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Monkton Tennis Team 5th in the Country

Monday, 10 July 2017

On Monday 10th July the School's Boys Tennis Team traveled to Nottingham to take part in the National Schools' Team Tennis Finals with the other top 15 schools in the country.  Accompanied by Mr Chillcott and staying at the University, the boys were in good spirits and readily prepared for their first match against Bede's School on Tuesday at 0900.

The format of the Aegon tournaments is 4 singles matches and two doubles all of two sets, we had taken a team of 5 talented young men which allowed for an element of rotation.  A pretty regulation win with Lewis Hunnisett, Olly Nunn and Matt Summers winning their singles, one doubles match was required and the tie was over, setting up a top 8 match with Merchison Castle School, who came 2nd in the World School Championships in April in Brazil.

Monkton had a tough start with Ned Batstone and Hunnisett having to dig deep to push their Scottish counterparts; 2-0 matches down American University bound Summers (Denver) and James Davis (Oklahoma), clicked through the gears to win comfortably meaning the tie was 2-2 going into the doubles, Hunnisett and Nunn played a phenomenal match to put Monkton 3-2 ahead with the top pair still to play.  A set down, the second set went to a tie break and the Merchiston Castle boys held their nerve to win - 3-3, leaving a shoot out - first pair to ten winning by two clear points with one player from each doubles match.  Nerves abound, it was a classic example of outstanding play and adrenaline; Merchiston won, placing us now in a competition for 5th-8th position.

After coming 2nd in the annual quiz on the Wednesday night; who knew how important Emerson Fittipaldi could be..... Thursday saw us take on Ellesmere College in the indoor bubble due to the inclement weather.  Hunnisett, Nunn, Summers and Davis each winning without losing a set, therefore no need for the doubles; the early finish meaning rest ahead of the 5th/6th play off on Friday v Culford School.

Friday and finals day, 2-0 down after the first two matches, 2-2 after the remaining singles, 3-2 down after the first doubles and 3-3 after all matches complete.  A repeat of Wednesday was on the cards with a shootout, Nunn and Davis again and after 9 points played, Monkton were 2-7 down, after 17 points played we were winners 10-7 and 5th best in the country.  An amazing end to a brilliant week and the culmination of many pupil, parent and staff efforts to ensure our fantastic relationship with the University of Bath and their tennis programme bears real rewards and benefits.

A huge thanks to all involved, especially the parents and staff who made it possible, in particular Mr Chillcott whose empathetic involvement and hard work was appreciated by all and Mr Parfitt for his logistics and support with the team over the two years.  We sadly say goodbye to four of these fine young men as they head to pastures new - America and Oxford, we wish them well and thank them for everything they have done to keep the Monkton name at the forefront of Boys' Tennis in the country; it has been a real pleasure.

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