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National Championship Finalists

'Following a successful run in the U19 Girls Aberdare Cup our Senior girls reached the National Championships Finals for the second year running. Taysie Gujral (Upper Sixth, Queen Anne), Alex Boardman (Upper Sixth, Vanbrugh), Evie Phillips (Lower Sixth, Swift), Saffy Gujral (Fifth Form, Queen Anne), Hannah Craig (Fifth Form, Gascoigne), Chloe Elliott (Second Form, Vanbrugh) and Holly Craig (Second Form, Gascoigne) all contributed in the initial rounds beating Tudor Hall, Wycombe Abbey, Oxford High and Marlborough College.

In an attempt to highlight the magnitude of this achievement, the Aberdare Cup involves over 300 teams competing in twelve regions. These knockout rounds took place throughout England, Scotland and Wales and the twelve winning Schools from each region qualify for National Championships. They join the four top seeded teams in the Country to compete for the National Championships title.

The Championships took place over four days from Tuesday 11 July in Nottingham in a compass draw. The squad of Chloe Elliott, Taysie Gujral, Saffy Gujral, Evie Phillips and Alex Boardman were drawn first against Repton School who are notoriously strong. Unfortunately, the weather was so bad it impacted the day forcing all matches indoors, this was a tall order for the organisers trying to fit in 96 matches on five courts. We only managed to play two of our four singles matches in very disruptive conditions so we knew that day two was going to be a long day due the back log of games from the day before. However, we didn’t anticipate that we would still be playing twelve hours after our arrival at the Nottingham Tennis Centre. After completing our two games against Repton in the morning without the desired win, the next round saw us up against St Peters RC School. This was an epic six hour battle with all singles and one of the doubles matches going to tie break. After the six rubbers we were tied at 3-3 meaning we had to go for a tie break shootout to ten points. It was a valiant effort by Chloe and Alex but we came unstuck at the end to lose the match by three points.

On day three we were drawn against Talbot Heath. Despite us winning many games in the singles matches we lost unfortunately lost all four. There was only one thing for it, seven competitive ladies taking each other on at Bowling! Some of us were a little rusty and took a bit of time to warm up but we had a fantastic time followed by a lovely team meal at Prezzo. Preparations were in full force for our final day with a thorough warm, Lucy Brown our team coach who is also a professional tennis player from Oxfordshire joined the girls which gave them real confidence. Our opponents were Pocklington and we made the best start possible. Alex won her game with two easy sets, followed by Evie doing exactly the same. Taysie at number two put on a fantastic performance with some tight but exciting games to go to a nail biting tie breaker winning 10-8. To round off a gruelling but amazing competition Chloe went in as our number one for the final match, another three set thriller but Chloe held her nerve to win the tie break decider 10-5.

Congratulations to the squad. They were simply brilliant and should be incredibly proud of themselves. They have certainly put Cokethorpe School on the tennis map over the last few years and I am already looking forward to next season.'

Mrs K Floyd (Director of Sport)








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