Unbeatable Norfolk top Group 2b of the 12 Counties Tennis Championships
Norfolk sit at the top of Group 2b of the 12 Counties Championships thanks to a flawless display from the 18u girls' team at Corby.
They remained undefeated while the boys had a mixed day after beating Suffolk, losing to Bedfordshire and drawing with Leicestershire to finish third. The girls began with a 4-0 demolition of Beds which included 4-0, 4-0 wins for Amy Partridge and Olivia Nicholls at numbers one and two respectively.
Maddie Brooks and Bronte Farrage each opened with a 4-0 set but their opponents grabbed consolation games in the second set; Brooks winning 4-0, 4-2 at number three while Farrage won 4-0, 4-1.
Neighbours Suffolk provided the sternest test on the day as two of the matches went to a deciding set. Partridge seemed in control of her match with opposing top player Kitty McWhirter after a 4-1 first set, but a lapse in concentration allowed her opponent back into the match and McWhirter forced a decider. Partridge held her nerve to win the third set tie-break 10-7.
The other three set match involved Brooks at number three who, like Partridge, had been comfortable before dropping the second set. Thankfully, Brooks remained cool in the tie-break and rattled off a 10-6 victory.
There were no such problems for Nicholls and Farrage with the latter taking her turn to win 4-0, 4-0 at number four to give Norfolk another win.
Finally, Leicestershire were swept aside 4-0 as Partridge returned to ruthless form at number one with a 4-1 4-2 triumph.
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Nicholls and Farrage each picked up their second impressive 4-0 4-0 win of the day to guarantee Norfolk's victory before Brooks toughed out a 4-2 5-3 win at number three to round off a perfect day.
The boys' team battled bravely for third place and were unlucky not to finish second.
An opening defeat to group-topping Bedfordshire could have been a draw had fortune been on the side of Harry Weeds who lost in three sets at number one.
Stephen Harlow and Johnnie Carmichael-Plester were beaten in well-contested matches but Jack Long-Martinez came up with the goods, as he would do all day, to give Norfolk their only rubber.
The team saved their best performances of the day for rivals Suffolk and it was a contest worthy of a local derby after two tie-breaks were needed to separate the sides.
Weeds led from the front with a routine victory at number one before Carmichael-Plester lost at four and with the match level, Harlow and Long-Martinez were both forced into a deciding tie-break.
Harlow played a stronger tie-break than his opponent and won 10-6 but Long-Martinez was pushed right to the wire in an 11-9 epic that sealed victory for his team.
A 2-2 draw with Leicestershire came courtesy of another win for Long-Martinez and the longest match of the day for Weeds who emerged with a 14-12 final set tie-break win. Norfolk finished third.