Norfolk youngsters showing promise

The 12 Counties Championships is nearing its conclusion with Norfolk second in Division 2B after the two latest instalments in Corby.

The 14 and under boys' and girls' teams finished second and third respectively.

The boy's team began with a draw against Staffordshire, Jack Long-Martinez and Tom Fisher providing the wins. Long-Martinez and Fisher were again in the thick of it against Northants and Owen Tudor added a win to give Norfolk the three rubbers before Alex McNaughton lost in a championship tie-break to leave the final score at 3-1.

Group-topping Cambridgeshire provided stiff opposition in the final round, which saw the top three singles matches quickly slip from Norfolk's grasp. Tom Fisher, at fourth singles, was not to be beaten however and completed his perfect day with a 4-2, 4-1 win.

A solid performance from the 14 and under girls was good enough for third place, though they began their campaign with a loss to Staffordshire. Maddie Brooks was the only winner with a 4-1, 5-3 victory at number two. The girls reversed that scoreline against Northnts as Klara Moolman, Brooks and Talitha Rowan all won to dismiss the home side.

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Finally, an impressive resistance to top side Cambridgeshire earned Norfolk a 2-2 draw with Lorna Magrath picking up her first win of the day and Brooks taking her third match from three.

The 18 and under girls, with Olivia Nicholls missing, were forced to field a largely inexperienced side, but stubborn performances from the younger members resulted in a pair of hard-earned draws.

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Against Staffordshire senior player Amy Partridge led from the front with a three set win and Bronte Farrage provided Norfolk with a draw as she won her match 4-0, 5-3. Farrage won again against Northants and was joined by Klara Moolman, whose 4-1, 4-0 victory at number two gave Norfolk a second draw of the day as Partridge and Maddie Brooks lost. Cambs were too strong but Partridge showed her class by picking off her opposition at number one 4-1, 4-1. The results left the girls in a well-deserved third place.

The 18 and under boys also drew two matches thanks to the efforts of Harry Weeds and Stephen Harlow, who both picked up a pair of wins against higher-rated opponents.

A 4-0 loss to Cambs at the end of the day, however, left them at the foot of the table.

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