Norfolk on course for the play-offs

The Norfolk first team edged a little closer to the Inter-County Championships play-off finals with an 11-4 away victory over the Leicestershire second string.

The team got the match off to a great start, with Ian Murphy, Julie Pike and Katherine Cooper all comfortably winning their games in two sets. The ladies, once again, showed their total domination in the level doubles, with Pike and Louise Culyer and Cooper and Toni Sturgeon winning all four matches.

Murphy and Justin Gerrard won both their games, while Mike Philpott and Paul Daynes took both their games to three sets but they could not sustain the level required to topple the opposition.

Winning the 10th game to give Norfolk a three-point match victory turned out to be a little harder than expected. Gerrard and Pike were up first, but lost in three sets, leaving Philpott and Culyer to clinch all three points for Norfolk, coming out on top in their final set. Murphy and Cooper followed up with a tricky two-set victory to win the match 11-4

The win puts Norfolk at the top of Division 1B of the ICC with 16 points, well clear of their two nearest rivals, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, but both have games in hand and have yet to play each other. Norfolk's final match is a home game, also against Hertfordshire, on March 20, and now becomes a must-win game to avoid relying on other results.


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• Norfolk U17s had mixed fortunes in their latest Shires League matches, beating Northants 16-4, but losing out to Notts 15-5.

Norfolk had a good start against Northants, winning all four mixed doubles. Three of the four boys' singles were three setters, all won by Norfolk, with Nico Schilling coming back from 13-19 in his third set to win 23-21. The girls shared their singles, two all, but then won all four level doubles, with the boys taking three. Notts fielded a strong side, which Norfolk couldn't match. But the final score could have been closer as all the four boys' singles were three setters, all going to Notts.

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