BROMSGROVE’S Josie Ward helped the Herefordshire and Worcestershire 12-and-under girls’ team to runners-up spot in the County Cup competition in Wrexham at the weekend.
Joined by Paulina Jurkowska (Redditch HDA), Caoimhe Guppy (Pershore) and captain Tony Ravenscroft, the team came agonisingly close to securing a place in the National Finals, only to be edged out by South Wales in the final.
Six counties – South Wales, North Wales, H&W, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire – all competed for a spot in the National Finals.
The H&W girls had an excellent start, beating Staffordshire 4-0. All three girls won 4-0, 4-0 in their singles.
The North Wales tie was more of a test and a must-win to secure top spot in their group and H&W were 2-1 up after the singles.
Paulina and Josie teamed up for the doubles in which North Wales levelled the tie after an epic doubles match, winning 4-1, 2-4 (12-10).
However, the H&W girls stepped up in the shoot-out and won 10-7 to secure top spot.
After some down time on Saturday evening with dinner and bowling, the girls were raring to go on Sunday in their semi-final against Shropshire.
They got off to a great start as Paulina, Josie and Caoimhe all won their singles in straight sets to secure their spot in the final.
They met South Wales in the final after the latter beat North Wales in the other semi final.
The H&W girls had some tough singles matches, as Paulina beat South Wales number one Laila Mai Savage 11-9 in the tie-break after being a set and 3-1 down.
Josie and Caoimhe fought hard until the end but lost out to the South Wales number two and three respectively.
At 2-1 down after the singles, Paulina and Josie paired up for the doubles and the fight to level the tie was on.
They lost the first set 4-2 but got back on track and won the second set 5-3.
The comeback was in their sights but South Wales just edged the win in the tie-break 10-7 to secure their place in the National Finals.