Norfolk’s men’s tennis team warm up nicely for County Week at Cromer

Nicky Crawley (left) with Norfolk captain Barry Fulcher.

Nicky Crawley (left) with Norfolk captain Barry Fulcher. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's men's team have stepped up their preparations for County Week with fixtures against Cambridge University and Essex, picking up a win and a draw.

Both fixtures provided captain Barry Fulcher the opportunity to see different pairs and personnel ahead of their group two County Week at Cromer, starting on Monday, July 21.

On Saturday the team were away at Fenners against Cambridge University, the team of Dan Wynne & Chris Parker, Harry Weeds & Jonny Wynne and Tom Lamming & Tom fisher were keen to feel the grass under their feet after a long period of indoor tennis.

Norfolk won all three rounds of matches 2-1 to give them an overall victory of 6-3. This was particularly pleasing for the pair of Weeds & Wynne who won all three of their matches, with both other pairs also picking up wins.

Then on Sunday captain Fulcher shuffled the pack with Parker and Fisher being replaced by Norfolk number one Richard Bloomfield, Nicky Crawley and Tom Hunter coming in for his debut.

Away on the coast at Frinton, against a strong Essex side containing some ATP-ranked players, the match again proved to be a tight affair.

Norfolk managed to win the first round of matches 2-1, including wins for Bloomfield & Weeds and Crawley & Dan Wynne.

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Both sides made changes for the remaining two rounds, giving different combinations a chance to gel. The final result ended in a 4-4 draw, with one match not being completed.

The men's team are now hoping for some strong home support at Cromer during County Week, as they attempt to gain promotion back to the top division of the Seniors' Inter-County Championships.

n Norfolk's under-12 boys team of Regan Bessey, Scott Whiting, Fred Withers and Ross Wilson have also been in action, playing a round of matches at Eastgate Club in Langworthgate, Lincoln.

Against Cambridgeshire, Bessey played at number one and fought hard but went down 4-0, 4-0. Whiting played an opponent a year older and lost the first set 4-0 but changed his tactics to turn the match 4-1 and won the match tie break 10-5. Withers played at three and lost 4-1, 4-2 and then, alongside Bessey, lost the doubles 5-3, 4-2, resulting in Norfolk losing the match 3-1.

There was more success against Bedfordshire though. Besseywon 5-3, 4-2 in a solid match, Whiting cruised 4-0 4-0 and Withers came through a classic 10-7 in a match tie break.

Whiting and reserve Wilson then won in an epic doubles 10-8 in the third set tie break but the second day was rain affected so there was no doubles and the singles matches were contested just in one match tie break.

The Norfolk lads then faced a tough match against Hertfordshire, with Bessey being beaten 10-0 by an impressive top-20 player. Whiting was 8-2 up against a player 18 months older and six ratings higher, but went down 10-8, and Withers lost 10-5.

They were then also comfortably beaten by a Suffolk team of players considerably older but Norfolk have high hopes for the future, as three or four of the current players will still be eligible at under-12 next year.