Norfolk on course for place in badminton play-offs

Norfolk look set to guarantee second place in Division Two East of the county championships and a third play-off appearance in four seasons after a 9-6 win over Hertfordshire second team.

Victory came a month after Norfolk had been beaten 8-7 by the same team, on home territory, and they knew that taking the maximum three points – by winning 10-5 or better – would see them finish second in the division.

Number one Daryl Jacobs was beaten, but Daniel Leers made an excellent start to his first team career, winning convincingly at second string.

Ladies number one Devon Minnis faced the same girl who beat her comfortably last time, but, despite losing the first set, she managed to turn the game to win closely in three sets. Louise Culyer lost in three close sets.

The men's doubles produced close, entertaining games with Norfolk's first pair, Jacobs and Matt Howes, winning both their matches in three sets, but the second pairing of Justin Gerrard and Jono Atmore losing in two.

Once again it was the ladies doubles - Julie Pike and Culyer and Katherine Cooper and Toni Sturgeon – who ensured victory for Norfolk by winning all four rubbers.

This ensured two points from the match, but the maximum three points would only be achieved by winning two of the three remaining mixed games – and despite Jacobs and Cooper bagging the first win in straight sets, third pair Atmore and Culyer lost in two and Gerrard and Pike went down 24-22 in the third.

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