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Rising Star Amy Handed Staffs Senior Place

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

BASFORD starlet Amy Ellis is preparing for her debut in the Staffordshire senior side this week in the LTA Winter County Cup. The 14-year-old Newcastle-under-Lyme School pupil will get her first outing for the women's team in the three-day competition at Wrexham, when Staffs will strive to make headway in Group 4B. Ellis is making an impression on the junior circuit and reached the under-16 final of the Grade Three Welti Tennis Junior Open in Shrewsbury this month, where she lost 6-4, 6-2 to Norfolk's Amy Partridge. Her mother, Gill, is confident she will not be deterred by older opponents at the inter-county championships. She said: "Amy is excited about the competition and she's used to playing for the ladies' team at Basford, so I don't think she will treat an adult opponent any differently from a younger player. She's looking forward to going and has nothing to lose."

Staffs will open their account on Friday against Durham and Cleveland, with further fixtures against Lincolnshire and North Wales. Each tie involves six singles and three doubles. Ellis – who plays at Basford and Tipton – will be joined in the line-up by Emily Southall (Tipton), Katie Eaton, Louise Scott (Liverpool University) and Wolverhampton players Cassidy Crawford, Lydia Sui and Emma Hingley. Staffs number one Amy Sargeant is competing in France, so misses the tournament, while Kate White and Holly Smith are playing in the United States. Team manager Dan Cosgrove said: "A number of key players are unavailable, so it gives other girls a chance to compete and if they're successful they will be up for selection for the summer county cup. They will give it their best shot and it will be a great experience for them, although we're expecting it to be tough."

Sentinel, 25 November 2008
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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