Owen leads the way as youngsters take second

Norfolk's 12-and-under teams travelled to Corby Tennis Centre in Northamptonshire for the latest round of the 12 Counties Championships.

Competing in Division Two B, the boys' and girls' teams faced some tough opposition but performed well to finish second and third respectively.

There was a bright start for the boys as they whitewashed an inexperienced Staffordshire team who were able to field only three players.

Owen Tudor led the way at number one with a 4-0, 4-0 victory,while Matthew Cott and Matthew Samson completed the 3-0 scoreline with straight set wins at numbers two and three.

Northamptonshire brought a strong team including national number eight Joe Tyler, who beat Tudor 4-1, 4-1. Despite both going close in first sets, Cott and Samson were beaten before Tom Baker lost his first match of the day at fourth singles.

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Norfolk bounced back, however, to beat Cambridgeshire 3-1 in their final match to secure second place.

Tudor and Cott won comfortably, but Samson clinched the all-important third rubber to seal victory in a dramatic championship tie-break.

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The girls' team lost their opening match to group-toppers Staffordshire despite an excellent performance from Frances Evans, at number four, who won her match in three sets, the only rubber Staffordshire were to lose all day.

The clash with Northamptonshire was evenly matched and wins for Talitha Rowan at number one and Megan Lait at number three were enough to earn a valuable draw. Rowan's match was a topsy-turvy one. After winning the first set 4-0 the score was reversed in the second before she regained her earlier momentum to take the championship tie-break 10-8.

Another tough match went against Norfolk in the final round as they fell 3-1 to Cambridgeshire, with Megan Lait's superb 4-0, 4-0 win earning the only rubber.

It is 'as you were' in the divisional standings after the 12-and-under round as each team picked up the same number of points.

Cambridgeshire lead the way after their dominance of the 10-and-under round in October, with Norfolk in second place.

Staffordshire and Northants are tied for third place as the competition continues into the New Year with the 14, 16 and 18-and-under age groups still to take place.

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