Culford pupils underline talent at UK AEGON National Champs

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Culford School pupils have underlined their reputation as some of the best emerging talents in the country after securing two top five places in the AEGON Team Tennis Schools National Championships.

Tennis chiefs at the independent school, whose tennis programme has been rated as the fourth best in the UK for girls and the sixth for boys by the LTA, are celebrating two fine performances from their sides in the prestigious team event.

The Culford School Under-13 Girls’ team, who went into the competition as top seeds, came second place in the country at the culmination of 1,200 school teams competing from across Great Britain since April, while the Under-15 Boys finished a credible fourth in the country.

The year-end competition took place last Friday and Saturday at the Bolton Arena with Culford’s girls team, who were without Laurie Cruickshank, who had played an integral role in the qualifiers but was unable to travel, lived up to their pre-tournament rating in their first match, thrashing Trent College from Nottinghamshire 6-0.

They prevailed 7-6 in a nail-biting tie-break shoot-out against Manchester Grammar School to reach the final, but they could not bring their A-game to the last two showdown, losing 5-1 to Talbot Heath School from Bournemouth.

Meanwhile, the Under-15 Boys lost on a tense tie-break shoot-out (10-8) against Millfield School before losing to number one seeds Merchiston Castle 6-0. They went close again in their final match though, losing in another tie-break after reaching 6-6, this time to Repton School, leaving them to claim fourth place.

Culford’s director of tennis, David Hall, said he was proud to have two teams from the school near Bury St Edmunds in the top four.

“All the players were magnificent this weekend and should be very proud of their achievement of finishing in the top four in Great Britain,” he said.

“These National Championship events are what the players train for all year and it is so pleasing to see them rise to the occasion and perform so well.”

Culford staff Sarah Schofield, Andrew Richardson and John Trehearn were thanked for their support across the weekend.