Classy Klara holds nerve

There was success at the Hildon 12 Counties Championships in Corby for the Norfolk Under-16 girls, who topped their group ahead of Hereford & Worcestershire, Notts and Bedfordshire.

There was success at the Hildon 12 Counties Championships in Corby for the Norfolk Under-16 girls, who topped their group ahead of Hereford & Worcestershire, Notts and Bedfordshire.

Norfolk's U16 boys put in a solid performance to finish third overall. The girls team began with a 3-1 defeat of Hereford and Worcestershire with wins from Olivia Nicholls, Klara Moolman and Maddy Brooks.

At first singles Nicholls beat Monika Kondratowicz 4-1 4-2 before Moolman picked up a vital tiebreak win at No 3. Brooks sealed the victory, overcoming similarly rated Ruth Horsburgh in another tie-break after Megan Wright had narrowly lost at No 2.

A 4-0 whitewash of Bedfordshire put Norfolk in a commanding position, Nicholls and Brooks producing impeccable results of their own as neither dropped a single game en route to victory.

Moolman was not far away from a perfect score, dropping just one game in her second set before Megan Wright completed the rout with a straight sets win over Karen Ncube.

The clash with Notts would prove decisive as both teams had a shot at topping the group, but Norfolk held the upper hand after Nottinghamshire's 2-2 draw with Hereford & Worcestershire.

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Nicholls produced another stunning performance to beat Sarah-Kate O'Grady, ranked fifth nationally for her age group, 4-0 4-0.

Wright did well to recover from a set down but was edged in the championship tie-break and when Brooks lost her singles, Norfolk were on the brink of defeat.

Up stepped 12-year-old Moolman to record her third win of the day and bring the scores level at 2-2 to hand Norfolk a crucial draw and top spot on the day.

Norfolk's boys opened with a win over Hereford & Worcestershire, Harry Weeds and Stephen Harlow kicking things off with victories at first and second singles.

Luke Garden fell at No 4 but Tom Lester came up with the goods against Callum Reid in a tie-break as Norfolk won 3-1 with the toughest teams still to play.

Lester was the only winner against Beds, responding well after falling a set behind.

Group-winners Notts were far too strong for a Norfolk side depleted after Weeds was forced to retire in round two. The defeat left Norfolk in third place.

The 18-and-under teams will take to the stage in the next round of 12 Counties Competition next month.

t Norfolk's 18-and-under teams had mixed fortunes on the final day of county cup competition as both boys and girls teams battled to avoid relegation.

The boys team, competing in Cambridge, edged past Bedfordshire to secure their survival in Group Four, but the girls suffered an agonising defeat to Hertfordshire, resulting in relegation from Group Three.

With the match level at four rubbers each at the end of a long weekend, Pippa Horn and Klara Moolman were narrowly beaten in a dramatic third set tie-break at Easton College.