Surprise result for Carrier
The Shires is the top league competition for county junior players, growing from fairly humble beginnings in 1983, with just 6 counties competing, to its current regional format, attracting 29 counties from all over the UK. Played in three age groups, the winners and runners up in each of four divisions compete in the finals which take place at the end of the season. Norfolks three teams were all in action at the weekend, with a mixed bag of results.
The Under 13s, who reached the finals last season, had a very close encounter with Leicestershire. Although keeping their noses in front for most of the match, victory was not assured until the last few level doubles, with Norfolk winning 12-8. All members of the team contributed to an excellent team performance and if that standard can be maintained in their last two matches against Lincs and Suffolk another visit to the finals is a certainty.
Team:Holly Bowen, Rebecca Chapman, Serena Verey, Annie Giles,Mark Robinson, Ashley Robb, Andrew Carrier and Joshua Ring.
Having won their first three matches of the season, the Under 15s crashed 2-18 to a very strong Leics side, boasting several England squad players. All four opening mixed doubles games went to the home side, although John Carrier and Rebecca Heeles came close to victory, losing 12-15 in a hard fought third set. But Carrier then pulled off the surprise result of the match, beating England squad player, Peter Briggs, 15-7,3-15,15-12. Lee Robinson demolished Chris Jones 15-7,15-4, but that prompted Leicestershire to up their game, taking all the remaining ties, although Norfolks pride remained very much intact. A positive result in either of their remaining tough matches against Lincs and Notts, could see the team finishing in the top three places of their division.
Team: Rebecca Heeles, Charlotte Crosby, Emma Davies, Bryony Lund, Lucas and Kurtis Lefevre, John Carrier and Lee Robinson.
After a poor start to the season, the Under 17s put in a much improved and determined display against Bedfordshire, drawing the match ten all. Once again, the teams strength came from the girls, who won three of the four singles and level doubles, whilst the boys, who have found the going tough all season, produced a much better performance to share their doubles. Pavitra Chotai was the teams star, winning all four of her games. The sides final match of the season will be against Suffolk, where pride and winning points will be at stake.
Team: Stephanie Buttle, Sarah Lewin, Kirsty Spinks, Pavitra Chotai, Chris Piff, Ryan Minns, James Worthington-Hill, Rohan Chitale and Lee Thomas.