U15 Championships round up
There was plenty of good quality badminton on display at the Under 15s County Championships, held at Sewell Park College. The boys singles was played in two groups, which produced two tough semi-finals between James Bailey and Ed Allen, which Allen won 21-18 and Tom Hinks and Chris Parrott, won by Hinks 21-14. In the final, Allen used his greater power to take the title 21-12. In a very tense plate final, Carl Bell beat Sam Dismore 23-21.
The girls singles produced some very closely fought matches. At the quarter-final stage, Lauren Read just beat Amy Sharman 22-20 and then edged out Louise Thacker 21-19 in the first semi-final. In the other semi, Sophie Piper beat Devon Minnis 21-7 to reach the final, which she won 21-14 to take the title. Sarah Harvey won the plate competition.
The doubles events were each played in one group. The boys event was very close and was decided in the last match in which Parrott and Allen beat Hinks and Josh Kent 21-20.
The girls doubles was equally tight with three pairs each winning four of their five games.
So, the title was decided on points which Thacker and Rebecca Leers won with 103 points followed by Sharman and Read who scored 100 points. The mixed doubles was also decided in the final game where Parrott and Thacker took on Piper and Allen and came out on top 21-17.
* The county first team chalked up their third consecutive win in the Victor Sports Inter County Championships with a resounding 11-4 away victory over the Worcestershire second string. Ian Murphy and Katherine Cooper once again led from the front, maintaining their unbeaten record for this season, with another four victories each, but they received excellent support from the rest of the team.
Worcestershire fielded a particularly strong mens line-up, however Murphy and Jonathan Cooper both pulled off well fought, three set victories in their singles to get Norfolk off to a perfect start. Cooper and Julie Pike then followed this up with relatively comfortable two set wins. Six of the eight level doubles went to the visitors with Cooper and Toni Sturgeon and Pike and Helen Newstead picking up their four victories, all in two ends. The mens doubles, however, produced much stronger opposition, with Murphy and Grahame Wells having to fight hard for their two wins and Justin Gerrard and Alex Wyett unlucky to lose both, but not through lack of effort.
The home side showed some resilience in the mixed, picking up two of the three games, but, by then, it was "too little, too late" and Norfolk travelled home with all three points safely under their belts. With the team "on a roll", confidence will be high for their next home match against Notts III at Easton Sports Centre next Sunday (12noon start). Spectators are most welcome.
* The County Under 17 team lost three of the opening four mixed games against Northants in the Shires League, but then staged a remarkable come back to win the match 15-5. The boys were unbeaten in their eight singles and level doubles games and the girls only dropped two. There is, undoubtedly, stronger opposition to come, but, nonetheless, this was an excellent start to their season.Norfolk were represented by: Craig Thomas, Andrew Carrier, Luke Cox, Mark Robinson, Bryony Lund, Holly Bowen, Sophie Piper, Louise Thacker and Annie Giles.