On Saturday 10th October at Easton College Tennis Centre, 2.00-4.00pm Norfolk LTA will be running an 8/U Talent ID sifting session.
We are looking for players that are born 2013 or later that have a desire and passion to represent Norfolk. Players need to have played and have an understanding of mini red tennis. All players are welcome to come along and enjoy the session.
We are keen to get as many players as possible to represent Norfolk at U8 level. If you would like to come along please sign up by using the link:
As tennis players we have been extremely fortunate to be able to play our sport since May, but organised inter-County competition has not been possible this summer.
Thoughts therefore turned to setting up a friendly match with one of our close neighbours to fill the competitive void. As the words “friendly” and “Suffolk” have never knowingly appeared in the same sentence, for Norfolk teams, it was the logical thing to ask our friends in Cambridgeshire if they wanted to have an informal match for seniors. The challenge was gladly accepted and players were readily recruited. The age range was a little wider than originally envisaged with the younger end hardly out of nappies and able to dress themselves (i.e. early 60s) and the older end hardly able to dress themselves due to advancing stiffness (i.e. over 70). However, everyone managed to arrive at Easton tennis centre on time, fully dressed, shoe laces tied and raring to go.
The format was similar to senior Inter-county, but with some changes to allow more players, and no singles rubbers. Each county had four pairs, split into “A” and “B” groups, so everyone had two rubbers each consisting of two sets with a match tiebreak if required at 1 set all.
As befits a friendly the final tally was 4 rubbers apiece, Cambs winning the “A” match 3-1 and Norfolk winning the “B” match by the same score. The tennis was competitive and played in an excellent spirit throughout. It was a real shame that the recently imposed “Rule of 6” prevented any socialising, but there was some opportunity for a decent, socially distant, chat between the rubbers.
Our thanks go to captain Rob for all the organisation and especially the staff at Easton Tennis Centre for agreeing to set up and manage everything in a Covid-safe way. We are hopeful of a return match in Cambridge fairly soon.
Norfolk Team: “A” Squad Mike Hutson & Keith Arnold, Robert Ollman (captain) & Richard Palmer. “B” Squad Mick Musson & Cris Gates, Alan Hudson & Doug Mace.
The Norfolk Seniors County Closed is currently being held at Easton College Tennis Centre with events being played over the weekend of 12/13th and 19th/20th September.
In the Mens Over 45 category, Neil Henery (Cringleford Tennis Club) managed to claim the title. NLTA briefly spoke to Neil after his success:
Who did you play throughout the draw at the weekend? We played a fast -four format, and I won my matches against Andy Ives and Roger Clarke, then beat Rob Hall in the final
Do you play for Norfolk? How often do you play, what kind of matches, events? For the last few years I have played in the Norfolk over 45s team and over 55s. Over the course of a season we usually play 3-4 matches against other counties. There’s usually quite a lot of travelling involved, with the furthest away match I played being in Glasgow
Do you have county training sessions for your county team? We try to meet up at Easton for some training sessions during the winter and spring. They have sometimes involved a mixed group of players from the over 45s and 55s.
Are you a member at a club, if so which and do you play league tennis for them? I play regularly for Cringleford Tennis Club. It is a really friendly club and I have play for the B team in City League matches. A group of us also play at Easton over the winter to keep up our doubles play.
Do you manage to play many tournaments? I always play in our Cringleford Club knock out tournament and have played in the Cromer Senior Tournament for several years – singles and doubles, plus occasionally playing the Norfolk Closed at Lime Tree Road.
How long have you been playing tennis? What attracted you to the sport? I have been playing tennis since about the age of 8 or 9, but got invited to attend county coaching sessions after my twin brother, Paul, and I took part in a coaching scheme at Thorpe Grammar School when I was about 11 or 12. Tennis was the perfect sport for Paul and I as we were of a similar ability and either played on the quiet-ish road where we lived in Loddon or went up to the local courts. I think my Dad got us into tennis in the first place so we wouldn’t pester him on the golf course – he was a very keen golfer!
Congratulations Neil and thanks for finding a trophy for the purposes of the photo!!
On Saturday three Norfolk U/14 boys & girls travelled to Corby for the rearranged 12 Counties event. Playing on the outdoor courts, in sunny and breezy conditions the team got off to a great start defeating Leicestershire 5-1.
The second tie was against Berkshire who had also won their first fixture, our guys continued their good form with a clean sweep 6-0 victory.
Going into the last tie versus Northamptonshire, the talk was to keep focused and finish the job off. The team responded brilliantly to produce another 5-1 victory and claim top spot in the group.
A successful day for all, after a break without competition.
TEAM: Oliver Buckingham Green, Luie Valentine, Joseph Philpott, Isabella Taylor, Ruby Syer, Darcy Jarmy.
Members of the Norfolk men’s tennis squad will compete against each other over the next few weeks in a new Summer Invitational event.
Captain Nicky Crawley has introduced the internal tournament, which will be played at venues around the county, in order to help fill the competitive void left by the cancellation of this year’s LTA Summer County Cup.
The offer to enter was extended to Norfolk-based players who have represented the men’s first team at a County Cup event in recent years, and twelve players have accepted the invitation to take part.
Four boxes of three players, named after Norfolk greats of the past, have been randomly drawn with the winner of each progressing to a knockout phase.
The field is strong and includes US college stars Will Davies and the recently graduated Tom Fisher, both of whom led the way for Norfolk last summer and are likely to contend for the title along with Loughborough University’s Alex McNaughton.
The trio have been key members of the team at recent events and are set to carry the torch for the county for several years to come.
At the most experienced end of the entry list are three players who combined have featured in nearly 800 County Cup rubbers for Norfolk, including the captain himself.
Crawley (2nd), Richard Bloomfield (3rd) and Dan Wynne (6th) are among the most-capped Norfolk players of all-time and were part of the 2011 team that were promoted to the top flight of county tennis for the first time since the 1970s.
37-year-old Bloomfield is arguably Norfolk’s greatest ever, with an unmatched record of 222 wins from 277 matches. The Alpington native reached a career high world ranking of 176 and will still be considered the tournament favourite by many in local circles.
Will Foster has tasted success and failure with Norfolk; he was part of the 2017 team that gained promotion in Ilkley but lost a heart-breaking decider with Wynne last summer that saw Norfolk relegated to Group Three at the hands of Derbyshire.
University of Cambridge graduate Jack Long-Martinez and current UEA student Alex Watkinson were in Summer County Cup squads in 2018 and 2019 respectively – both have also competed for their university teams while studying.
Fred Withers, Bhaskar Kumar, and Stephen Harlow complete the 12-man field; each has been selected for Norfolk squads in recent years, with Harlow the most recent to make his debut at the 2019 LTA Winter County Cup in Liverpool.
Kumar, who played for Norfolk at Frinton in 2016, is the oldest player to feature; at 47 years old he is 31 years the senior of Withers, who at just 16 is the youngest member of the squad and a bright light for the future of the Norfolk team.Players have until the Sunday June 28th to complete the group stages of the event before the draw for the semi-finals takes place.
Robin Lincoln Group – Richard Bloomfield, Alex Watkinson, Fred Withers
Results: F. Withers beat A. Watkinson 6-2, 6-0 (Stanmore TC)
Eddie Fox Group – Alex McNaughton, Dan Wynne, Jack Long-Martinez
Tony Spurgeon Group – Bhaskar Kumar, Will Davies, Will Foster
Jeremy Cameron Group – Stephen Harlow, Nicky Crawley, Tom Fisher