Tyler and Rae take two for Northants

Joe Tyler
Joe Tyler

Northants concluded the winter series of the 12 Counties tournament at Corby TC on Sunday when the 18 & U sides contested their heats.

The county boys all picked up rubbers, with Joe Tyler winning two of his three matches at the head of the order against Norfolk and Oxfordshire, a feat matched by Kyle Rae at number three while Arthur Eyles and Linden Iliffe both claimed a victory apiece playing at number two and number four respectively.

Cambridgeshire’s overall superiority across the age ranges was reflected by 4-0 wins against both Northants and boys and girls teams but Northamptonshire’s boys had 3-1 wins against Norfolk and Oxfordshire, while the girls drew 2-2 with Oxfordshire.

Tyler was beaten by Cambridgeshire’s Tom Hands but defeated Johnnie Carmichael (Norfolk) 4-2, 4-0 and Max Heath (Oxfordshire) 5-3, 4-0. Rae was a 4-2, 4-2 winner against William Foster (Norfolk) and 4-1, 4-0 against John Balshaw (Oxfordshire). Eyles’ victory was a 1-4, 4-0, 10-8 success against Daniel Taylor (Oxfordshire) while Iliffe scored a 1-4, 4-1, 11-9 success at the expense of Michael Digby (Norfolk).

The late withdrawal of Leah Milligan due to ill health bumped Lauren Phillips up to number one in the order in the girls’ event while Kate Clayson gathered two victories at two with Alex Lewis notching a success at number four as Stephanie Reynolds battled away at number three.

Clayson, playing off a mark of 6.1, was a 4-1, 1-4, 10-8 winner against Frances Evans (Norfolk) and also defeated Natasha Canter (Oxfordshire) 4-1, 4-1, the latter a higher rated 5.2 player. Meanwhile Lewis, still only rated a 7.2 player, was a 4-1, 5-3 victor against Oxfordshire’s 6.2 higher rated performer Ellie Vincent.

The victory for Dallington girl Lewis, who was only 14 last month, means she managed to score a victory at three different age ranges during the winter, having had a clear sweep in the 16 & U category and picked up a win at 14s.

Once all of the results had been pooled, Northants finished third of the four counties, albeit level on 24 points with Norfolk, who were awarded that distinction by virtue of winning an age group. Clear margin victors were Cambridgeshire (36 poimts) with Oxfordshire in fourth.

Tyler was in need of a well earned break after going into the 12 Counties event on the back of an 18 & U Grade 3 event in Derrby on Thursday and Friday, which saw him run out the winner, and then onto Norwich for weekend training in the evening and Saturday morning...

At Derby, a first round bye was followed by a second round success against Cambridgeshire’s Toby Huffer (6-3, 6-3) before a semi-final win against Sean Drewry (Isle of Man) 6-0, 6-1. The final saw the Northants player beat Charlie Kilbride (Cheshire) 6-3, 6-1.

Meanwhile, Tyler was listed as a first reserve for the senior national Aegon British Tour which continues all of this week at Corby, with both of the finals scheduled to take place on Saturday morning.

On a more global setting, Northampton’s Alex Ward was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Germany’s Mischa Zverev in Marseilles at the weekend and the 24 year-old now moves on to a brace of events in Portugal, starting on Saturday.