The County First team, captained by Ian Wallis, finished as runners-up to Cambridgeshire in the EACU tournament. The top three teams in the EACU qualify for the national stages, so Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk competed with six other counties in the first round of the national Minor Counties competition.
After one preliminary match, between Cornwall and Lincolnshire, eight counties were paired in the quarter-finals. Suffolk were drawn against Somerset, whilst Cambridgeshire faced Leicestershire and Norfolk played Nottinghamshire. All three EACU teams won their matches, with Suffolk having the most convincing of victories, 14½-1½ against a weak Somerset team.
In the semi-finals, Cambridgeshire lost to Lincolnshire, whilst Suffolk faced ‘old enemies’ Norfolk. Played on 12 June, Suffolk’s team was as strong as could be allowed under the rules (average grade under 180), but Norfolk won by 9½ points to 6½. Despite good wins on the top boards by Dagne Ciuksyte and Graham Moore, boards 3 to 12 could only muster four draws between them. The only other Suffolk winner was Richard Lamont on Board 13.
Norfolk went on to beat Lincolnshire in the Final by 9 points to 7.
Ian Wallis is standing down as First Team captain. A replacement is urgently needed!