Charles takes singles crown at Norfolk county championships

Neil Charles, men's singles and veterans' singles champion Picture: James Ashworth

Neil Charles, men's singles and veterans' singles champion Picture: James Ashworth - Credit: Archant

Players from across the Norfolk leagues competed in the county championships at the weekend.

Andy Hawes, men's singles, veterans' singles and senior doubles runner-up Picture: James Ashworth

Andy Hawes, men's singles, veterans' singles and senior doubles runner-up Picture: James Ashworth - Credit: Archant

In the men's singles competition, current Norwich champion Andy Hawes made it to the final via two five-set victories against Tony Zeqiri and Chris Cockburn, whilst second finalist Neil Charles, a serial winner of this competition, fought past Keith Phillips and Jamie McIntosh.

Perhaps his gruelling knockout victories had taken their toll on Hawes, because he was no match for an in-form Charles, using strong hitting from both wings to win in three sets and take the title.

Charles remained in excellent form throughout the day, and took home his second trophy of the tournament in the veterans' singles, once again beating Hawes in straight sets.

In an unfortunate day for the Norwich champion, Hawes was also defeated in the senior doubles final. Alongside partner McIntosh he faced the well-practised combination of Cockburn and Zeqiri, who after losing the first set managed to fight their way to the title in four sets.

Ladies' singles champion Laura Marsh Picture: Stuart Laws

Ladies' singles champion Laura Marsh Picture: Stuart Laws - Credit: Archant


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The ladies' competition was held as a round robin event between Debbie Drew, Janet Kelly and Laura Marsh.

Marsh started the event slowly, going two sets down to Drew's steady game, but found some last-minute inspiration to win the match from behind. She then went on to play Kelly in a closely-fought match, with Marsh holding her nerve again to win the match in five sets and take home the trophy.

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In the junior events, an excellent day for Lewis Ross ended in disappointment after losing out in both the under-15s singles and open junior singles to Toby Bland and Archie Rayner respectively.

All three showed they have more than enough quality to become outstanding players in the future.

Tony Zeqiri and Chris Cockburn - senior doubles champions Picture: Stuart Laws

Tony Zeqiri and Chris Cockburn - senior doubles champions Picture: Stuart Laws - Credit: Archant

Rayner claimed his second piece of silverware in the junior doubles competition , with the help of partner Finlay Hewson coming through a titanic five-set clash against Ed Horton and Alexander Bragg.

Darcy Brewer managed to take home the under 12s singles trophy after a confident win over Ben Hawes, who was unlucky to lose out in four sets after a good performance.

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