Hinks as Hatrick Hero
Tom Hinks was the hat trick hero at the Ashaway Under 13s County Championships played at the Blyth Jex Sports Centre. He won the first of his three titles in the boys singles which was played in two groups, with the top two from each group going through to the semi-finals.
The first group was convincingly won by Hinks with Sam Dismore taking second place. The second group was much tighter with Joshua Kent just beating Jacob Marshall-Grint in the deciding match 21-20. In the semi-finals Hinks beat Marshall-Grint 21-3, while Dismore overcame Kent 21-14 to produce a re-match between Hinks and Dismore which Hinks won 21-11 to claim his first title of the day.
The boys doubles was played in one large group of eight pairs with Hinks and Marshall-Grint emerging worthy winners, although a few of their games were a little closer than expected.
The next two pairs, Ben Tozer and Nicholas Schilling and Sam Dismore and Sam Clarke, both won five of their seven games, so the runners-up spot went to the winners of the match between the two pairs, Tozer and Schilling.
There was a disappointing entry for the girls events, which were played as a "round robin" in one group. However, both the singles and level doubles produced some of the closest matches of the championships. In the singles, three girls finished up with five wins out of six, so the final places were determined by the number of points scored. Ella Kearsley won the title with 124 points. Emma Piper scored 122 points to take second place and Ellen Bugg just missed out on a trophy with 121 points.
Only three pairs entered the level doubles, but they produced three very exciting and close games 21-17, 21-20 & 21-20. The winners were Ellen Bugg and Lucy Eyers, with Ella Kearsley and Devon Minnis runners-up.
Tom Hinks claimed his third title of the day when he teamed up with Emma Piper to win the mixed doubles, with Jacob Marshall-Grint and Ella Kearsley in second place.
* The first senior moderates event of the season was held on the same day as the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road, but the competition was no less intense! The mixed competition attracted 10 pairs and was of a high standard, with good club players in both halves of the draw. The first group was won by Martin Reeve and Ros Ellis, from the well established pairing of David Guy and Jeanine Whiffen whilst group two was won by Andrew Piff and Bev Sharman from the younger pairing of Daniel Leers and Emma Davies. In the first semi-final Reeve and Ellis beat Leers and Davies whilst Guy and Whiffen used their experience to edge out Piff and Sharman 15-13 in the third set to set up a rematch of their earlier group game. In an exciting final, Reeve and Ellis maintained their earlier form to take the winners trophy.
Played in one group, six pairs contested the mens doubles, again producing several close and keenly contested games. The outright winners were the young pairing of Lee Robinson and Daniel Leers, who held off the challenge of the veteran team of David Guy and Steve Thacker.
The ladies doubles was also played in one group and was won by the scratch pairing of Ros Ellis and Stephanie Buttle from the YMCA club team of Suzanne Benton and Bev Sharman.
* The county Under 15 team played what will probably be their hardest Shires League match of the season against Notts and came away with a creditable six games, which could have been more if some of the three setters had gone in their favour.
The Notts girls were very strong with Norfolks only success coming in a doubles win for Holly Bowen and Serena Verney. However, Norfolks boys gave Notts a few scares, notching up three doubles victories through Ashley Robb and Andrew Carrier and Mark Robinson and Luke Cox. Robb also won his singles and Carrier and Sophie Piper picked up a mixed.
Final score: 14-6 to Notts.