Norfolk slip back

The Norfolk men's challenge in the Eastern Counties Foursomes at Seacroft fizzled out – but the team avoided the wooden spoon.

County captain Jon Baker-Odlin had hoped for a fourth-place finish, but with only two pairs putting points on the board in the final afternoon, the team slid down to seventh place. Their weekend's total of 13� points left them ahead of last-placed Cambridgeshire, who scored 11.

The tournament, with five pairs representing each team, took place on a well-prepared links course with superb greens, in fair weather and winds ranging from 15 to 30mph.

Norfolk started consistently, with 4� points from both the morning session against Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, and the afternoon games against Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. However, they slipped back on the second day, taking two points off Essex in the morning and 2� from their afternoon matches against Suffolk and Bedfordshire.

Essex, however, out-handicapped Norfolk by some margin, with their team's combined handicap better than plus-15, while Norfolk's average was 15.

Barker-Odlin said afterwards: 'Unfortunately Norfolk ran out of steam. While I was very disappointed with our final afternoon's performance, as realistically I would have been satisfied to have finished in fourth position, I was delighted not to be presented with the wooden spoon.'

Lincolnshire won the shield for the third successive year, narrowly beating Leicestershire in the final match.

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• Final placings: Lincolnshire 24 pts, Leicestershire 23�, Bedfordshire 19, Essex 17�, Suffolk 17, Northants 14, Norfolk 13�, Cambs 12. Norfolk team: Jon Baker-Odlin (Royal Norwich) and Matt Alden (Barnham Broom) 4 pts, Ian Hardy (King's Lynn) and Simon Clark (Gt Yarmouth & Caister) 3�, George Morris (Eaton) and Iain Yule (King's Lynn) 2�, Anton Neal (Hunstanton) and Chris White (Hunstanton) 2, Paul Reade (King's Lynn) and Steve Tidy (Costessey Park) 1�.