Essex Premier are through to the semi-finals of the Inter County Cup after a dramatic 2-1 tie break victory, after a 20-20 draw at Bristol Indoor Bowls Centre.
Cornwall made a great resurgence in the final session as they won all four mats and the bonus points from 20-8 behind, to take the contest to a tie break.
Dominic Reed and Barry Hedges won their individual tie breaks to take the win and will play Cheshire Premier next week.
Essex made a great start to the match with an early 6-2 lead, Hedges put the first two points of the board with a 19-9 victory. Adam Sultana had a tight affair against Cornwall’s team manager Nigel Nicholls but managed the win on the deciding end to win 12-10. Reed and Babs Morokutti swept aside Elise Daniels pairing 16-10. The final game of the session in the pairs, Mitchell Young and Matt Dillon fell to a 14-10 defeat to the consistent David Studden and his partner.
Neither side could gain an advantage in the second session, Jack Shepard’s triple with Linda Lambert and Tony Ealham were behind for the entirety but kept the score down as they lost 14-8. Mo Binstead, Barry Clarke and Paul Bax after switching came from 9-3 down to snatch the victory on the final end as they won 10-9. The fours also had a mixed bag as Debbie Tomlinson, Tony Orpin, Nigel Reed, Keith Paxman strode into an early lead and won 14-7. The final game before the break, Sammy Lambert, Rachel Cordy, Steve Killington, and Anthony Fautley had a tight encounter against team captain Peter Hore but the Cornwall quartet came out on top as they won 10-6.
Essex led 10-6 at the break and were infront on three of the four bonus points.
Essex extended their advantage with another 6-2 session, Sultana breezed to a 23-7 victory. Hedges made a late fightback but could not manage to gain anything from the game as he lost 14-12, but still wrapped up the bonus points in the singles. Reed (Junior) and Morokutti had a comfortable 19-9 win, Young and Dillon also won 16-12 to respond from their first match to take bonus points and go into the last session 20-8 infront.
Essex only needed a point to go through but Cornwall had other ideas as Lambert, Clarke and Bax were heavily beaten 13-2. The other triple, Binstead, Ealham and Shepard were holding game on the last end from 9-5 down but Nick Truscott’s last bowl stopped the Essex side from the victory, as they won 10-5 and lost the bonus points. Tomlinson, Orpin, Reed (Senior) and Paxman could not stay with the Cornwall four as they fell to a 14-7 defeat. The last to finish was Lambert, Cordy, Killington and Fautlley needing three to take Essex through but lost 11-9 and failed to hold on to the bonus points as it went to the tie break.
In the tie break Essex opted for Hedges, Reed (Junior) and Fautley and Cornwall elected for Hore, Nicholls and Studden. In the first tie break Reed faced Studden and won as Studden missed his last bowl, to give Essex a 1-0 lead. Fautley faced Nicholls and had his final bowl to win the match for Essex but just ran through. The decider was Hedges who faced Hore, Hedges put the pressure on and Hore’s last bowl was poor, to give Essex the victory to face Cheshire in the semi-final.
Essex will play Cheshire at Church Gresley next week, joined by Essex A who will face Somerset A.
Matt Dillon- 6/10
Mitchell Young- 6/10
Jack Shepard- 5/10
Rachel Cordy- 7/10
Keith Paxman- 6 ½ /10
Debbie Tomlinson- 6 ½ /10
Anthony Fautley- 6 ½ /10
Tony Ealham- 6/10
Tony Orpin- 6/10
Nigel Reed- 6/10
Adam Sultana- 8 ½ /10
Babs Morokutti 8 ½ /10
Barry Hedges- 8 ½ /10
Barry Clarke- 7/10
Mo Binstead- 6/10
Linda Lambert- 6/10
Sammy Lambert- 7/10
Paul Bax- 6/10
Dominic Reed- 9 ½ /10 *
Steve Killington- 6/10