2nd – 4th August – Eastbourne
Team – Katie Brooks, Andrea McCombe, Karen Highfield, Annika Richardson, Kerri-Ann Gibbons, Jeannette Baxter
This year the event went back to its original format which means we took 2 extra players than the previous years. This was the 1st time playing in the 35’s team for Andi and the 1st time in about 17yrs for Kerri representing the county.
Day 1 v Kent
Jeannette and Karen played the singles finishing 1-1 before the 1st doubles pair went on. For round 1 Annika and Katie played together managing to come from a set down to win in a match tie break. This meant after the 1st round we were 2-1 up. For round 2 the doubles pairs were Katie and Andi, Karen and Kerri. It all came down to a match tiebreak which unfortunately we were unable to win, eventually losing 3-2 overall.
Day 2 v Herefordshire & Worcestershire
After going 2-0 down in the singles it was up to Annika and Jeannette to keep us in the match. Once again it came to a match tiebreak which they won 10-6.
We needed to win both doubles in round 2 to win, Kerri and Karen won their match to level the tie but the opposing teams pair were too strong in the last match. 3-2 loss.
Day 3 v Wiltshire
Both teams were playing to stay in division 4. Jeannette went on 1st for her singles and had a great match eventually winning 10-6 in the match tiebreak. Karen then won her singles to take us to 2-0 up only 1 more match needed for the win! Kerri and Annika almost had it in the doubles going down 7-10 in the match tiebreak. It then all fell to Karen and Andi to win the final rubber of the day. After winning the 1st set they found themselves 6-2 down in the 2nd set tiebreak but made a comeback to take it 10-8!
A great weekend of tennis with a great team and supporters who came to enjoy the tennis/ Eastbourne sun! Thank you for the team for all their hard work and support, well played!!
Norfolk’s O35 Men clinched promotion from Division 6B at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne over the August bank holiday weekend.
Comfortable wins over Northamptonshire and Avon left the team needing just a single rubber on the final day against the Channel Islands, which they duly claimed to top the group and seal promotion.
The campaign started with a 4-1 win over Northamptonshire; Nick Stocker’s narrow singles defeat put Norfolk behind until Barry Fulcher won in straight sets to level the scores.
Back-to-back doubles wins for Nicky Crawley and captain Dan Wynne secured the team victory, before Chris Stocker replaced Fulcher for the doubles, partnering brother Nick for a fourth Norfolk win.
A fine start, with every squad member on the board.
Day two’s opponents Avon had a win over the Channel Islands under their belts, but Norfolk were in the groove early and went 2-0 ahead with comfortable singles performances from Crawley and Fulcher.
The result was in the bag when Wynne and Nick Stocker won a doubles in straight sets, but Norfolk were feeling ruthless and Fulcher and Chris Stocker made it four with a hard-fought victory.
The 5-0 whitewash was completed by Wynne and Nick Stocker, leaving Norfolk on the brink of promotion and needing just one rubber on the final day to claim top spot.
On Sunday, it was the captain who stepped on court first against the Channel Islands hoping to finish the job for his team, but the fairytale ending was not to be as the previously undefeated Wynne produced a woeful performance to give Norfolk’s opponents a glimmer of hope.
Next to try and get the party started was Crawley, so often the hero for his county over the last 20 years.
Unlike his team mate, the man from Caister rose to the occasion and produced another commanding singles performance to win in straight sets and confirm Norfolk as group champions.
Even an ill-tempered outing for the Stocker brothers did little to dampen the weekend’s success as Norfolk collected their medals in the brilliant Sussex sunshine.
Dan Wynne was pleased that his all-star squad delivered :
“We came here with big expectations; we have two former international players in Crawley and Fulcher, and a young squad with nearly 350 caps for Norfolk’s first team between us. Anything less than promotion would have been hugely disappointing.
“That said, we faced good opposition who made it a great weekend of competition, so we are pleased to have achieved our objective.”
NLTA spoke to county player Ruby Syer about her life in tennis. This is what she said:
“I’ve been playing tennis since the age of 5, and I’m now 12. I am thoroughly enjoying it so far and hoping to turn professional in the future.
As I have been playing tennis for so long I have attended many tournaments. I currently have 50 medals and 10 trophies. I have represented my county of Norfolk on many occasions which makes me proud.
I have training squads at Easton Tennis Centre and one to one sessions with my coach at Acle Tennis Club. My weekly regime is squads Mon and Tues night, Wed and Sat at Acle and strength and conditioning on Thursday.
This year I had the opportunity to go and play on the famous grass courts at Wimbledon. I am very proud of this achievement as 9,000 children entered “Road to Wimbledon 2019” tournament and I made it to the last 24. Unfortunately I lost my round 1 match 10-2 in the third set tie break. It has been the most amazing experience!”
On Saturday 17th August the Norfolk 9/Under team of Esme Artherton Howlett, Amy Jackson, Amelia Bednarska, Rufus Snelling, Teddy Curtis and Henry Thomas played County Cup at Hills Road Cambridge supported by County Captain Sam Howlett. The event saw 4 counties Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire compete against each other in ties comprising of 9 individual matches 3 boys singles, 3 girls singles, 1 boys doubles, 1 girls doubles and 1 mixed doubles.
In the opening tie Norfolk played against Suffolk, this was a tough introduction with the team struggling against the experience and fire power of the opponents, the team battled hard but were beaten 9-0.
Next was Bedfordshire, this was a more competitive affair with the Norfolk players beginning to find their feet and get used to the pace of the opponents. Whilst we lost the tie 7-2 the team showed good resilience with notable performances from Teddy claiming a singles win at number 2 and Henry and Amelia winning a hard fought 3 set mixed doubles, all the team though deserve praise for the way they went out about this tie and didn’t give up.
Our final tie was against Cambridgeshire, sadly the team went down 9-0 again, but the way the players competed in this final tie was a stark contrast to the opening fixture, the children all learned from their previous matches and their level improved.
It was a tough day for this comparatively inexperienced team, but hopefully one they can all take positives from and try to work on individual areas to improve. The overall results were 1st Cambridgeshire, 2nd Suffolk, 3rd Bedfordshire and 4th Norfolk.
Report by Captain Sam Howlett
38 participants took part in the annual tournament of two clubs in the Castle Acre League, Massingham and Wells.
It’s one of the only times that players get the chance to play on grass and the courts at Cromer are superbly kept.
Fortunately despite early rain the sun came out, play went on for over three hours, some tired legs at the end.
The idea for the tournament came out of the NLTA President’s cup held a number of years ago. It was enjoyed by so many club members that it was decided to run our own and it has become an annual event.
Ben Bartram, the 14 year old wheelchair tennis player from Norwich has had a successful summer, travelling to tournaments in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the British wheelchair open in Nottingham.
In the junior world rankings out this week Ben has moved up to number 6 in the world. He also enjoyed some success in his first international men’s tournament, winning the B draw event.