County Badminton Report

The county's two badminton teams had mixed fortunes in the latest round of the Inter - County Regional Championships played at Easton Sports Centre, with the first team beating the Essex second string 11-4, but the second team going down 3-12 to Derbyshire II. The first team ladies were in dominant form with Julie Pike and Louise Culyer making easy work of both their singles and doubles games and Katherine Cooper and Toni Sturgeon comfortably winning both their doubles.The men found life a bit tougher with Ian Murphy and Michael Philpott losing their singles, although Murphy gained some consolation by winning his doubles, partnered by Justin Gerrard.Philpott and Paul Daynes battled hard but had nothing to show for their efforts.

With the score standing at 8-4 to Norfolk, their three mixed pairs picked off the opposition in style with comfortable victories for Murphy and Cooper, Gerrard and Pike and Philpott and Culyer.

With their four strongest singles players on court, the Norfolk second team were hoping to get their match off to a good start, but Derbyshire showed no sign of a three and a half hours journey in difficult, wintry conditions by winning all four opening games. Alex Wyett came closest to notching up a win for Norfolk, narrowly losing in three very close sets.The team fought hard in the mens doubles, with Wyett and James Ruthen winning both their games and Grahame Wells and Chris Piff picking up one.

The ladies, on the other hand, were not at full strength and, faced with some tough opposition, found life difficult.Helen Newstead and Michelle Dungar and Lucy Curran and Bryony Lund fought hard but were unable to convert all their effort into victories, Newstead and Dungar going closest, losing to the visitors second pair in three sets. All the mixed doubles also went to Derbyshire, making it an unhappy afternoon for the home team. but, with more hard work, they are hoping to consolidate their position in Division 3 of the ICC in the second half of the season.

* Weakened by injuries to key players, the county Under 17 team played very well to gain a ten-all draw in the Shires League away match against Bedfordshire.The opening mixed doubles all went to three sets with Beds taking three of the four matches. But Norfolk fought back winning three of the boys singles and sharing the girls two games all, leaving the outcome of the doubles to decide the match. Somewhat surprisingly, the boys could only win three of their four games, but the girls levelled the final score to ten-all, by winning three of their games. Representing Norfolk were Tom Hinks, Chris Parrott, Josh Kent, James Bailey, Ed Allen,Devon Minnis, Amy Sharman, Rebecca Leard, Georgia Moyes, Katie Witting and Katherine Adamson.

* The county Under 15 team also played Bedfordshire, losing 6-14. Beds had a particularly strong boys line-up which Norfolk struggled to match, with only Dominic Ely winning his singles. The girls,however, won three singles and two doubles games, with Katie Witting and Lisa Vickers taking the Beds no.1 pair to three sets. losing 22-24 in the last game.

Playing for Norfolk were: Olivier Widdowson, Dominic Ely, Robert Fletcher, Ben Page, Kathryn Adamson, Goergia Moyes, Katie Witting, Lauren Mortimer and Lisa Vickers.