Former champions Middlesex head the County Championships Premier Division after the first weekend played at Cippenham as Middlesex won all their three clashes by the narrowest of margins beating Yorkshire, Berkshire and Cleveland 6-4.

In a thrilling weekend’s play, seven of the eight counties all picked up at least two points with only Cleveland being unable to get off the mark.

Reigning champions and last term runaway winners Sussex are two points behind Middlesex having lost one match and are joined on four points by newly promoted Warwickshire who themselves have lost one match in this most thrilling of weekends.

Middlesex began with a narrow 6-4 victory against Yorkshire with Sam Cowan and Tin-Tin Ho leading the way with unbeaten performances and supported by team mates Ping Ho and Sushmita Limeu who each chipped in with one win to confirm their narrow victory.

Berkshire were the next opponents for Middlesex and it proved a fine all round team effort as once again Cowan recorded two wins with all remaining four players, Tyrone Wells, Tyla Anderson, Tin-Tin Ho and Limeu each chipping in with one win each as once again Middlesex won 6-4

Against Cleveland it was the Middlesex girls who were inspirational in their victory as they both recorded maximums and with Anderson and Cowan each chipping in with one set apiece Middlesex ended the weekend with three straight wins.

Sussex lie in second place despite a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Warwickshire, which was all the more remarkable for the Black Country team as Warwickshire played the match with one girl short as their three boys of Matt Outhwaite, Laurence Sweeney and Matt Lun all recorded maximums.

Despite their victory over Sussex, Warwickshire were well beaten by Berkshire 8-2 and could only rely on one set each from Lunn and Sweeney as the Berkshire team of Liam McTiernan, Jarred Knowles, Daniel McTiernan., Maria Tsaptsinos and Bijun Tang swept aside the challenge from Warwickshire.

This division has plenty more twists and turns before it is completed and with Kent and Yorkshire only one point behind Sussex and Warwickshire there is still all to play for when the division is completed in 2012.

Barry Snowden

County Championships Committee