Veterans earn Norfolk promotion by the skin of their teeth

The Norfolk men's over 70s team finished second in Group Two of the Veterans' Inter County League Championships to secure a superb promotion with four wins from their six matches.

A strong Lancashire team topped the group but Norfolk's undefeated home record was enough to sneak into runners-up spot ahead of Leicestershire.

Norfolk began their season with victory in the local derby against Suffolk at Easton College Tennis Centre. The home side, comprising Mike Andrews, Mike Hadfield, Tony Hilton and Philip Hutchinson, had too much for the old enemy and secured a 3-1 win.

The same team made the trip to Nottinghamshire for the first away tie of the campaign.

With confidence high after the Suffolk result, Norfolk strolled to a whitewash, dropping just one set en route to a 4-0 triumph.


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Defeat to Lancashire after a long journey north threatened to derail the promotion charge but a slightly refreshed team, including Gordon Little, bounced back with an excellent home victory over Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Easton College was quickly becoming a fortress for Norfolk and this time their visitors were dispatched in some style 4-0, without the loss of a single set.

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The final home tie came against Staffordshire and Norfolk were made to work for a 3-1 victory which left them in a strong position in the group standings.

It nearly went wrong at the last however as an agonising defeat to Leicestershire in the final match left the fate of the Norfolk side unclear.

With two rubbers in the bag each, Leicestershire were awarded the match victory with six sets over Norfolk's five. It was later confirmed that this setback would not spoil the party as Norfolk claimed second spot thanks to a superior rubbers tally over their promotion rivals.

Norfolk will now compete in the top tier of the competition during the 2011 season.

Hadfield, Andrews and Hilton were the ever-present members of the team while Little and Hutchinson played a vital role in their three matches.

• Easton College Tennis Centre is hosting its first ever British Tour event this week as some of Britain's aspiring full-time players battle it out to improve their position on the Masters leaderboard.

Norfolk entrants to the event include Olivia Nicholls, Amy Partridge, Harry Weeds and James Armstrong.

Play will commence at 10am each day and spectator viewing is possible from the gallery in the main indoor building.

• The next Norfolk LTA Golf day will take place on Sunday, November 14 at Weston Park after the success of the previous events.

Teams of four will compete on the day from 11am with an entry fee of �35 per person; best three Stableford scores to count. Entry fee includes a meal and proceeds will go to the East Anglian Children's Hospice.

For more details call David Weeds on 07930 622450.

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