Warwicks beat Norfolk to promotion

Norfolks faint hopes of promotion to the Premiership completely disappeared when they were defeated by table toppers, Warwickshire, at Easton Sports Centre. Nothing short of a 9-6 victory would have kept the home side in the promotion hunt, but the match ended in a 6-9 defeat. The team started well enough by sharing the singles with Ian Murphy and team captain, Katherine Cooper, each winning in two straight sets. But the match began to move in favour of the visitors when Murphy and Grahame Wells and Alex Wyett and Justin Gerrard lost all four level doubles. Cooper and Gillian Cox had a good three sets win in their first doubles match but then lost their second. Michelle Lewin and Amber Lillingstone fought hard but went down in both their doubles, which left the score at 3-9, with Warwicks looking for a 12-3 rout. But with pride at stake, Norfolk dug deep and battled hard to win all three mixed to achieve a more respectable 6-9 scoreline.

So, Warwicks move into the Premiership and Norfolk, with one match outstanding against Notts next weekend, take second place. Although disappointed with the end result, team captain, Katherine Cooper, praised her team for their effort and for not allowing their heads to drop. At the beginning of the season Norfolk were expecting to be drawn into a relegation battle, so to finish in second place was a very good performance.

* The county second team lost their final match of the season, going under 3-12 to the Warwicks third string.Helen Newstead won her singles and then teamed up with Lucy Curran to take one level doubles. Paul Daynes and Michael Philpott also picked up one doubles, while Andy Piff and James Worthington-Hill and Kirsty Spinks and Steph Buttle played well but had nothing to show for their efforts. The team is now relegated to Division 4 of the Inter County Championships.

* With players descending on York from countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden,

Germany India and Russia, the prestigious 91st Yonex All England Senior Championships provided an excellent display of world class veterans badminton. Having won the Over 45s national doubles title earlier in the season, those two Norfolk perennials, Eric Plane and Tim Hudson-Church followed that up by taking the "All England" crown, beating David Pratt and Jack Webb (Hampshire) 21-10,21-12 in the final.

* County no.1, Katherine Cooper, won the Suffolk "Open" singles title, beating Sarah Burgess (Hampshire) in the final.