Havering tennis squad net title
PUBLISHED: 07:52 04 July 2012
Youngsters are a smash hit at Youth Games
Havering retained their London Youth Games tennis title in smashing style at Crystal Palace.
The squad was determined to make an impression at the finals after battling through some tough singles matches to win their qualifying group two weeks earlier at Redbridge Sports Centre.
Havering had been with one player short in that event and forced to forfeit the mixed doubles in each rubber.
But they were at full strength for the finals and proved up to the challenge as they finished above Richmond and Barnet in their group to set up a gold-medal meeting with Sutton.
In true Wimbledon style the final was interrupted by a torrential rain shower with Havering behind after losing the boys singles.
They were 4-2 up in the girls singles, though, and when play resumed after an hour delay Erica Izatt showed the break had not robbed her of any momentum as she closed out for a 6-2 win.
After racing to a 5-0 lead in the mixed doubles Harry Cannons and Sian Green allowed Sutton a glimmer of hope by dropping the next two games.
But at 5-2 the Havering duo were not going to allow a lapse of concentration to spoil the day and won a sudden death deuce point on the next game to win the match 6-3.
Havering team captain Peter Bruce said: “They are a fantastic bunch of kids and I am overjoyed that they’ve managed to retain their title this year.
“Solid performances in the important matches are what counts in this competition and we knew if we could get to the mixed doubles at one singles match each we were in with a chance.
“Not good for my heart, but Erica Izatt showed real mental strength to win a sudden-death point at 6-6 in a set tie-break in her last singles match in the group stage to get us into the final.
“The team only had one change from the winning team last year with Erica joining the team for 2012.
“This was Adam Gray’s last year but his brother George, Harry Cannons and Sian Green should all be back next year, so fingers crossed, I’d like to think we’ll be there or thereabouts at next year’s finals.”
Adam and George Gray are pupils at Coopers, along with Harry Cannons, and all are members at Cranston Park, where Sian Green began to play tennis.
Erica Izatt started playing at the Havering tennis Club, where she was coached by Peter Bruce.