Ladies flying flag for Norfolk tennis

Thursday, November 22, 2012
4.55 PM

Spectators will have a great chance to watch inter-county tennis in Norwich this weekend as Norfolk Ladies compete in Division Three of the AEGON Winter County Cup at Easton College.

Norfolk face Nottinghamshire, Surrey and North of Scotland on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The squad line-up will include experienced co-captains Karen Highfield and Lucy Brooks as well as teenagers Pippa Horn, Amy Partridge and Olivia Nicholls.

Entrance to the viewing gallery is free and play is likely to begin at around 9.30am each day.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Men head to Bath to compete in the top flight of Winter County Cup for the first time ever.

Captain Barry Fulcher has a full squad to choose from which includes 18-year-old debutant Harry Weeds.

Norfolk’s Mike Hadfield believes the county’s Over-70 men’s team learned a lot after following up last season’s promotion by consolidating their position in Division One in 2012.

“The skill level of the big boys is not that much better than ours, but we concluded too often we would be 40-15 or 40-30 up and lose the game – often because opponents’ volleying was better which we will work on during the winter,” he said. “We learnt a lot from the season.”

In a group of six, the bottom two teams faced relegation, and even with the added challenge of singles rubbers to contend with, Norfolk competed well with the country’s best sides and secured survival by finishing fourth, ahead of Cheshire and South Wales.

The campaign began away from home at Surrey on the clay courts of Surbiton when found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-0 score line, but fortunes changed for the home tie with South Wales when Norfolk won 3-2.

The team came up against a strong Hertfordshire side next and fell victim to another 5-0 reverse, this time at home at Easton College.

With Cheshire now unable to field a side for the season, Norfolk’s lone victory over South Wales assured their survival in Division 1 before finishing with a 4-1 win over Essex.