Mixed fortunes in opening matches

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the senior county teams playing their opening ICC matches of the season. The first team lost 6-9 to Surrey 2 while the second string beat the Northamptonshire first team 9-6.

Without the injured Katherine Cooper and Denise Coleman and with Charity Barnes now playing for Herts, the first team ladies found the going tough and lost all six of their singles and level doubles games. But the men kept the home team in the match with captain, Ian Murphy, winning his singles and both his doubles, partnered by Grahame Wells and Eric Plane and Tim Hudson-Church picking up one.

With the match already lost, Norfolk needed to win at least two of the three mixed doubles to secure a "losing point". Plane and Linda Sawyer won their game, leaving Hudson-Church and Susan Pennington the task of winning the last game of the match.

Susan was making a welcome return to the county squad after over a years absence and she and Tim came out on top after three gruelling sets, to chalk up a point which might be crucial at the end of the season.

The second team put in a great all round team performance to beat a strong Northants first team, who were relegated from Division 2 last season. Amber Lillingstone won all four of her games, teaming up with Tanya Harrison in the two level doubles and Justin Gerrard in the mixed.. Tanya, like Susan, was returning to the squad after a lengthy absence and finished the day by winning a tough mixed doubles, partnered by Eddie Simmons.

Team captain, Alex Wyett and Justin Gerrard won both their doubles and Michelle Lewin and Katie Scotter played very well to win one. But perhaps the performance of the day came from County Under 17 triple champion, Jonathan Cooper who, making his county senior debut, won his singles 15-13 in the third set. To demonstrate how close the match was, six of the fifteen games went to three sets and Norfolk won all six to take an exciting and hard fought match by nine games to six.

* The Under 12s winners and runners up medals were well spread at the first moderates tournament (for non-county players) of the season. The boys singles event was won by Sam Dix (Smithdon High, Hunstanton) who beat Shaun Edwards (Taverham Middle) in the final. The losing semi-finalists were Ben Coote (Reffley School, Kings Lynn) and Ken Williamson (Framingham Earl High).

The girls singles was won by Annie Giles (South Wootton Junior) with Holly Jacobs (Woodlands Middle, Bradwell) runner up. The losing semi-finalists were Georgina Overy (Hethersett Old Hall) and Rachel Williams (St Thomas More Middle).

The boys doubles was won by Shaun Edwards and Ben Mace (Taverham Middle), with Elliott Rouse and William Clarke, both from Drayton Middle in second place while the girls doubles went to twins, Rachel and Laura Williams from St Thomas More, with Francesca Warner and Georgina Overy from Hethersett Old Hall runners up.

The next moderates tournament, for under 14s, will be played on November 14. Further information and entry forms from Peter Cutting on Norwich 408817.