Cromer teams get results
TENNIS: Cromer Ladies' A bounced back from last week's narrow defeat at Acle to record a convincing 40-24 victory.
This was a potentially tricky fixture, against experienced opponents Blofield, whose ranks were boosted by Australian grass-court specialist Connie Tulk in an effort to take advantage of playing on the superb courts at Cromer.
For the home side, Mary Ogden and Val Woodhouse made a composed start, with Ogden capitalising on any opportunity to put the ball away for a winner, and Woodhouse playing a controlled, consistent game.
They were always ahead, and ran out 10-6 winners. By contrast, the all-court game of Annie Cowper Johnson and Cheryl Buck made little impact early on against the Anglo/Australian combination, and found themselves 6-2 down.
However, with Buck retrieving a number of lost causes and Cowper Johnson finding the gaps in Blofield's defences, Cromer completed an inspired comeback to achieve an 8-8 draw – taking them ahead 18-14 at half-time.
Whilst the tie was delicately poised at this stage, the reverse rubbers saw Cromer quickly wrestle control away from Blofield. Cowper Johnson and Buck's playing level continued to rise, with winning volleys becoming commonplace.
Always in control, they completed a 11-5 scoreline in their favour.
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On court two, the pace of ground shots from Ogden and Woodhouse were too much for their opponents, and they too won 11-5, leaving the home team to savour victory in the clubhouse.
n Cromer Men's B secured their second home victory of the season on their excellently-prepared grass courts, against previously unbeaten Stanmore, running out worthy 38-26 winners.
The management team of Buck and Holdom made one enforced change from last week's match, with Youngman unavailable due to work pressures.
This meant a change to this season's strategy of blending youth and experience (but only just) with Robert Cammell, showing good form in training, called up to partner Alan Hudson.
Stanmore, despite lacking experience on grass, made a good start with their second pair surging 6-2 ahead of Hudson and Cammell.
However, with Hudson's experienced court craft and Cammell's fine serving, Cromer recovered well to only lose 9-7.
On the other court, the regular pairing of Buck and Murray had a tight battle against Stanmore's captain Greg Tyler, and his Norfolk county youth partner, before emerging 9-7 victors. There were a number of sparkling rallies for the balcony to appreciate, with the highlight a running forehand pass from Buck.
With the match all square at half-time, a tight struggle looked likely, but Buck and Murray, made the required fast start to the second rubber, with Murray's serve dominant, and the error count from both players low. They never let up, reeling off game after game to win 15-1.
Meanwhile, Hudson and Cammell again found themselves behind, but with Cammell gaining in confidence, and Hudson covering every blade of grass on the court, they fought hard and were unfortunate to just lose out 9-7 to the opposition's first pair in front of an appreciative audience.
However, this was more than enough to secure the win for Cromer, and justified the management's selection policy.
n Cromer Mixed travelled into Suffolk more in hope than optimism for their first round fixture against what looked, on paper, tough opposition.
A heavy shower just prior to Cromer's arrival meant that the match had to be switched at the last minute, to the artificial turf courts at Oulton Broad – a factor which ultimately swung things in Cromer's favour.
The opening rubbers saw the number one and two pairs match up, and it was these encounters which ultimately decided the outcome of the match.
Robert Cammell and Val Woodhouse, Cromer's second pair showing no ill effects from the long journey, dominated their opponents early on. They raced through the first set with strong serving and a flurry of winning shots, both from the back of the court and at the net.
An untimely rain shower then intervened. After the restart, Cammell and Woodhouse had lost their rhythm and eventually went down in a 12-10 third-set tie break.
In the rubber involving the number one pairs, Cromer's husband-and-wife pairing of Andrew and Cheryl Buck produced a consistently high level of performance, to achieve a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
In the reverse rubbers, Cammell and Woodhouse were unable to find a way through the strong hitting of their opponents, and despite pushing them hard lost out in straight sets.
This left Buck and Buck needing to win in straight sets to clinch victory for Cromer.
Having won the first set comfortably with some fine serving and volleying, they then tensed up in the second set. But, with a tie break looking likely, they were able to force a break of serve and emerge 7-5 winners.
The final result was five sets to four in Cromer's favour.