Starling frustrated as Cromer come up short in defeat to bottom side

Cromer came up short against Bannatynes III. Picture: Archant

Cromer came up short against Bannatynes III. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant Norfolk 2011

Cromer's Technical Director, Barry Starling, cut a frustrated figure as his team crashed to a 16-3 defeat at the hands of bottom-of-the-table Bannatyne's III in their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two fixture in Norwich.

His understandable frustration was caused not so much by the result as by the fact that, due to a misunderstanding and for the second time in 12 months, his team were forced to play with only three players and concede the first string match.

Malcolm Crane came into the team for the first time since November with John Chandler at number three and Martin Sanville at two, but the three veterans all lost to their Norwich-based opponents.

Crane battled hard in his match but he found his opponent too strong and went down to a straight game defeat.

But Chandler could – and perhaps should – have won his match.

He lost the first two games of his third string match, but recovered brilliantly to take the third game 17-15 and drew level when he won the fourth game 13-16.

He looked to be heading for a well-deserved victory when he had match ball in the final deciding game, but it was the Bannatyne's player who came out on top, taking the game 14-12 to win the match 3-2.

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In what turned out to be the final match of the evening, Martin Sanville was always playing catch-up against his second string opponent.

He lost the first two games to trail 0-2 before recovering well to take the third game 13,-8 only to lose the fourth 13-10 and the match 3-1.

Starling said afterwards: 'It was frustrating only to have three players as we were immediately on the back foot and it is disrespectful to our opponents.

'That said, even if our man had appeared and won we would still have lost the match as the Bannatyne's team were simply better than us on the night.

'Peter Arbuthnot will be available next week so I hope we will be able to pick up a few more points.'

Results: Martin Sanville lost to Martin Browne 7-13, 11-13, 13-8, 10-13; John Chandler lost to Gary Gray 7-13, 8-13, 17-15, 13-6, 12-14; Malcolm Crane lost to Dave Rawlings 4-13, 1-13, 7-13; Bannatyne's walk-over in remaining match.