Norfolk stay safe in division 1

Norfolk produced one of their best all round team performances of the season

to beat Bedfordshire 11-4 and send them crashing down to Division 2 of the

Inter County Championships. They got the match off to a flying start by

winning all four singles through Ian Murphy, Jonathan Cooper, Katherine

Cooper and Amber Lillingstone, with Katherine coming back from two match

points to win 11-2 in the third set and Amber keeping her nerve to win a

marathon game 11-9,13-12.

All the mens doubles were close, but Norfolk could only win one through

Murphy and Christian Nielsen. Alex Wyett and Justin Gerrard fought hard but

had little luck in their two close three setters. The women re-established

Norfolks four game lead by taking three of their four doubles, with

Katherine Cooper and Gillian Cox winning two and Amber Lillingstone and

Rachel Howes, making her senior county debut, one.

So the match moved into the mixed doubles with Norfolk 8-4 up and looking

for a maximum three points win. The team duly obliged with victories for

Murphy and Cox, Wyett and Cooper and Gerrard and Lillingstone.

The last match of the season will be at home to Oxfordshire on Sunday,

March 12 - a tie which will mark the final appearance of two county

legends, Eric Plane and Tim Hudson-Church. These two Norfolk stalwarts will

now concentrate on increasing their reputation on the Veterans circuit,

where they are currently National and European champions. The match will

take place at Easton College Sports Centre commencing at 12noon and

spectators are most welcome to come and see Eric and Tim play senior county

for the last time.

* Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre has recently played host to one of

badmintons most prestigious UK events - the Yehlex Badminton Bonanza.

The tournament was split into two, one for league players and the other

for social players and attracted 22 pairs, giving everyone the opportunity

to test their skills in several rounds of mixed doubles matches. In the

league event, the 7 pairs all played each other to determine the winners. In

fourth place were Krishna Kumar and Louise Copley of Norwich while Peter

Matthews and Jo Wright from Marham came in third.

But the winning pair was only determined in the last match of the day when

Norwichs Andrew Piff and Bev Sharman took both games from James Spinks

(Norwich) and Sarah Watts (Mid-Norfolk) in an exciting finale to win the


Players came from all over Norfolk to enter the social event, which was

played in four groups. Edward White and Denise Webster and David Woods and

Mandy Easton just missed out on the final, which was won by Adam Power and

Hansa Gragoe, who proved too experienced for the younger pairing of Terry

Baker and Vicki Adams.

But there was some consolation for Vicki who won the Maxview of Setchey

"Most Sporting Player" award. With this successful tournament under its belt, Fakenham Sports and

Fitness Centre will be eager to continue its support for future community