Norfolk badminton youngsters enjoy rollercoaster ride

The county junior badminton season ended with the Harrod Under 17s Inter Counties Tournament played at Nottingham University.

A total of 40 counties entered the competition with every player cheering on ther own team to produce a deafening noise and an electric atmosphere.

In the first round Norfolk had to face the ultimate winners, Yorkshire. Devon Minnis and Tom Hinks won their mixed game but Norfolk were unable to build on that and went down 9-1. This was followed by two further defeats – 7-3 to Surrey and 6-4 to Worcester.

But Norfolk staged a comeback in the second round, beating Bedfordshire 6-4, Gloucestershire 7-3, Shropshire 7-3 and getting a 5-5 draw against Kent. This meant that Norfolk were left fighting for places 21 to 24 in the final round.

All the games in the match against Berkshire were hard fought, with six going to three sets. Minnis won her singles and teamed up with Hinks to take a mixed, but the remaining eight went to their strong opponents.


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The last two matches were won by Worcestershire 6-4 and Avon 7-3, leaving Norfolk in 24th position out of the 40 counties competing.

All the players worked hard as a team and were delighted with their final position. As one player said: 'The ICT is a rollercoaster with highs and lows but it is also a wonderful experience which will be remembered for a long time.'

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Norfolk: Sam Dismore, Tom Hinks, Josh Kent, Nico Schilling, Ben Tozer, Kathryn Adamson, Devon Minnis, Georgia Moyes, Emma Piper and Katie Witting.

• Norfolk's junior star Devon Minnis is still shining right through to the end of an incredible season. Devon and her mixed partner, Matthew Clare (Yorkshire) won the Aros U15 mixed doubles event in Denmark last weekend.

They had some really tough matches but came through against a Danish pair, 17-21, 21-10, 21-19 in the final.

Devon has also been selected to represent England at the UK Schools Games which are being held at the Olympic Park this month. She will be staying in the athletes' village and will be involved in the opening and closing ceremonies.

She is looking forward to playing in such a large arena and watching other young athletes competing in other sports Looking back over the season her highlight must have been her selection to play for England, both at home and abroad, and the experience of playing for Norfolk in the Premier B weekends, all at the age of 14.

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