Promotion joy for Norfolk’s Over-70s
The Norfolk Over-70s men have been promoted to Division One of the GB Vets league.
Wins over Suffolk, Staffordshire and Herefordshire & Worcestershire made amends for the 2010 campaign, where a bizarre administrative error cost them promotion to the top flight.
The season was not all plain sailing. Norfolk lost their opening encounter, 3-1 at home to Kent with Tony Edelsten and Mike Andrews winning their only rubber.
Norfolk won their second match 3-1 away to Suffolk with Edelsten and Andrews rattling off a pair of wins while Mike Hadfield and Tony Hilton beat the Suffolk second pair.
A tense affair with Staffordshire at Easton College came down to sets won on the day, after the match was tied at two rubbers each. Norfolk had a 2-0 lead after Gordon Little and Hilton had beaten the Staffs number ones in a third set while Edelsten and Andrews defeated the second pair. An injury to Edelsten made life difficult but, after the second round of matches was lost, Norfolk had edged the match by five sets to four.
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Another 3-1 victory, this time away to Herefordshire & Worcestershire, put Norfolk in a promotion position. Edelsten and Andrews continued to win the big matches before Hadfield and Hilton completed the victory by beating the H&W second pair.
• Having reached the heights of Division One for 2011, the Norfolk Over-60s Ladies had to contend with the five match format of two singles and three doubles and they successfully negotiated a tough group to retain their spot for next year.
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New captain Angela Roy had a squad of seven players including Sally Farman, who was back to fitness after missing the whole of last season, while Jane Ling moved up to join the squad from the 50s.
Narrow victories against Northumberland and Sussex gave Norfolk a flying start to the season and a 4-1 win over Lancashire secured their position for 2012.
Defeat to a strong West of Scotland side and a narrow loss to Staffordshire did little to dampen spirits and captain Angela Roy was delighted with the team's finishing position.
Jane Ling and Sally Farman were the side's top performers – winning every one of their doubles rubbers without the loss of a set.
The Norfolk squad was Angela Roy (captain), Mary Ingram, Hilary Kerrison, Rachel Clarke, Linda Green, Sally Farman, Jane Ling.
The Norfolk Over-65s Men enjoyed avoided relegation from group 2 in the final tie. Norfolk opened with a 3-2 loss at home to Nottinghamshire (Mike Huggins with a singles win and a doubles win with Jim Wiseman).
A 4-1 win away to Durham & Cleveland saw Wiseman and Lyndon Barker win both of their doubles matches while Huggins added another singles victory and a doubles point with Tony Spurgeon.
An impressive victory over a strong Essex side and a tough loss to group-topping Suffolk, which saw Ivan Winter and Barker provide Norfolk's only point, was enough to secure a group two spot for next season.
• Norfolk's Richard Bloomfield drew doubles partner Josh Goodall in the opening round of the Glasgow Futures and was beaten 7-5, 6-3. The pair reached the semi-final of the doubles but were beaten by Italians Colangelo and Crugnola 6-4, 6-4.