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