Mitchell Young reports on his highlights of the sixth St George’s Cup…
The South were victorious in the sixth instalment of the St George’s Cup and remain unbeaten to lead the series 6-0 with a 43-25 win, as the North hosted at Solihull Indoor Bowls Club.
The North and South of England put their rivalries to one side, as they raised an amazing £7,550 for Great Ormand Street Hospital.
The North’s most valuable player for the weekend was Danny Landon who remained unbeaten for the weekend along with Dom Reed for the South.
On day one, in the opening pairs session the South took an early 6-2 lead with bragging rights for the South Captain Anthony Fautley partnered with Gareth Davies as he won 21-6 over the North Captain John Manley paired with Martyn Simcock.
An Impressive 21-14 victory also went to debutant Callum ‘Gaggle’ Goodman paired with Melvin Woods, as they played their part in the first session advantage against Josh Towey and Glyn Berrisford.
Mike Ivings and James Smith snatched the race to 21 as they won 21-19 to beat Keith Lacksford and Adam Smith on his debut for the North.
The North’s victories came from pairings John Lax and Alan Jones in a 21-20 nail biter, along with former South player Jack Shepard and Kevin Siddle to win 21-16.
The South then mirrored the first session with another 6-2 victory win, with standout victories for Bronaugh Toleman and Steve Stanton coming from 12-1 down to win 21-19.
North Victories went to Cheshire duo Keith Smith and Ste Tinsley, as they won 21-19 in another tight match against Steve Killington and last year’s Captain Mark White.
The other win for the North went to northern MVP Langdon and Allan Williams, as the South went into the break with a 12-4 advantage.
In the afternoon, the North came back at the southerners in the third session in the fours as they won three of the four games and the newly introduced extra point – for the overall shot difference to bring it back to 13-8.
Huge wins for the northern quartet Towey, Lacksford, Langdon and Smith with a 20-8 victory over Toleman’s rink and Lax, Simcock, Lowery and Manley despatched the southern four 28-7.
In the final session of day one, the South upped their game to retrieve the dropped points and take the session victory 4-1 and restore the eight-point lead for 17-9 at the end of day one.
Brindley (Junior), Pegg, Willies (Senior) and Follis (Junior) was the only win for the North against AJ Brown’s rink as South victories were headed by Fautley, Reed (Junior) and Smith.
On day two, the North went in search of building some momentum for themselves, as they won three of the first four games in the fours and the extra point for a 4-1 victory on the first four games.
Due to the South Captain losing the sponsorship challenge of raising the most money, Faultey’s forfeit was a sorrow one after his 20-14 defeat cost him 20 shots of alcohol.
In the other fours, the South regained the deficit to win all four fours’ and the overall point to win the session 6-4 and extend their total to ten points at 23-13 – going into the singles.
The North’s comeback hopes were dwindling, as they won just three of the first eight singles through Follis (Junior), Captain Manley leading by example and a first singles win in the St George’s Cup for Micheal Tandy as he beat Toleman (Mrs) 21-6.
The South needed six points to retain the Cup, but the North were not bowing down as the next eight were split four each.
Shepard edged out the wobbly South Captain Fautley 21-19, after his forfeit in the fours found himself dazed.
Simon ‘Pieman’ Pridham was the man to get the South over the line and claim the victory, as he won 21-11 against Easthope. The southerners took confidence from the overall win and took the third set of singles 6-2.
The South claimed five of the final eight singles matches with North wins for Berrisford, Wiggins (3rd Best) and Willies (Senior). To complete the 43-25 victory for the South with a record breaking amount raised in the St George’s Cup, for the brilliant charity GOSH.
A big thanks goes out to all the players, supporters, the SGC committee and all those behind the scenes for their sponsorship support, fantasy bowls, raffle and bonus ball which contributed to the cause – surpassing all expectations, long may it continue.
For more information on the weekends scores, teams, players or about the St George’s Cup in general then check out the SGC website http://www.stgeorgescup.co.uk/index.html.