County Matches 2/12

The two county teams are finding it tough going in the Victor Sports Inter-County Championships so far winning just one match out of six played. At the weekend, the first team were beaten 11-4 by the Notts second string, while the second team went under 9-6 to Bedfordshire II. The underlying problem is unavailability and lack of strength in depth, particularly amongst the ladies. With county no.1, Katherine Cooper on tournament duty elsewhere and Sarah Lewin out with torn ligaments until the New Year, the two matches were always going to be difficult. The first team ladies failed to win any of their singles and level doubles games, although Michelle Lewin came very close in her singles match, going under 21-17 in the third set.

For the men, Ian Murphy, once again, comfortably won his singles and then teamed up with an unwell Grahame Wells to take both doubles. Alex Wyett and Justin Gerrard fought hard to chalk up a doubles victory but to no avail, leaving Norfolk to win all three mixed to grab a "losing point" , but they could only manage one, through Gerrard and Helen Newstead.

Wyett and Lewin lost a "heart-breaker" 27-25,26-24.

The second team picked up their third "losing point" in succession. They shared the singles with good victories for Mike Philpott and Steph Buttle, but came unstuck in the level doubles, only winning two of the eight matches played through Jon Atmore and Paul Daynes and Amber Lillingstone and Lucy Curran. The "losing point" was secured in the mixed, with creditable wins for Atmore and Lillingstone and Christian Nielsen and Curran.

Both teams will have to up their game next weekend as they face difficult away matches against Leicestershire and Kent.

* There was an encouraging entry for the Under 8s/10s moderates tournament. In the Under 10s boys singles, Toby Hoare beat Matthew Baker 15-9 in the first semi-final, with Vincent Clark knocking out Dominic Ely in the second, also by 15-9. The final was closely contested with Hoare eventually coming out on top 15-12 to take the title. However, Clark gained some consolation by winning the Under 8s event, with Baker taking second place.

Clark and Baker then teamed up to win the boys doubles, beating the older team of Hoare and Sean Lott 21-18 in the deciding game. Clark and Baker are both still Under 8s.

The girls singles final was between Hope Flower , who had beaten Jodie Springford in the first semi-final and Elspeth Saffron-Lawrence, who had overcome Lauren Mortimer in her semi. Hope had earlier beaten Elspeth in a group game, but, in a reversal of fortunes, Elspeth gained her revenge and beat Hope 15-7 in the final.

Kate Sawyer and Lauren Mortimer won all their games in the doubles event to take the title, with Chloe Sarsby and Hope Flower in second place.

* The Over 45s chalked up their second win of the season, with a convincing 9-3 victory over Cambridgeshire. David Guy and Kevin Stangoe won both their mens doubles, with one game going to 26-24, while Julian Sharman and newcomer Adrian Skipper shared their two matches. For the ladies, Jeannine Whiffen and Suzanne Benton and Norma Bowen and Jenny Longmore both shared their games. All the mixed doubles were very close but Norfolk romped home by winning all four, through Guy and Whiffen, Stangoe and Bowen, Skipper and Longmore and Sharman and Benton. An excellent 9-3 victory, bearing in mind that several of the pairings had never played together before!