Norfolk women secure promotion to top flight of Aegon Summer County Cup with victory at Cromer
- Credit: Norfolk LTA
The Norfolk women's team have been celebrating after securing an immediate return to the top flight of county tennis.
Lucy Brooks' team were in Aegon Summer County Cup action at Cromer Tennis Club last week, looking to seal a return to Division One action at Eastbourne next year, and did just that.
With a full strength team of Amy Partridge, Olivia Nicholls, Sam Noble, Maddie Brooks and Frances Evans joining captain Lucy Brooks, it was all to play for.
Achieving a well deserved 6-3 win on day one over Cheshire, the same team followed it up by defeating Essex 7-2 on Tuesday.
Partridge was forced to drop out due to work commitments on Wednesday and was replaced by Emily Barrett, a promising young junior.
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On her debut Barrett, playing alongside Nicholls, won all three matches setting the team up for a 6-3 victory over Hampshire. An incredible achievement by a player who is still playing at 14-and-under.
Thursday the team faced Yorkshire. After the first round, captain Brooks had to come out for the day with an arm strain, Karen Highfield stepped in to partner Noble. A win would have guaranteed promotion, but it wasn't to be and a 4-5 result was to be the team's only defeat of the week.
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So with four rubbers needed for promotion on the final day, the ball was firmly in Norfolk's court. It also saw the original team from the opening two days return. A convincing win over Buckingham ensured promotion in first spot though.
A jubilant captain Brooks said: 'I am so proud of all the team, putting the county first above other commitments and tournaments, I feel blessed to have such a loyal team! On to Eastbourne next year!'
Special praise must go to Nicholls, who remained undefeated throughout the week, completing the full set of 15 wins out of 15. Olivia will now be invited to Wimbledon for a special celebratory event to recognise her amazing achievement.
Norfolk finished top of the group with eight points after winning 58.7pc of their games during the week, with Essex edging Cheshire into second place to also seal promotion to the top flight, winning 52.3pc of their games.