Second teams relegation success!
The county second team travelled to Coventry to take on fellow relegation strugglers, Warwickshire 3rds, knowing that nothing less than victory would ensure their survival in Division 3 of the Inter County Championship, and, after a hard fought battle, they came out on top by eight games to seven, sending their rivals down to Division 4.
The score line remained close throughout the match, with team captain, Alex Wyett and Jonathan Cooper getting the match off to a good start with comfortable singles victories, only for Warwicks to fight back with equally convincing wins over Tanya Harrison and Amber Lillingstone.
In the mens doubles, it was "business as usual" for Norfolks no.1 pair, Wyett and Justin Gerrard, who disposed of both their opposing pairs in straight sets while Jon Atmore and debut making 18 year old Michael Philpot played very well to halve their two games. Philpots call up to the senior ranks was a well deserved reward for his progress in the local leagues this season.
Once again, Warwicks fought back in the womens doubles taking three of the four games, with Norfolks success coming when Katie Scotter and Michelle Lewin played their hearts out to beat the Warwicks first pair in a three set marathon, arguably their best ever performance for the county.
So, the match moved into the mixed doubles with the score level at six games all. Gerrard and Lillingstone put Norfolk ahead with a very close 15-13,15-13 victory and this was followed by a three setter,won by Wyett and Harrison, to secure victory for the visitors This didnt stop Cooper and Scotter putting in another good performance, although the result went against them in yet another three setter. Overall, this was a good team performance from the countys second string, with every member contributing at least one win and Wyett and Gerrard remaining unbeaten throughout the match.
The spotlight now moves to the UEA Sportspark when, next Sunday, the two county teams play their final matches of the season (starting at 12.20). The first team are up against Middlesex II in another relegation battle, where a win will ensure their Division 1 survival, whilst the second team, fresh from relegation worries, will face Lincolnshire, who still have a chance of promotion. Spectators will be welcome.
* The Under 17 county team had a comfortable 15-5 victory over Suffolk in the latest round of Shires League matches. Ryan Minns, playing up in the absence of Jonathan Cooper who was on senior duty, did particularly well to win his game 17-16 in the third. Other team members were: Daniel Evans, Andrew Piff, Ed Leng, Lydia Pickering, Stephanie Buttle, Sarah Lewin and Kirstie Spinks.
* The Over 50s crashed to a 10-2 defeat at the hands of Lincolnshire. Bob Henderson won both Norfolks games, partnered in the level doubles by Bob Tooby and in the mixed by Sandra Peacock.