Essex Premier gets back on track on the road to winning the ICC

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A grand performance from the home side Essex was rewarded with a 36-4 win against new boys Surrey. After an off par performance at Norfolk a fortnight ago changes were made and a more organised Essex team stepped out to face Surrey. However Surrey had already proved they were not to be underestimated as they beat Northampton in their last outing.

During the early stages of the first session it was apparent that Essex were out to prove a point as Jack Shepard, Adam Sultana and Babs Morkutti stormed into early leads in the single and pair. Although with Mark Jones in the other single 8-5 up and the other pairing 6-4 up respectively at the half way stage, Surrey weren’t going to let up. After Jack raced into an 11-4 lead, the two points looked to be on the board but a great last minute surge from his opponent he managed to scrap into a 13-12 lead with two ends to play. The last two ends were hard fought but Jack managed to regain the lead and hold off the comeback to win 15-13. Adam and Babs continued their great early start and were racking up the shots as they finished with a 24-4 win. An immediate response was shown from Mitchell Young with a four to leapfrog Mark and go into the lead 9-8 and held him off in the later stages of the game to win 14-9. Barry Hedges and Peter Faultley completed the clean sweep by reversing the 6-4 down to win comfortably 16-8.

The second session was raring to go after a great start from the singles and pairs to really kick it off. Both the triples and fours were out the blocks again following on from the previous session with Dominic Reed’s rink including Shirley Banner, Mark Chittock and Keith Paxman grasping the initiative and got off to a flyer with a six on the first end. After that they saw off the Surrey four and kept them at arms length with a 12-9 win. Also the other four consisting of Mo Binstead, Heather Amoss, Nigel Reed and Sammy Lambert didn’t become complacent either and looked the winners from the off, with a convincing win of 16-5. The triples also kept the pressure on Surrey who were still looking for their first points of the day, with Anthony Faultley’s triple including Paul Bax and Dave Stifford not letting up secured a further two points and were ruthless throughout with a 18-3 win. The other triple involving Sadie Young, Linda Lambert and Tony Elham completed another clean sweep session with a close fought game but managed to see off their Surrey counterparts 12-9, to put Essex into a 16-0 lead at the break.

In the second half Essex were looking for more of the same and it continued with comfortable wins. Mitchell who although was 17-5 ahead relaxed in the remaining ends to finish up with a 20-10 win. Also Barry and Peter cruised home and won 15-7, keeping the 40-0 alive. Adam and Babs had a slow start to their second game which was a total reversal to their opening game after finding themselves 7-3 down. But they responded in the second half of the game to come through strong and didn’t drop a single shot in the last few ends to win untroubled by 16 shots to 7. Jack on the other hand found himself in a hole two thirds of the way in to the game after being 16-8 down, but after digging deep he clawed his way back into the game, managing to take a two shot lead going into the last end. He just held off Mark to claim the win at the death by 18 shots to 17 and a great comeback to keep the clean sheet. Also Essex claimed both the bonus points up for grabs in the singles and pairs securing a 28-0 lead going into the fourth and final session.

With the final session in full swing, again Anthony’s triple were in full control of their game and were in cruise control at the half way stage and came home with a 25 shots to 2 win. The other triple skipped by Tony was a tight game throughout, after being 8-6 down going into the last end they needed at least a two for a draw. But unfortunately for Essex could only manage the single to finish 8-7 and give Surrey their first points of the day, although was not enough to achieve the two bonus points in the triples leaving the score 32-2 with two games still playing. Sammy’s rink was next to finish, with also another tight game but couldn’t manage to secure the two points with a 8-6 defeat and Surrey’s second win of the day. The final game to finish the day was Dom’s rink who was also in a battle after being 6-5 down with two ends to play picked up a three and were 8-6 up going into the last end. The Essex four held off the Surrey quartet to win 8-7 and also picked up the bonus points in the fours to finish the contest Essex 36 Surrey 4.

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