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November 14, 2022

Senior County Championship action returned this weekend with several high quality and tight clashes across both the Premier League and Championship.

In the Premier League it is Middlesex who are top of the table after a strong start which saw them pick up three victories across the weekend.

They defeated Lancashire 10-1, Yorkshire 8-3 and claimed a hard-fought 6-5 win over Surrey to sit four points clear of Hampshire, the only other team to hold a perfect record from the weekend.

Hampshire overcame Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire to get their campaign off to a flying start.

Buckinghamshire’s defeat to Hampshire was their only loss of the weekend, beating Yorkshire and Leicestershire in their other two encounters, while Surrey also picked up two victories for a solid start to the campaign.

Hertfordshire, Avon and Leicestershire all won one of their three matches, with Cheshire the only team to not win one of their three ties.

However, Cheshire picked up enough points across their ties to avoid sitting in the bottom two of the table, with Yorkshire and Lancashire occupying the bottom spots on their return to the division.

Among the standout performers of the weekend were Tom Wolfenden and Annabel Hong, with the Lancashire pair going unbeaten in their three individual contests.

Perhaps their most notable win was helping their county avoid a whitewash against Middlesex, prevailing 24-22 in the deciding game against four-time Commonwealth Games shuttler Dinuka Karunaratne and Zoe Hallam.

Elsewhere Jamaican Commonwealth Games competitor Samuel Rickets, representing Leicestershire, beat recently crowned men’s singles Champion of Champions, Hampshire’s Ben Muir.

There was also a big win for Buckinghamshire’s Estelle van Leeuwen and Sam Westwood, who beat women’s doubles Champion of Champions Yulia Tang and Jenny Wallwork of Yorkshire 22-20 in the decisive game.

In the Championship south split, it is Warwickshire who top the table after a hugely impressive start to their campaign.

The county picked up 9-2 wins over Essex, Sussex and Kent to storm to a five-point lead over Nottinghamshire, who defeated the same three opponents in their opening fixtures.

Nathan Moore and Jingchen Lu were flawless for Warwickshire, winning all their ties across their respective singles and doubles clashes.

Meanwhile Nottinghamshire’s mixed doubles pairing of Pak Yu Ng and Megan Brierley won decisive ties to help their team to 6-5 victories over Essex and Kent.

In the northern split, Northumberland marked their arrival after their promotion with an impressive 10-1 victory against Glasgow & NS.

And they backed up that impressive victory with a 6-5 win over Yorkshire 2s, seeing them sit third in the overall Championship table.

Also impressing were Leinster, who picked up victories over both Yorkshire 2s and Glasgow & NS to also get their campaign off to a flying start.

Leinster’s David Walsh was one of the standout players of the weekend, winning all six of the matches he was involved in to help guide his side to two 7-4 victories.

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