Norfolk’s U19 Boys made the short trip to Moreton Hall, Bury St. Edmunds for this years Stage 1 inter counties fixture, and enjoyed some competitive squash against Suffolk, Cambs and Essex.
In the morning match against Cambs, Olly Gollops lack of recent match practice was evident as he quickly went down 3-0, whilst Phil Davis at no. 5 was able to pick up the first game before his opponent just got the better of him, to record a 3-1 defeat. Olly Farmer also managed to pick up a game in his 3-1 defeat, whilst William Henden, often slow to start, put in a disappointing performance in losing 3-0 to Scott Drewery. By far the best Norfolk performance of the first match was put in by Robert Thirst who fought hard throughout to record a 3-1 win against Ed Wheeler, a player he had lost to earlier in the year in the Broadland Junior Open.
Result Cambridgeshire 18 Norfolk 5 (4-1).
After lunch Norfolk faced Essex, who had only managed to raise 4 players giving a walkover for Phil Davis at no. 5. Neither Olly Gollop or Olly Farmer where able to trouble their opponents with 3-0 defeats, but the 1st and 2nd string matches were much closer. Robert again fought tenaciously to take a 2-1 lead against Regional player Joe Blackmur, and William, now fully awake, also took a 2-1 lead against Regional no.1 player Aaron Allpress, and at this point a very unlikely victory looked possible. Unfortunately Norfolk’s 1 & 2 were unable to clinch their matches with both Essex players coming back strongly to win both matches 3-2. Encouraging signs for both players though.
Result Essex 17 Norfolk 7 (4-1)
During the Cambs v Suffolk match Angus Beecroft suffered an injury which required hospitalization, and left Suffolk with only 4 players for their last match of the day with Norfolk. Despite gaining another walkover at no.5, Norfolk were again unable to take advantage of the situation with both William and Robert dropping from their earlier higher standards in recording 3-0 and 3-1 defeats respectively. Olly Farmer sportingly agreed to step down from this fixture to allow Phil Davis to play his second match of the day, in which he started promisingly taking the first game 11/5. His opponent however, stepped his game up to take the match 3-1.
Olly Gollop, playing at no.3, had benefitted from his court time as the day progressed, an found himself in a competitive match against the unpredictable, but good humored, Harrison Gladding.
Harrison comfortable won the first 11/3, but Olly crucially sneaked the second 16/14 to gain some encouragement, and then the third 11/8, although unable to take the fourth Olly battled game fully to take the last for a morale boosting 3-2 win.
Result Suffolk 16 Norfolk 8 (3-2)
We wish Angus a speedy recovery.