Ten students, making up 5 ‘doubles’ pairs, travelled to Erasmus Darwin Academy for the yearly Cannock and District Under 13s Tournament, and what a great experience it was. We have not took part in tennis competition for a good while but with bucketfuls of enthusiasm we gave it a good go this year.

Three U13 boys pairings took the court in 3 separate leagues. Unfortunately, the opposition we’re on form and at the end of the group stages neither Year 7 pairing made it into the next round. Having faced tough Year 8 teams, the boys are already planning their come back next year. Every single point, all 4 boys – Sam Derrick, Ben Hollis, Jacob Freeth and Nate Kirkwood – continued to display excellent sportsmanship and showed off their skill throughout every group stages match.

There was still hope for one Year 8 pair – Mylo Forbes and Adam Brown, as they took on a tie break for a place in the semis, having won their league. In a very tight game they fell 1 point short and didn’t qualify for the next round, but it could of ended either way.

Next up, the girls turn. Two Year 8 U13 girls pairings took to the court to represent The Friary and both played 3 matches in the group stages. Lili Crompton and Poppy O’Sullivan were first up – started the group stages with a brilliant victory versus EDA. But unfortunately, winning 1 of their 3 matches, placed them 3rd overall.

Our second pairing Lydia Hung and Aimee Irvine worked excellently together and smashed all their games with 3 of 3 wins and so qualified for a place in the semis. They made light work of the game; next stop, the Final. Tough rivals from King Edwards who had also had a fantastic run of victories got the game underway. However, the adrenaline was pumping and after no time at all the title was our! U13 Girls County Champions.

Hollie Wright, team coach, said: “All students represented The Friary excellently and being a sport, we currently don’t have the facilities to offer, it was a pleasure to witness their talent and commitment. Every single pupil should be super proud of their efforts and walking away with a victory just topped off a fantastic afternoon.”