Essex and Norfolk both qualify for knockouts

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Essex Premier secured their place into the knockout stages of the Inter County Championship with a 22-18 victory over Norfolk Premier in the East Anglian derby at Stonyhills.

Both Premier and A sides for both teams all qualified for the knockout stages.

Essex Premier only needed eight points to qualify and got those before the half time break.

The hosts were without two key players Peter Fautley and Dave Wooller who were both unavailable.

Essex started the first session slowly but finished strong with three superb comebacks.

Nigel Reed came from behind to beat Chris Mann 17-13.

His son Dom Reed came back also to be level on the final end and snatch victory with the final bowl against Gary Best.

In the pairs, family duo Chris Coates and Del Coates came from two behind last end to take the win 14-13 against John Sparham and Simon Warnes.

Norfolk denied Essex the clean sweep, as Jack Pye and Morgan Warnes won comfortably 20-4 against Shirley Walker and Greg Wade – with Essex taking a 6-2 lead and needing just two points to qualify.

In the second session, Essex got their points to qualify for the knockouts before the break. With Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Alan Jones securing Essex place with a 10-6 win over Keith Cooke’s trio.

The other triple, Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham lost 14-6 against Melvin Woods triple.

The Essex fours had good solid results as Babs Morokutti, John Pye, Steve Killington and Keef Paxman edged out Dave Lamb’s quartet to win 13-10.

Paul Bax, Phil Banner, Mark Chittock and Mitchell Young just had enough to take the victory by the same margin 13-10 against Simon Willies’ four. 

Essex took the session 6-2 again to have a healthy 12-4 lead at the break.

In the second half, Reed (Junior) made it two wins from two with a 23-8 win over Mann to secure the bonus points in the singles.

Reed (Senior) battled hard against Best but came off the later as he went down 21-12.

In the pairs, Coates pairing were just held off 13-9 by Pye and Warnes.

In the other pair, Walker and Wade came from behind to take the win 16-12 over Sparham and Warnes (Senior) but lost out on the bonus points in the pairs to lead 18-10 in the last session.

In the final session, the game hit its flat point, as both teams had qualified but Norfolk nearly grabbed the overall victory.

With Arthur, Lambert and Jones going down 14-6 to Woods’ trio and Ealham’s triple just narrowly lost in the end 13-12 to Keith Cooke’s triple and Norfolk took the bonus points.

The fours for Essex had a mixed bag as Morokutti, Pye, Killington and Paxman fell to a 14-2 defeat to draw Norfolk back level 18-18.

The final fours match was Bax, Banner, Chittock and Young who came through comfortably 20-5 to take the bonus points and the overall victory 22-18.

Both Norfolk and Essex Premier will face a preliminary knockout round and with a clash of date for the preliminaries to be played in February. It will be touch and go for Essex to see if they can get a side out.

Premier Table 

Norfolk Pl 6 Points 154

Essex Pl  6 Points 121

Surrey Pl 6 Points 107

Northants Pl 6 Points 98

Player Ratings:

Dom Reed 9/10

Nigel Reed 7.5/10

Chris Coates 7/10

Del Coates 7/10

Shirley Walker 6.5/10

Greg Wade 6.5/10

Ian Arthur 7/10

Linda Lambert 7/10

Alan Jones 7/10

Mo Binstead 6/10

Alan Kay 6/10

Tony Ealham 6/10

Babs Morokutti 7/10

John Pye 6.5/10

Steve Killington 7/10

Keith Paxman 6.5/10

Paul Bax 8.5/10

Phil Banner 8/10

Mark Chittock 8/10

Mitchell Young 8.5/10

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