“2019 proved to be ‘one season too far’ in the top flight for the Men’s over 55 team, though circumstances didn’t help. An unkind draw that saw most of the strong teams, including Lancashire, Leicestershire and Essex placed in division 1A with Norfolk was compounded by the unavailability of key players; Robin Chipperfield missed the whole season, Mark Nicholls only played once and Ian Quinton was plagued by injury.
The season did not get off to a good start with Norfolk only picking up one rubber, a singles win by Ian Quinton, in the first two fixtures which were away to Essex and Leicestershire respectively.
Hope was briefly re-kindled when Mark Nicholls and Stuart Brabben led the way in a tight 3-2 win over Devon where Norfolk won all three doubles (Ian Quinton & Nathan Dickinson picked up the other rubber), albeit this was followed by a heavy loss to Lancashire. In the last match a win over Hants would have given Norfolk a chance of staying up and it started well with Ian Quinton winning the first singles. However an injury to Ian then forced his withdrawal from the doubles in a promising position and a narrow loss in a Champions tiebreak in the other doubles meant Norfolk lost 1-4 and ultimately finished bottom of their group.
This disappointing end to the team’s stay in Division 1 is no reflection on the commitment shown by the squad, particularly the Henery brothers and Nathan Dickinson, plus Gary Thrower who filled in for the Leicestershire match at very short notice; the opposition were just better!”
Report by Ian Quinton