Norfolk get back on track with top-flight tennis win over South Wales
Norfolk's over 70 men's side are two matches into their 2012 Division One campaign, collecting one win and one loss to date.
A clash with 2011 champions Surrey ended in defeat on the clay courts of Surbiton with intermittent showers causing regular breaks in play. A singles loss for Tony Edelsten against Surrey's Leon Fattal set the tone despite a competitive 6-4, 6-1 scoreline and Norfolk were on the back foot.
Mike Lake pushed former British hard court champion, Derek Howarth to 6-4 in the opening set of their match, but his opponent from Surrey found another gear for the second and ran away with it 6-0.
Tony Hilton and Mike Hadfield teamed up for the first doubles rubber which they lost 6-4, 6-2 to Ambrose and Perera to leave the national champions with an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Hilton and Hadfield were beaten again in the second round of matches as they lost to Howarth and Fattal, while Ambrose and Perera rounded off the whitewash for Surrey with a win over Norfolk's Edelsten and Lake. A 5-0 loss may have seemed like a one-sided affair however Norfolk came away feeling beaten but not overwhelmed.
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A home fixture at Easton College brought a more pleasing result as Norfolk beat South Wales 3-2 for their first win in the top flight.
The home side had to do it the hard way though as both singles players lost extremely close matches in tie-break shoot-outs. Edelsten went down 6-7, 6-4, 0-1 to South Wales number one Viv Thomas while Mike Andrews fell to Ray Jones 4-6, 6-4, 0-1 to leave Norfolk within a rubber of their second defeat of the campaign.
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Hilton and Hadfield steadied the ship with a routine win over B Jones and J Raiswell, dropping just five games en route to victory to reduce the deficit to one.
Norfolk were handed the fourth rubber as Thomas pulled out from the doubles giving Hilton and Hadfield victory.
The responsibility fell on the shoulders of Andrews and Edelsten for the deciding rubber against Jones and Raiswell which dramatically reached a tie-break shoot-out but they held their nerve for the win.
• The City League is underway with Acle A sitting top of Division One on games difference, ahead of Cromer A, after two wins from three matches. Cromer, who defeated Acle in their second match, are currently undefeated with two wins from two.
Brooke A sit at the top of Division Two despite two losses from their first three matches; Bostons and Stanmore are hot on their heels with wins in their respective opening fixtures against Brooke.
Wymondham A and Cromer C are the powerhouses in Division Three with perfect records so far. Wymondham sit in first spot with four wins from four, while Cromer are right in the mix with three wins from their opening three matches.