On weekend Nov 22-24th, Norfolk Mens team were competing at Liverpool in Div 2a of Winter County Cup.
The team was full of youth supported by some experience and Mr Norfolk, Captain Nicky Crawley. The full squad included: Alex Mcnaughton, Fred Withers, Alex Watkinson, Mike Digby, Dan Wynne, Matt Samson, Nicky Crawley, James Aukland, Kris Jenkins.
On Day 1 the team faced Lancashire, but with each singles player losing their opening service game it would prove to be an uphill task. Straight set defeats in all the singles and only a consolation doubles win for Crawley/Jenkins. A 1-7 defeat was not part of the plan.
Saturday welcomed the introduction of James Aukland, an outstanding performer for the county with a wealth of experience. Facing a strong Cheshire team, this change alone would not be enough. A 2-7 defeat meant that the final day would be a straight shoot out with Derbyshire to avoid relegation.
After the singles the match was tied 3-3, so two rubbers were needed to secure safety. The match score was soon 4-4, both teams each winning a doubles rubber. It would all go down to the final rubber. Norfolk were represented by the Mcnaughton/Samson partnership, who despite being relatively new to senior tennis, had played together throughout juniors. After 2 sets it was still all square, so a final set tiebreak would decide relegation. Unfortunately despite a determined fight back, Norfolk would lose 8-10 and face relegation to Div 3 of Winter County Cup.
Captain Crawley said: “We had our chances and need to protect our own service games better. The younger players are still developing and we need to keep pushing them to ensure they play their best tennis. Defeat is never easy to take but we will learn from this and play better in the future”.