Under-14s quartet so close to landing national title in Nottingham – as praise is lavished on East Devon Tennis Academy youngsters
The East Devon Tennis Academy (EDTA) had a number of players involved in the national finals in Nottingham.
Four players – Ben Johnson, Lucas Urquiza, Zac Brown and Alfie James Woodger – came close to winning the boys’ under-14s title at the finals.
The Devon team were narrowly beaten by Warwickshire in a match tie-break shoot-out (the equivalent of a football penalty shoot-out), after finishing the final all-square, at three rubbers each.
The Exmouth players, who train at Exmouth Tennis and Fitness Centre, made up two thirds of the Devon team and were captained and coached by EDTA coach Liam Storey.
The six-strong Devon team qualified for the National Finals in Nottingham having easily beaten Somerset and South Wales and then winning a tougher match against Avon in the qualifying group stage two weeks ago.
In their first match of the finals weekend, they met Middlesex, who came third in the overall competition last year, and beat them 4-2.
They then secured victories of 5-1 against both Sussex and Leicestershire to set up the final against Warwickshire. Each of these matches involved four singles and two doubles matches, which meant three very long days of tennis.
A tremendous achievement
Captain Liam Storey said: “Getting to the final and getting so close to winning is a tremendous achievement.
“Each player displayed considerable skill, courage and endurance in the face of some tough situations.
“It was particularly good to see how they worked to support and encourage each other.
“Over the years they, and others who did not make the squad on this occasion, have shown real commitment to the coaching programme and Devon Tennis. These are an incredibly impressive group of players.”
Ben, Lucas and Alfie are no strangers to success in team tennis, being part of the Exmouth Community College Tennis Academy, who are National Schools Team Tennis champions.
Devon Tennis is grateful to sponsors Mercedes Benz South West for their help and support to the team.