County Badminton Report
With captain, Katherine Cooper and Toni Sturgeon both unable to play, the county first team had a tough start to this season's Inter County Championships with an opening home match against the Middlesex second string. The four singles matches were shared with good wins for Mike Philpott and Julie Pike, whilst Ian Murphy and Louise Culyer were beaten in two hard fought games.
Middlesex had a particularly strong mens line-up and won three of the four level doubles, with Murphy and Justin Gerrard picking up Norfolk's sole victory. The county's new pairing of Philpott and Paul Daynes looked promising and took the visitor's number one pair to three sets in a very close game. The women's doubles were also shared with Pike and Culyer winning both their matches, while Helen Newstead and Amber Nielsen, playing up from the second team, just missed out in both their games.
Going into the mixed Norfolk were 7-5 down, but Murphy and Culyer and Gerrard and Pike maintained their dominant form from last season by taking both their games in two ends. Daynes and Nielsen had a nail-biting three setter, but Middlesex gained the upper hand to win the match 8-7, with Norfolk's efforts giving them a well-earned losing point.
Both teams are in action again next Sunday with home matches against Leicestershire, to be played at Easton Sports Centre starting at 12 noon. Spectators are most wecome.