Double delight for Sharman and Minnis

It was a double delight for top-seeded Ben Sharman and Devon Minnis who both won two titles at the Ashaway County Restricted Under 11s Championships played at the Blyth Jex Sports Centre. Sharman cruised into the semi-finals of the boys singles, where he beat Toby Hoare 21-13 to set up a final against Vincent Clark, who had earlier knocked out Matthew Baker 21-8 in the other semi. Sharman won his first title with a comfortable 21-10 victory. He then teamed up with Hoare to win the doubles trophies. Clark and Baker had to be content with second place.

There was never any doubt about the winner of the girls singles. Devon Minnis only conceded 13 points in the four matches she played to become this seasons champion.

The most exciting games came in deciding who should take second place which went to Kathryn Adamson. Minnis then partnered Lauren Mortimer to win the doubles crown, comfortably beating Elspeth Straffon-Lawrence and Kathryn Bates.

* Two of the countys veteran teams have been in recent action with mixed fortunes. The Over 45s chalked up their second win of the season with a 9-3 victory over Cambridgeshire, but the Over 40s lost to Lincolnshire with an identical score-line.

David Guy and Kevin Stangoe won both of their level doubles for the Over 45s, with one game going to 26-24, while Julian Sharman and newcomer, Adrian Skipper, shared their two matches. 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 and taking the match 9-3, which was a very good result, bearing in mind that several of the pairings had never played together before.

The Over 40s insisted that their 3-9 scoreline was not a true reflection of the play. Steve Thacker and Julian Sharman were unlucky not to pick up at least one match, with five of their six games being lost by two points. Geoff Roff and Krishna Kumar didnt take long to establish a solid partnership, halving their two level doubles. In the ladies, debutant Andrea Berger teamed up with Liz Cubitt to win one level doubles, while another debutant, Janet Marsden and Norma Bowen battled hard but were beaten in both.

Roff and Cubitt won the first of the mixed, but the other three went to the home side, although Sharman and Berger came very close, losing each game by just two points.

Team captain, Steve Thacker, would like to add more players, particularly ladies, to his squad which is a bit thin to cover unavailability and injuries. Anybody willing to play should contact him at

* Those two county stalwarts, Eric Plane and Tim Hudson-Church were made to fight hard to retain their Over 45s crown at the Yehlex English National Veterans Championships.

They won all their group matches, although one, against Paul Bishop (Hampshire) and Kyle Nethercott (Gloucestershire), went to three, 18-21, 21-19,21-18. In the final, they just edged out David Pratt and Jack Webb (Hampshire) in another three game thriller, 21-16, 17-21, 21-17 to retain their title.