County match round up
With one week of the season to go, the battle to avoid relegation from Divisions 1 & 4 of the Victor Sports Inter County Championships just couldnt be closer. Both county teams played very well at the weekend, with the first team pulling off a magnificent 10-5 victory against Leicestershire to gain a maximum three points and the second team picking up one point,narrowly losing 8-7 to Kent in a match which they felt they should have won.
The first team got their match off to a cracking start, with Ian Murphy, Grahame Wells, Katherine Cooper and Michelle Lewin all winning their singles, with Wells scraping home 30-28 in his deciding set.
The level doubles were halved with Murphy and Alex Wyett and Cooper and Gillian Cox each winning their two games. Unfortunately, several visits to the physio in the week before the match were not enough to sort out Justin Gerrards persistent back problem and he and Wells were unable to add to Norfolks winning tally. Likewise, Lewin and Helen Newstead were out of luck in their two doubles games.
Murphy and Cox and Wyett and Cooper then won two very hard fought and entertaining mixed doubles games, leaving the four players unbeaten in the match and gaining Norfolk a vital three points which pushed the Notts second string to the bottom of the table.
Norfolk now travel to Chilwell on Sunday for the "crunch" match against Notts needing a "losing point" ( just six games!) to avoid the drop, but the team will be going all out to finish the season in style with a convincing win.
The second team, two points adrift at the foot of Division 4, faced Kent III, looking for a win to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation really alive, but finished up the wrong side of an 8-7 scoreline, thus securing a "losing point". Andy Piff, Tanya Harrison and Lucy Curran got the match off to a good start with well deserved singles victories, but the visitors fought back in the mens doubles taking three of the four matches, with Christian Nielsen and Michael Philpot picking up Norfolks only win and Jon Atmore and James Ruthen losing both their games. The ladies doubles were halved with Harrison and Rachel Warnes winning both their matches, but Curran and Sarah Lewin missing out.
With the match score standing at 6-all, the aim was to win all three mixed doubles, but the team could only manage one, through Jon Atmore and Rachel Warnes.
However, the "losing point" could prove vital, as the team now stands just one point behind the Bedfordshire second string whom they meet next Sunday with only a three point victory certain to keep them in Division 4. "Its a tough call", said team captain Nielsen, "but we will give it our best shot!"