Norfolk Premier won their first Inter County Competition title since 1999, after they swept aside Essex Premier 22-6 at Daventry Indoor Bowling Club.
Norfolk put on a terrific team performance to despatch Essex in the East Anglian derby, as Essex ended the weekend with their second runners up trophy.
It was Essex’ fifth attempt at the prestigious trophy but once again came up short and were convincingly beaten.
The game was conceded by the Essex side after the third session, as the game was beyond them.
Essex flew out the blocks in the opening session, team manager Adam Sultana asserted himself as he won 22-8 against Chris Mann. Norfolk battled back, as Neil Davidson was too strong for Hedges’ as he won 16-10.
In the pairs Jack Pye and Dave Lamb kept Mitchell Young and Matt Dillon at arms length to win 14-9. Father and son duo, Chris Coates and Del Coates held on to take the victory 14-12 over Simon Warnes and John Sparham, to level the session 4-4.
In the second session Norfolk started to pile on the pressure, as Debbie Dillon, Racheal Cordy, Steve Killington and Craig Burgess were edged out on the final end despite a comeback to lose 10-8 against Norfolk manager Selwyn Goldsmith. In the other fours skipped by Anthony Fautley along with Babs Morokutti, Linda Lambert and Keith Paxman could not find a way back from their slow start, as they lost 10-9.
The triples did not have better fortune either, as Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham were held off by Keith Cooke’s trio to win 11-8. The only glimmer of joy for Essex in the session was Phil Banner, Dave Stifford and Matt Stifford who beat Melvin Woods’ contingent 15-11. Which gave Norfolk a 10-6 lead going in the break.
Norfolk kicked on in the singles and pairs, as Hedges was beaten 19-8 by Mann. Davidson again showed his superb form with a 13-11 victory over Sultana and to claw the singles bonus points from the eight shot deficit.
Coates’ pairing came from a slow start to get back in with a fighting chance against Pye and Lamb but Norfolk were just too strong as they lost 17-11. The match was unfortunately put out of reach for Essex, as their fate was sealed after Dillon and Young lost 13-9 to Warnes and Sparham. For Norfolk’s first ever ICC title.
Sultana then revealed to the Essex players that he will step down as county manager, due to personal circumstances.
I as an Essex player would like to thank Sultana for his hard work this season, on and off the mat and wish him all the best for the future.