Over the weekend of 24/25th November both the County Mens and Ladies teams were competing in the Winter County Cup.
The Men were playing away in Gratham in Group 2 whilst the Ladies were at Easton & Otley College Tennis Centre also competing in Group 2.
Both teams seem to be in a transitional phase and it is encouraging to see so many of the county juniors now making the progression into the senior teams. With this is mind, it was going to be a big ask to maintain there status in these divisions, playing against some of the best players across the country.
The Men got off to a great start against South Wales. Having drawn the singles rubbers 3-3, the doubles took on added significance. The rubber was eventually decided in the final match, with skipper Nicky Crawley and partner Alex Mcnaughton winning 6-4/6-4. On Saturday the Men were always a rubber behind and could not turn things around in the doubles, therefore suffering a 3-6 defeat to Berkshire. On the final day, Norfolk were in the comfortable position of only needing a couple of wins to avoid relegation. This they managed with ease despite losing 4-5 to Lincolnshire.
Captain Nicky Crawley was pleased with the teams efforts: “I am proud of the boys. This team always surprises me. We seem to play our best tennis in these competitions and to be in such a comfortable position on the last day is testament to a great togetherness amongst the team”.
The Ladies were up against some county tennis heavyweights including Lancashire, Surrey. On day 1 singles wins for Sam Noble, Rosie Pooley and Maria Andrews (playing her first singles match for 3 years) gave Norfolk a great platform. A win for Emily Barrett and Rosie meant the team were one win away from an unlikely victory. Unfortunately the pairings of Vianne Palffy and Frances Evans and Sam and Marie both ended up losing 7-10 in a championship tie-break. So close!
On day 2 it was always going to be difficult playing against a very strong Surrey team who had already won 9-0 on day 1. Norfolk gave there all but again were defeated 0-9.
Going into the final day, the girls needed to win against Sussex to avoid relegation. Player of the weekend Rosie Pooley was the only singles winner, meaning the tie was decided before playing the doubles.
All in all some valuable experience gained. Moving forward Caroline Blincoe will now be supporting Sam Nobile with the Ladies team and will add a great wealth of experience and knowledge to the set up.
Norfolk’s only current professional tour player has won the ITF $25,000 Womens Doubles event at Shrewsbury last week.
After early season success with doubles wins in Portugal and Israel, Olivia was unable to compete for long periods suffering a number of injuries.
Olivia was determined not to let the season fizzle out. Last week playing with long time partner Sarah Beth Grey, the pair made the final at Wirral. They went one better in Shrewsbury to reign supreme.
In Round 2 the pair defeated Eden Silva (GBR) and Julia Terziyska (BUL) 6-7, 6-4, 10-8. A scoreline that this gritty pair have become accustom with. The final itself, saw them fight back from 0-6, to win 6-3, 10-4 against the Morderger sisters from Germany.
This result means Olivia finishes the season with a WTA Doubles ranking of 220.
Well done Olly and Good Luck for 2019.
The 14th Annual Louise Willgrass Memorial Ladies’ Doubles Charity Tennis Tournament was held at East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club, Lime Tree Road, Norwich, on Wednesday 10th October 2018, sponsored by REALITY Estate Agents, Grove Road, Norwich.
Reportedly the hottest 10th October ever recorded the players basked in 22 degrees of blue skies and sunshine with merely a gentle breeze! (Last year my report records 18 degrees of sunshine but windy so seems we are always blessed.)
Players from all over our county, Suffolk & beyond made up four boxes of six pairs so everyone had plenty of tennis before the top two pairs from each group went through to the quarterfinals:
Lorna Soar & Wendy Taylor (Culford) beat Holly Elkins & Jo Gowing (Brooke), Frances Hornor & Sarah Walker (EATSC) beat Ann Starky & Alison Gilmour (Cringleford), Judith Lee & Cheryl Buck (EATSC beat Dawn Stocker & Liz Gilmour (Blofield) and Lisa Lowe & Linda Wardle (Cromer) beat Sarah-Jane Bullock & Lisa Bligh (Diss/Beccles).
In the semi-finals Frances & Sarah beat Lorna & Wendy and Lisa & Linda beat Judith & Cheryl.
The raffle was held during a delicious lunch laid on by the club and many thanks must go to the hard work of Sharon, Katie & Alasdair (EATSC’s new manager – I don’t think he’s been in a room quite so full of women before!) but referee Derek Perry is well used to it and manages the event masterfully!
Raffle prizes included a handbag from VANILLA and Top Spin Tennis Racket Stringing Vouchers but were mostly donated by the players themselves.
After lunch a one-set tie-break final was held with Lisa & Linda from Cromer beating the EATSC pair, Sarah & Frances, 6-2.
The prizes of flowers prepared by Libby Ferris (Grove Road)and kindly donated by Lucy Carne of REALITY Estate Agents (Grove Road) were presented by Diane Bush on behalf of Emily Willgrass, daughter of Louise, who attended the prizegiving with her one-year old son, Benjamin.
The £1,000 proceeds of the event will be given to Cruse Bereavement Care Norwich, the chosen charity of the Willgrass family. Becky Bushell from the charity thanked the ladies for their valuable contribution to the much-needed work they do helping bereaved people.
Photo showing L-R Frances Hornor, Sarah Walker, Emily Willgrass & Benjamin, Linda Wardle & Lisa Lowe.
In association with Top Spin Tennis, Norfolk LTA has appointed Wilson as ball supplier to the county.
The arrangement means that associated clubs can purchase Wilson tennis balls and clothing from Top Spin Tennis at substantially discounted rates.
In addition, Wilson has provided Norfolk LTA with prizes for the Norfolk Closed Tournament and is supplying free of charge mini tennis nets for our schools and disability programme.
Clubs wishing to take advantage of the arrangement should contact Ryan Martin at Top Spin Tennis on 01603 259714.