much more competitive performance from the Northants youngsters which on another day could have seen us get at least a draw and possibly even a win.
Daniel kicked off proceedings and lost narrowly in four sets to Archie Raynor. Jacob then lost a fascinating five set battle to Finlay Hewson 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11 before Bipasha lost her own tight five set match11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 12-14, 9-11 to Darcey Brewer as we slipped 3-0 behind. Swati lost to Ella Barnard 3-0 before Shay delivered a morale boosting 3-1 win over Alex McRobie. Daniel then saw off off Hewson to reduce the deficit to 2-4.
Swati and Bipasha lost 3-1 and 3-0 to Brewer and Barnard as our opponents took an unassailable 6-2 lead. McRobie proved too strong for Jacob as we slipped 7-2 behind. Shay limited the damage with a fluctuating 13-11, 3-11, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10 win over Rayner.
Overall, it was a disappointing day. I felt our boys never really showed their true potential as I know that all three can play much better than they did on the day. It was always going to be a difficult day for Swati and Bipasha as they stepped into the shoes vacated by Anna Wilson and Evie Elliott who are now too old for the cadets but I must give both girls credit for their battling performances, topped off by Bipasha’s comeback win vs Worcestershire.
With the final round of matches to be played in December, it does not give the players and coaches much time to work on some of the issues that arose from these matches. And as we all know, hard work, dedication and commitment is the only way we will improve at anything we do.
Henry Arthur (Team Captain)
The County Cadet team that represented Northamptonshire on 11 November 2017 was from left to right Jacob Tattersall, Swati Jethwa, Shay Graham, Bipasha Ganatra and Daniel Mann.
Northants Cadets Report Matchday 2 (December 16th)
Draycott Table Tennis Centre played host to the final day of matches in this season’s Cadet County Championships. Our cadet team had lost all three of their matches on the first day of matches back in November and knew that they were in for another challenging day with matches against two of the favourites in Durham 2 and Cheshire as well as a match versus the home County of Derbyshire. Our team was again made up of Bipasha Ganatra and Swati Jethwa (WHDTTA), Daniel Mann (Chesterwell), Jacob Tattersall (Burton Latimer Baptists) and Shay Graham (formerly of Malcolm Arnold).
Northants 3 vs Durham 2nds 7
Jacob (ranked at 193 on the National Cadet list) kicked proceedings off against Jamie Peacock (ranked at 44). Jacob put in a battling performance but could not withstand his opponents constant heavy attacking play and lost out 3-1. On the other table Daniel (290) was involved in a fluctuating match with Adam Hanby (149) but the victory was just out of his reach with Hanby winning it 12-10 in the decider.
Up next were our two girls with Bipasha (unranked) taking on Sophie Richardson (74) and Swati (unranked) playing Amy Mold (55). Bipasha put in a good showing losing 14-12, 6-11, 7-11, 9-11 but Amy was too good for Swati and scored a 3-0 win meaning that we found ourselves 4-0 down.
Next up was Shay, our number one cadet who is ranked at 119 and he played a very solid game to clinically defeat Hayden Gilmour (130) 3-0 to get his team on the scoreboard. At the same time, Jacob was up against Hanby and he produced a great result courtesy of some excellent tactical play to defeat his higher ranked opponent 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 to reduce the over match deficit to 2-4.
Bipasha and Swati then played their reverse singles against Mold and Richardson and neither could make any inroads into their opponents which meant Durham 2nds moved into an unassailable 6-2 lead.
Shay produced perhaps his best ever win whilst playing for the Northants Cadet team with a stunning 11-5, 10-12, 16-14, 11-7 win over Peacock to lessen the defeat. Daniel put in another good display before losing out 14-12 in the fourth to Gilmour to leave the final score reading as a 3-7 loss. Durham would go on to win this division.
Cheshire 9 vs Northants 1
Next up was a Cheshire team that featured Liam Bibby (50), James Courtney (72) and Liam Murphy (151) for their boys with Niamh Scarborough (21) and Ruby Bennett (61) being their two girls. This proved to be the toughest match of the day for our youngsters. Daniel, Bipasha and Swati lost all their matches 3-0. Shay did marginally better taking a game in both his matches with the closest he came to picking up a win being an 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 9-11 defeat against Courtney. Jacob easily lost 3-0 to Bibby but with the scorecard showing us 9-0 down, he produced another solid performance to defeat Murphy 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7. Cheshire ultimately finished second in the division when Durham defeated them in the last match of the day to take the title.
Northants 5 vs Derbyshire 1sts 5
And so onto our final match of the 2017-18 County Cadet Championships which would also be the final match for four of the five players on show with only Swati still eligible to play in the cadet age group next season.
Jacob kicked the match off against Sam Cooper (108) but found his opponent to consistent and lost out 3-0. But Daniel quickly levelled matters with an 11-0, 11-7, 12-14, 11-3 win over Bradley Tomlinson (378).
Bipasha and Swati again found the going tough, with both players losing 3-0 to Lucy Vernon (29) and Helena Dicken (19) respectively as Derbyshire edged ahead 3-1.
Shay then beat Joseph Cooper (159) 3-1 in an entertaining match before Jacob levelled the score at 3-3 with a 3-1 win over Tomlinson, Derbyshire quickly moved 5-3 ahead after defeats for Swati and Bipasha.
Shay produced another excellent performance to defeat Sam Cooper 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10 to keep us in the hunt for a draw. However, this would depend on whether Daniel could upset the odds and defeat Joseph Cooper, a player ranked 131 places above him. To everyone’s surprise, Daniel took the first end 11-3 with his unorthodox style causing Cooper several problems. Cooper edged the second game 11-9 but Daniel kept plugging away and moved 2-1 ahead with an 11-8 win in the third game. Cooper held his nerve in the fourth end to take it 14-12 to leave the match result fully dependent on the final game of the day. Could Daniel sign off his County Cadet matches with a famous win and secure an unexpected draw for his team? Of course he could! Playing some of his most inspired table tennis of the day, and following another long deuce game, Daniel eventually emerged victorious 15-13 which saw some big smiles from his team-mates, a fist-pump from his team captain and absolutely no emotion from Daniel himself!
Five defeats and one draw shows how much work we still have to do to catch up with other Counties. Shay, Jacob, Daniel and Bipasha have served the Cadets well in the couple of years that they have represented the County but all three are aware of how hard the next challenge will be as they make the step into the next age group. Some great wins by the boys today gives us some hope and optimism for the future. There are some decent male cadet players at the various clubs to come into the team for next season but we are really struggling for girls for next season. As always, table time (both matches and training) is key for our young players to help them develop and try to narrow the gap between ourselves and the other Counties, as is the need for them to get out and gain more experience of tournament play against other young players. With most of our juniors only playing in the lower divisions of the senior leagues, and against older players who mainly play unorthodox table tennis, our young players often find themselves exposed against the faster, more attacking play of their contemporaries from other Counties.