Norfolk trio show their class at UEA
Malcolm LovattThere was a strong entry for the Norfolk Open Championships played at the UEA Sportspark, with the county's top three players, Katherine Cooper, Julie Pike and Ian Murphy all picking up winners' trophies.Malcolm Lovatt
There was a strong entry for the Norfolk Open Championships played at the UEA Sportspark, with the county's top three players, Katherine Cooper, Julie Pike and Ian Murphy all picking up winners' trophies.
Cooper and Pike were second seeds in the women's doubles and reached the final by beating Norfolk's Louise Culyer and Vicky Ingram from Middlesex 21-12
21-18 in the first semi. Top seeds Elena Johnson and Kate Lester, also from Middlesex, toppled NorfolkHelen Newstead and Toni Sturgeon 21-19 21-12 to reach a final which produced one of the best matches of the tournament, finally won by Cooper and Pike
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The mixed doubles was also full of quality aggressive play with top seeds Murphy and Cooper reaching the final after beating David Wenn (Essex) and Ingram in a tough three-set semi 10-21 23-21
21-13. Pike teamed up with John Hepworth (Dorset) to fight their way to the final, beating second seeds Steve Stodart (Surrey) and Kate Lester (Middlesex) 21-16 21-18. But with Hepworth tiring after a series of tough level doubles matches, Murphy and Cooper took the title 21-11 21-11.
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Murphy partnered James White (Leicestershire) in the men's doubles and they reached the semi-finals before losing to top seeds Andrew Brunning and Chris Dakin (Essex) in a very close match 21-19 21-17. Second seeds Hepworth and Andrew Penn got to the final with a three-set victory over Steve Stodart (Surrey) and Daniel Woodhouse (Middlesex) before falling to Brunning and Dakin who took the title
Nationally ranked 10th, Robert Kettle (Surrey) won the men's singles title with a three-set victory over Chris Gilbert 17-21 21-12
21-7, in a somewhat lacklustre final with Eddie Chow (Essex) and William Hilton-Jackson (Sussex) the losing semi-finalists.
The entry for the women's singles was very disappointing. Caroline Westley (Essex) last year's losing finalist and currently nationally ranked 11, took the title with a comfortable win over Norfolk's Louise Culyer 21-9 21-10.