Moderates round up
The County moderates tournament, played at Easton College Sports Centre, was well supported with players coming from all over Norfolk. The mixed doubles was, again, the most popular event with Mark Bennett and Suzanne Benton and Andrew Piff and Steph Buttle having tough matches to reach the final. Bennett and Benton had to see off Will Wiseman and Sarah Lewin 21-15 in the quarter-finals and then Mike Philpot and Donna Howes 21-16 in the semis, while Piff and Buttle also had two hard fought games, beating James Spinks and Sara Watts 21-17 in the quarters and Steve Sharpe and Heather Dunseath 21-12 in the semi-finals.The four finalists had already played each other in a close match in the group stage, but the final was something of an anti-climax, with the veterans, Bennett and Benton, comfortably beating their younger opponents 21-6.
The mens doubles final between James Spinks and Ricky Dally and Mike Philpot and Will Wiseman produced some good badminton with several long, hard fought rallies.
At one stage, it looked as if the younger Blofield pairing of Philpot and Wiseman would run the legs off the older partnership from the Teachers club but once again, age and experience won the day with Spinks and Dally coming out on top 21-17. The losing semi-finalists were Steve Sharpe and Krishna Kumar and Pete Matthews and Tim Gresham.
The womens doubles was played on a round robin basis, with Donna Howes and Sarah Lewin winning all their games to take the title. Jo Wright and Mandy Pearson from the Swaffham club were runners up.
* The Under 17s Inter Counties Tournament, held at Nottingham University, is the most prestigious event in the junior calender and Norfolk has entered a team for the last 26 years. It is an experience that players never forget. The vocal and musical enthusiasm of players and spectators all urging their teams to win is something special to the ICT. This year, 38 counties will be participating and each county will have to play 10 matches in 4 days.The Norfolk team know that they are facing some very tough games but manager, Maureen Lincoln, feels that the side are well prepared and will adopt a very positive approach.
* With the chance to reach the Shires League finals at stake, the county Under 15s last match of the season was a home tie against highflyers Nottinghamshire. The visitors took an early lead by winning three of the four mixed games, followed this up with six of the eight singles and then marched on to the finals by taking seven of the eight level doubles games. Although Notts were in a different class, the Norfolk players showed great spirit and the final 4-16 scoreline did not really do the team justice.
Norfolk were represented by Lucas Lefevre, Chris Piff, John Carrier, Lee Robinson, Charlotte Crosby, Rebecca Heeles, Emma Davies and Stephanie Rowland.