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Nott a bad North double.

Northumbria's second string completed an Inter-County Championship double over Nottinghamshire Thirds with a 9-6 victory at Chilwell.

With Niki Cholakova injured and Andrew Hogg and Dave Moscrop unavailable, North recalled Mark Antolak and Andrew Tham, regulars last season, and Naomi Bailey, who is now at Sheffield University.

The ladies were to see North through, winning both singles, all four doubles and two out of three mixed doubles, Bailey the leading light with victories in four events.

North started well in the singles, Bailey recording their first win in straight sets and Andrew McGill, playing very accurately, repeating the feat at top string.

With Sarah Taylor repeating her victory from the home fixture, North led 3-1.

The opening round of level doubles saw honours even with Notts' men proving too strong.

North's ladies, especially Debbie Porter and Katy Nicholson, avenged their defeat against Notts' top string in the home fixture.

In the reverse doubles it was the same story, although Mark Antolak and Andrew Tham did well to take the hosts top pair to three and the score stood at 6-5 to North with the remaining ladies doubles still in progress.

Bailey and Lauren Young had started slowly against Notts' first string and easily lost their opening set. So well did they recover, though, that, having taken the second set to eight, they romped through the decider without the loss of a single point.

It was 7-5 to North going into the mixed with only one needed for victory.

Nicholson and Tham, standing in for an unwell Andrew McGill, romped through the first set but were then pegged back to a 1-1.

The decider was close throughout but it seemed Nicholson and Tham would win when they led 14-11. Their first match point eluded them, however, and their opponents rallied so strongly that they in turn had match point at 16-14 having set to 17.

Twice the North pair saved two match points before they finally edged ahead to win 17-16 and clinch the match for North.

That left Nicholson unbeaten on the day and Tham pleased to gain some reward for plenty of hard work.

With Notts winning at first string, the optimists' 10-5 scoreline was gone but Mark Antolak was determined not to go home empty-handed.

He and Bailey recovered from game point down in both sets to win 17-14,17-15, ensuring Bailey's clean sweep in all her four events.

Full result (Northumberland players first): Andrew McGill beat Richard Pulford 15-10,15-12; Andy Tham lost to Dale Twigger 6-15,6-15; Naomi Bailey beat Helen Norris 11-7,11-2; Sarah Taylor beat Kerie Mottershead 13-10,11-5.

Andrew McGill and Rob Tanner lost to Matt Adcock and Toby Massey 8-15,4-15;lost to Twigger and Andy Cokayne 8-15,7-15;Mark Antolak and Andrew Tham lost to Twigger and Cokayne 9-15,6-15; lost to Adcock & Massey 15-6,6-15,8-15.

Debbie Porter and Katy Nicholson beat Ellen Housley and Helen Norris 15-6,13-15,15-11;beat Helen Mills and Kerie Mottershead 15-7,15-8; Naomi Bailey and Lauren Young beat Mills and Mottershead 15-6,15-3; beat Housley and Norris 4-15,15-8,15-0.

Tanner and Porter lost to Massey and Housley10-15,11-15; Antolak and Bailey beat Adcock and and Mottershead 15-7,4-15;17-16.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2004
Words:536
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