Essex Premier knockout out by West Sussex

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Essex Premier were knocked out of the Inter County Championship quarter-finals by West Sussex 25-15, at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.

West Sussex despatched the Essex side in three sessions, to reach only their third semi-final in their recent history. 

Essex manger David Chittock stuck with the majority of the side that overcome Herefordshire, which left some regular Essex players out of the side.

Essex got off to a miserable start, as Alan Jones lost 24-3 to Jack Rollings. 

In the pairs, Shirley Walker and Greg Wade were beaten by the West Sussex duo 21-6. With Babs Morokutti and Keith Paxman also going down 16-12 to the West Sussex pair.

Antony Fautley was the only saving grace for Essex in the opening session, as he edged out Chris Page 13-12 which gave West Sussex a 6-2 lead.

In the second session, West Sussex continued to dominate as they beat Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Mark Chittock 18-4. Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham responded as they won 14-8.

In the fours Essex again struggled, as Shirley Banner, Sheila Booker, Roger Booker and Phil Banner were heavily beaten 14-4. In the other four, Pat High, Emily Poulter, Steve Killington and Mitchell Young were held to a 11-11 draw. 

West Sussex then gained a healthy 11-5 lead into the break.

Essex made changes at the break, as reserve Paul Bax was substituted into the singles in place of Alan Jones. Ian Arthur also moved into the pairs with Shirely Walker. Shirley Banner sat out, as Linda Lambert slotted into the four and Jones into Mark Chittocks triple.

West Sussex secured the victory after the break, as Rollings edged past Fautley 13-12. Substitute Bax ran Page close but was also beaten 14-10 and claimed the bonus points.

In the pairs Morokutti and Paxman also were defeated 18-5. The newly formed pair Walker and Arthur was the only win of the third session for Essex, with a healthy 16-6 victory but lost the pairs bonus points. To claim the overall match 21-7.

Despite the defeat Essex played on and made the scoreline slightly more respectable, as Binstead, Kay and Ealham won both their matches of the day with a 13-8 win.

The other newly formed triple Wade, Chittock and Jones also won comfortably 16-5, which overturned the bonus points in the triples.

In the fours High, Poulter, Killington and Young came from behind to nick the win on the last 13-12. 

The final four to finish Booker, Lambert, Booker and Banner lost out on the final end as they lost 14-12 for West Sussex to take the bonus points in the fours.

West Sussex will now face Cornwall in the semi-finals in two weeks time. With the other semi-final being West Midlands vs ICC reigning champions Norfolk.

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