Promotion sealed by Norfolk men’s team in Aegon Summer County Cup

Richard Bloomfield won all 12 of his matches for Norfolk in Ilkley. Picture: Denise Bradley

Richard Bloomfield won all 12 of his matches for Norfolk in Ilkley. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Promotion back to Division Two of the Aegon Summer County Cup was secured by the Norfolk men's squad.

Having been in Division One three years ago, were competing in Division Three but are now moving in the right direction again after a successful week in Ilkley, in West Yorkshire.

Under the considered guidance of captain Nicky Crawley, Norfolk were cautiously optimistic about their chances.

On day one, they defeated East of Scotland 6-3, with Richard Bloomfield and Will Davies leading the way winning three from three matches. Day two proved to be the critical fixture with a 5-4 win over North Wales. With the tie level at 4-4, Dan Wynne partnering Kris Jenkins won 10-6 in a deciding tie-break to secure victory.

The team now believed they could achieve promotion. A relatively straight forward, 6-3 victory over Somerset followed. Rain forced the tie indoors but it wasn't going to upset the momentum. It was an important day for the team overall with Tom Hunter, Alex McNaughton and Will Foster all making debuts for the senior team.

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Day four was again played indoors and Norfolk raced to a 4-2 lead against Lancashire. At one stage all three of the final round of matches were in tie break deciders. Again, the match score was levelled at 4-4 but cometh the hour, cometh the man, Wynne this time partnering Richard Bloomfield clinching the tie-break 10-7 and a 5-4.

With promotion guaranteed captain Crawley decided to play the younger members against a Lincolnshire team also playing for promotion. The lads went down 4-5, but it was a great experience that will bode well for next year in Div Two, with both Tom Fisher and Johnny Wynne also earning valuable victories throughout the week, it really was a team effort.

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Special praise must go to Bloomfield, who was unbeaten throughout the week, winning 12 of 12 matches.

Captain Crawley said: 'I'm really proud of this one – it's a slightly different squad to recent years and the boys acquitted themselves brilliantly. I decided to take a full squad of 10 because of the physical demands of the week and it really paid off as all 10 players featured, and each played a part in our success, on and off the court.

'I think we're in a great position now with some new players who will be part of this squad for several years to come.

'Of course, you have to mention the brilliance of Richard (Bloomfield) who once again was at the core of our promotion with his perfect record. Without his fantastic service to the team, we would not have achieved the success we have over the past 10 years.'

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