County Badminton Report
The county band wagon continues to roll on with two more convincing three point victories in the Victor Sports Inter County Championships, with the first team beating Staffordshire 10-5 and the second team getting the better over the Suffolk second string 12-3, leaving both teams in a dominant position at the top of their respective divisions.
In the first team's match, the singles were halved with Ian Murphy and Katherine Cooper winning their games in two sets, whilst Julie Pike just missed out against a tough opponent in three and Mike Philpott losing in two.
But Norfolk pulled away in the level doubles, winning six of the eight games. Murphy and Justin Gerrard and Cooper and Toni Sturgeon took both their games, with Pike and Helen Newstead and Jono Atmore and Paul Daynes sharing theirs, giving Atmore and Daynes their first win since their promotion to the first team.
The maximum three points were sealed in the mixed, with Murphy and Cooper comfortably winning their game and Gerrard and Pike coming through from a set down in theirs. Philpott and Sturgeon were unlucky to miss out in a tough three set battle.
The second team are really making mincemeat of the opposition in their division. The unbeaten Suffolk second string drove up to Norwich confident of denting Norfolk's promotion hopes, but returned home empty handed The five Norfolk girls had a great afternoon, winning all their games relatively comfortably. Charlotte Crosby and Lucy Curran secured two good wins in the singles and then Crosby followed this up by partnering Katie Price to two level doubles victories, including a tough three setter against the visitor's no.1 pair. But it is Louise Culyer and Michelle Dungar who are fast becoming "the pair to beat" in their division, steam-rollering their opponents out of sight to maintain their unbeaten season's record.
The men found life a little more difficult, but Andy Piff won a tough three setter in his singles and Alex Wyett and Christian Nielsen came through their doubles in two tough games. But Piff and James Ruthen were unlucky to miss out on theirs, losing the third set in both their games 20-22 and 21-23 respectively.
The match moved into the mixed doubles with Norfolk needing just one game to secure the maximum three points victory, which Wyett and Dungar achieved quite comfortably in two sets. Nielsen and Culyer and Ruthen and Price made somewhat heavy going of their matches, somehow allowing the second set to slip away in both games, leaving both pairs with a tough scrap in the third, before running out winners 23-21 and 24-22 respectively.
Next up are away matches against Warwickshire and Lincolnshire just before Christmas, and if both teams can maintain their winning runs, they can start dreaming of even better things in the New Year.