Essex A’s late fightback was not enough as they lost 23-17 to Norfolk A in their ICC opener.
Essex has a poor start similar to their counterparts but a late surge gave them a positive result to take into next weeks home clash against Suffolk.
The visitors were also without key players such as Tony Hayes, Pat High, Brenda Neil, Kay and Peter Debenham who were all unavailable.
Essex kicked off with a poor start, as Pauline Childs suffered a last end defeat 15-14. Roger Dover also found trouble in his singles, as he lost 16-7.
In the pairs Andy Philbrick and Paul Glenister were also on the end of a tight 15-14 defeat. Norfolk completed the clean sweep, as Peggy May and County Captain David Chittock lost 14-11.
Essex responded in the second session as Eileen Smith-Allen, debutant Neil Paul and County A team Captain Rob Wade won 15-9.
In the other trio Paul Reed, Brenda Crowe and Shirley Walker fell to a 19-4 defeat.
In the fours Jodie Robinson, Bob Taylor, Alan High and John Wade edged out the Norfolk four to take a 10-9 victory.
The other quartet Carol Taylor, Colin Addis, Pat Goodchild and Jonathan East won comfortably 14-4 to bring Essex back into the contest, as they trailed 10-6 at the break.
In the second half Essex struggled to continue their momentum, as Childs was narrowly beaten 12-10. Where Dover was also well beaten 19-8 to secure the bonus points for Norfolk.
In the pairs, Philbrick and Glenister won Essex’s only game of the session 15-9. With May and Chittock going down 19-5, as Norfolk took the pairs bonus points and a 20-8 lead into the final session.
In the last session, Essex showed true grit despite the scoreline, as Smith-Allen, Paul and Wade won 13-7.
The other trio Reed, Crowe and Walker nearly followed suit but had to make do with a 14-14 draw, as Norfolk held on to the bonus points by three in the triples.
The fours continued where they left off, as Robinson, Taylor, High and Wade won 15-9.
Taylor, Addis, Goodchild and East also took a convincing 17-3 victory to take the bonus points and session victory.
Essex’s late 23-17 comeback could prove vital later in the group stages. This gives them a good stepping stone for next weeks home encounter where they face Suffolk.