Ladies Inter County Report

Saturday March 14th saw the second inter county fixture for Leicestershire Women. Unfortunately we were playing to avoid relegation to division 2 and travelled to Lancashire to play three matches in one day (5 hours to be exact!!).
The first match was against Worcestershire and turned out to be our toughest match. Nina Parker at no.5 string and Millie Pugh at no.3 string had close opening matches with Millie narrowly losing the first game 12/10 but taking the next 3 games comfortably. Nina started off strong taking the first game 11/8 but lost the next 2 games 12/10, the 4th game was too close with both players serving for the game and match respectively, eventually Nina lost 15/17 after the longest game of the weekend. With the match at 1:1 Tracey Sykes (No.4) and Mari Taylor (No.1) sealed a team win, winning 3-1 and 3-0 respectively with Rachel Calver (No.2) also winning 3-0 giving Leicestershire a solid 4-1 win.
After a half an hour break it was back on against Merseyside Nina took an early lead taking the first game 11-8, unfortunately despite some great rally’s and tense shots from both players she lost the next two games. Not for the first (or last time) that weekend Nina fought back to take the fourth game comfortably at 11-5. The fifth game was closer but Nina took a well deserved win taking the game 11-7 and a 1-0 win for Leicestershire. Tracey also had a tough second match despite comfortably being 2-0 up her opponent also fought back to take the third 12-10 and the fourth 11-7. Tracey found her form again and took the fifth game 11-5. Millie found herself 1-0 down after her opponent had started strong but took control of the next three games to take a comfortable 3-1 win. With the match won Mari and Rachel completed a 5-0 victory for Leicestershire both winning 3-0 and ensuring Leicestershire would be in Division 1 next season.
The final match was against the hosts Lancashire who had lost 4-1 to Worcestershire in their previous match, they had managed to strengthen their team against Leicestershire making them stronger from the middle order down. Nina was first to start and given her two previous epic matches this was heading a similar way. Despite losing the first game 11-8 Nina won the second 11-5, Lancashire won the third but Nina came back to level the match at 2-2 but, couldn’t manage to maintain momentum in the fifth and lost it 11-5. Millie also had a tough final match after taking the first game 11-6, Lancashire levelled at 1-1. Millie took the third and looked to have the match under control but her opponent dug deep and hung on to take the fourth game 12-10, momentum swung back to Millie in the fifth winning the game easily. Fortunately Leicestershire took the remaining 3 games comfortably with Tracey, Mari and Rachel all winning 3-0 for an overall 4-1 victory.
Final standings for the weekend put Leicestershire top by 20 points, Merseyside narrowly took second place from Worcestershire by 3 points with Lancashire being relegated.
A special mention has to go to Nina Parker who stepped in to play almost at the last minute. Not only did she play 3 top matches within 5 hours she had two matches go to 5 and one match go to 4 games with one of the games being the longest of the weekend. Great results despite the nerves and almost continuous play, a great display of determination and lots of running, Thank you x
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