Following our promotion to Division 1 , we struggled to put together a viable team. We were hit by injuries, by retirement of some players now in their 80’s, and some strong opposition – particularly Surrey who won all their matches without loss.Norfolk only had 2 players in the age group 75-80 fit and able to play – Tony Edelsten and Mike Lake, both from Acle tennis club.
The opening match v. Essex at Easton was ruined by a pulled muscle for Tony Hipperson, playing with Mike Andrews early in their first rubber. Tony E and Mike L salvaged 1 rubber, so we lost the match 3-1. 6 weeks later against Notts,Tony E and Mike L won both rubbers, but the 80+pair David Kinder and the recovered Tony Hipperson lost both theirs. We conceded the match on sets and games.
A mini tour in late June in marvellous weather took us to Winchester to play Hants and I.O.W. We enlisted Ivan Winter, over from Thailand,and Robin Farman, who enjoys ‘social tennis’. We went on to play Surrey next day at East Horsley. We only managed to win 2 rubbers against the Hants 2nd pair, and as with Notts we lost on sets and games. The pairing for these 2 matches was Tony E with Robin F , and Ivan W with Mike L.
The final match in early September was v.Kent at Canterbury. Here again Tony E and Mike L won 2 rubbers, and the 80+ pair Tony Hipperson and David Kinder lost both. Again we lost a third match on sets and games.
Overall we enjoyed some excellent tennis, and somehow , thanks to friends and some older players, we completed all our fixtures.
Next season we have 2or3 players coming up from the 70+ team for our relegated position back in Division 2. A bit like Norwich City Football !

Report by Tony Edelsten