Norfolk boys bid for County Cup tennis glory

Norfolk 14&U team: Back row (left to right) - Owen Tudor, Nicky Crawley (assistant captain). Chris S

Norfolk 14&U team: Back row (left to right) - Owen Tudor, Nicky Crawley (assistant captain). Chris Stocker (captain), Will Davies. Front - Matthew Cott, Laurie Ollerton, Matthew Samson. - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk 14 and under boys' team are gearing up for the national finals of the AEGON County Cup this weekend, after progressing from the qualifying stage at Woodford Wells Tennis Club.

Junior players from Acle Tennis Club line-up with (back row, left to right) Olivia Nicholls, John Ki

Junior players from Acle Tennis Club line-up with (back row, left to right) Olivia Nicholls, John Kirby (guest umpire), Liz Lake (Acle Committee) and Andre McNeil during the recent open day. - Credit: Archant

Wins over Essex, Suffolk and Bedfordshire saw them top their group and secure one of the eight spots in the finals at the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre, beginning on Friday.

Blofield Tennis Club head coach Chris Stocker (back, centre) with players at his club's open day.

Blofield Tennis Club head coach Chris Stocker (back, centre) with players at his club's open day. - Credit: Archant

The victories over home team Bedfordshire and Suffolk were impressive, but the highlight of the qualifying tournament in fact came on day one when the team edged a tie break shoot out over the second strongest team Essex.

Will Davies and Owen Tudor each finished the weekend undefeated, winning five and six rubbers respectively.

The 14 and under girls' team competed in Lincoln and, after tough losses to Sussex and Lincolnshire, finished the weekend with a pleasing win over Suffolk.

The team of Vianne Palffy, Megan Lait, Rosie Pooley, Lucy McKenna, Talitha Rowan and Chloe Hunter delighted captain Derek Perry.

'All the players are a credit to the county and their coaches,' he said. 'A special mention must go to Vianne, who played at number one and had three very hard matches to cope with.'

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Meanwhile, the Lionel Cox Trophy, an event for 10-12 and under county sides in the region, celebrated its 40th year over the Bank Holiday weekend at Queenswood School in Hertfordshire.

With the addition of Berkshire and Oxfordshire the competition was fierce and the Norfolk sides finished 8th overall against strong opposition.

Each of the boys' teams won their first round matches before falling to the might of Essex or Hertfordshire in round two. The girls teams were beaten in their opening encounters but each picked up wins on an encouraging day two. Essex were the overall winners with Hertfordshire runners up:

Norfolk Team. Boys 12 & U (finished 6th): Harry Ketteringham, Cameron Whiting, Jonathan Hyde. Girls 12 & U (finished 7th): Katherine Barnes, Maddie Hall, Esme Dickinson. Boys 11&U (finished 7th): Dani Long-Martinez, Ben Chapman, Jamie Rice. Girls 11&U (finished 9th): Megan Waghorn, Josephine Jarvis, Emily Barrett. Boys 10&U (finished 5th): Scott Whiting, Regan Bessey, Fred Whithers. Girls 10&U (finished 9th): Eleanor Widdows, Millie Brooks, Hannah Wilson-Kemsley

• Acle Tennis Club and Blofield Tennis Club held open days to kick off the summer season in style.

During the day at Acle, head coach Andrew McNeil took on a local member of the Norfolk Ladies team, Olivia Nicholls, in an exhibition match which ended 7-5, 6-0 to Olivia.

After a barbeque and a raffle, the club raised £451 for the Alzheimer's Society, which will be matched by Lloyds TSB in Acle.

At Blofield, visitors were able to try out the club's four grass courts and receive pointers from coach Chris Stocker and some of the members.

Visit www.acletennisclub.org.uk or www.blofieldtennisclub.co.uk for more information.