County Badminton Report

The first tournament of the season for non-county players attracted a very good entry with a mix of experienced league players, younger pairs and some new entrants.

With 14 pairs entered, the mens doubles was played in two groups. The first was won by UEA students, Matt Farrow and Alex Wong from the SOS club pair of Paul Savage and Craig Thomas. The second group ended in a three way tie between the APP pairing of Craig Lovatt and Stephen Evans,the veteran team of David Guy and Steve Thacker and another UEA pair, Ben Hicken and Matt Haynes, who reached the semi-finals based on total points conceded. In the semis, Guy and Thacker just edged out Farrow and Wong 21-19 and Savage and Thomas beat Hicken and Haynes 21-14 and then took the trophy with a 21-15 final victory.

The womens doubles was an even closer affair, with the placings in doubt until the final game. In the end the Under 17 pairing of Amy Sharman and Lauren Read won the title having lost just one match in the group. The Blofield pairing of Sandra Robinson and Jenny Longmore took second place from Sarah Williams and Laura Williams, having won two more points in the event.

Nine pairs contested the mixed doubles, which saw past winners Craig Lovatt and Sarah Williams beat the UEA pair of Alex Wong and Cat Fletcher 15-7, 15-8 in one semi-final while David Guy and Jeanine Roe beat Joe Webb and Joy Brown 15-12, 15-13 in the other to set up an all veteran final. Guy and Roe fought hard but could not find a way past Lovatt and Williams who retained their crown , winning 15-10,12-13.

* The county first team had a tough and frustrating away match against the Essex second string in a hall which had a strong drift which they never really mastered. Louise Culyer continued her recent good form with another comfortable singles victory, but Julie Pike and Ian Murphy both went down in three sets and Michael Philpott lost out in two. In the level doubles Pike and Culyer and Katherine Cooper and Toni Sturgeon won three games but the men could only manage one from Murphy and Justin Gerrard, with Philpott and Paul Daynes missing out in both their games. So, Norfolk were 5-7 down going into the mixed doubles and Essex clinched the match when Gerrard and Pike and Philpott and Culyer lost two hard fought games. But Murphy and Cooper

won their game to give Norfolk a well earned "losing point", with the final score 6-9.