County Cup successes for Norfolk’s under-18 tennis teams

Norfolk U18s boys County Cup team.

Norfolk U18s boys County Cup team. - Credit: Submitted

Norfolk's under-18 teams enjoyed some successful Aegon County Cup action.

The Norfolk U18s girls team.

The Norfolk U18s girls team. - Credit: Submitted

The U18 women's team were competing in Group Three at Newport in Wales, under the watchful eye of captain Derek Perry.

Playing against Dorset on day one, the team struggled to a 2-7 defeat. Playing at number one, Vianne Palffry lost in three sets against a player four years older. Frances Evans, playing at two, won in three sets in a match which took more than two hours. In the doubles Maddie Brooks, returning from injury, partnered Palffry to victory at number one pair.

The highlight of the weekend came in the form of a 5-4 win against Wiltshire on day two. Singles wins from Chloe Hunter, Rosie Pooley and Katie McKenna set up the opportunity for victory.

Doubles wins from Brooks/Palffy and Talitha Rowan/Pooley capped off a great team performance.

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On the final day, singles wins for Hunter and Lucy McKenna, gave Norfolk a chance of winning the four rubbers that could keep them up. The other wins came in doubles with Rowan and Pooley winning at three and Brooks and Palffry winning at first pair.

This meant Norfolk had one win and 13 rubbers and Wiltshire had one win and 12 rubbers, meaning they finished third and stayed in the division.

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The U18 men's team travelled to Barnstable to compete in Division 5A, hoping to gain promotion.

Things did not go to plan on day one as the team slipped to a 5-4 defeat against Staffordshire.

The damage was done after the singles with Norfolk trailing 4-2, only Will Davies and Alex McNaugton winning.

They played Wiltshire on day two and again Davies and McNaugton were the only two players to register singles wins, with Davies and Tom Fisher losing to a strong pair 6-7, 5-7 in the doubles.

Going into the last day, Norfolk needed to beat Somerset to avoid relegation. After comprehensive wins for Johnnie Carmichel Plester, Jack Long Martinez and McNaugton this was never in doubt. Wins in all three doubles ensured a comfortable 8-1 win and overall second in the group.

Norfolk were well represented at the GB Senior Indoor Championships in Dudley last week.

Barry Fulcher, seeded number one in the over-35 singles, won the title without dropping a set. Judy Horn also took the over-55 singles title, beating Norfolk team-mate Patricia Peal in the semi-finals, who had beaten the second seed Jenny Chin in the quarters.

Horn and Peal then teamed up for the over-55 doubles, losing in the final on a close championship tie-break third set 12-10.

Caroline Blincoe, competing at Dudley for the first time, won her first match against the number three seed from Holland, winning in straight sets. She then lost a close quarter-final match in three sets.

Jane Ling played in the over-65 singles, losing in three sets to the eventual runner-up.

Blincoe and Ling played together in the over-60s doubles, losing in the semi-final to the eventual winners and current world champions Frances Candy and Pauline Fisher.

Elsewhere, after winning the first Aegon British Tour event of the year at Sheffield, Richard Bloomfield reached the final in last week's Tier One event at Tipton.

On the way to the final he beat third seed Oliver Hudson 6-3 in the deciding set of the last-eight stage.

The final itself saw Bloomfield take on Tom Farquharson of Surrey, ranked 624 in the ATP rankings and lose in straight sets.

The 29 men and 29 women who top the Aegon British Tour leaderboard, together with the three premier tier event winners, will be invited to the year-end Masters event. A wildcard slot will also be allocated to the player at the top of the Aegon British Tour leaderboard after the Tier One event at Felixstowe at the end of May. Bloomfield is currently second on the leaderboard.

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