Second team starts well
The county second team got their Inter-County Championship season off to a cracking start with 10-5 victories over Northamptonshire and Worcestershire. In their opening away match against Northants the team dominated the singles games with comfortable wins for Helen Newstead, Lucy Curran and Luke Cox, whilst Mike Philpott just missed out on a long and close three-setter.
The ladies doubles matches were shared with Katie Ruthen and Michelle Dungar and Newstead and Curran chalking up a convincing win apiece.For the men Chris Piff and Philpott won both their games whilst Paul Daynes and James Ruthen missed out, leaving Norfolk 7-5 ahead going into the mixed. All those matches were extremely tight with all three going to three sets, but Philpott and Dungar, Daynes and Ruthen and Cox and Newstead fought hard to produce a clean-sweep of victories to win the match 10-5 and, in so doing, take the maximum three match points.
Worcestershire had a long journey to the Easton Sports Centre for Norfolk's first home match of the season but left pointless, losing the match 10-5. The four singles games were shared with Mike Philpott and Lucy Curran winning their games and Luke Cox just missing out in a three setter.James Ruthen and Paul Daynes won both their level doubles with Philpott and Chris Piff coming out on top in a close three set match.The ladies also won three level doubles with Helen Newstead and Katie Ruthen winning two and Lucy Curran and Holly Bowen one.
This left Norfolk going into the mixed 8-4 up and needing two victories to again secure the maximum three match points, which Philpott and Newstead and Daynes and Ruthen did quite comfortably.
* The county first team play their opening Premier B matches of the season at the National Badminton Centre, Milton Keynes this weekend against Surrey, Lancashire and Derbyshire - a premiership baptism for the Norfolk side. Their squad will be at full strength, comprising Daryl Jacobs, Ian Murphy, Justin Gerrard, Jonathan Cooper, Jon Atmore, Katherine Cooper, Julie Pike, Louise Culyer, Toni Sturgeon and Devon Minnis.