County Match Round Up
Norfolks first home games in the Victor Sports Inter-County Championships were close run affairs, with the first team beating Bucks II 9-6 and the second team narrowly losing 8-7 to the Suffolk second string.
First team captain, Katherine Cooper, lead by example winning all four of her matches in straight sets, partnering Gillian Cox in the level doubles and Alex Wyett in the mixed. Cox and Ian Murphy picked up three wins each, Cox partnering Murphy to victory in the mixed and Murphy, once again, comfortably winning his singles and taking one level doubles with partner, Grahame Wells.
Michelle Lewin played well to win a valuable singles match and then teamed up with Helen Newstead to take one of the mixed games. Justin Gerrard was out of luck all afternoon, narrowly losing both level doubles with Wyett, going under 26-24 in the second set of both level doubles, missing out with Lewin in the mixed and breaking three strings in the process.
Overall, the team could consider themselves unfortunate not to pick up all three points. Of the six matches lost, four went to three sets and the remaining two were lost 21-19, 26-24 in the second set.
The second teams match against Suffolk II was too close for comfort and could easily have gone either way.The opening four singles were shared with Charlotte Crosby and Lucy Curran producing good wins for Norfolk. The mens doubles were also shared with Jon Atmore and Paul Daynes winning both their games. But the match started to move in Suffolks favour in the womens doubles, when Steph Buttle and Katie Price won one of their two matches, but Crosby and Curran were unable to repeat their singles successes.
Norfolk needed to win all three mixed to turn defeat into victory. Daynes and Buttle and Christian Nielsen and Curran both won their matches but, regretfully, James Ruthen and Price lost giving our neighbouring rivals a narrow victory, by eight games to seven.
Norfolk have two more home matches at Easton Sports Centre next Sunday, when the first team will be playing Notts II and the seconds will be up against Bedfordshire II. Play starts at 12noon and spectators are most welcome.
* The county Over 40s had to travel to Chilwell for a veterans match against Notts II with one man short, which meant that three games had to be conceded, before a shuttle was hit
On games played Norfolk won 5-4, but lost 5-7 after allowing for the conceded games.
Jane Sheldrake and Lizzie Cubitt and Steve Thacker and Julian Ross won both of their level doubles matches and Krishna Kumar and Jane Sheldrake convincingly won their mixed despite not having played together before. Suzanne Benton and Sally Piff were unlucky to lose both of their level doubles The match would have almost certainly gone in Norfolks favour had they been able to field a full team.
* County players, Devon Minnis and Ben Sharman competed exceptionally well to win their groups in their first Under 11s Silver Tournament, held in Harlow. Devon won her three group games 21-12,21-12,21-5, before losing out in her semi-final 21-10.
Ben won his first group game 21-17 against more experienced opposition. He then comfortably won his second game 21-6, before finding himself 14-20 down in the third, only to turn the game around to win 21-20. He then lost out in the quarter finals 21-8.