Essex Premier lose ICC opener

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Essex Premier were defeated 27-13 by Norfolk in the Inter County Championship opener at Hingham Sports & Social Club.

Norfolk stormed into a healthy which was enough to see off Essex.

Essex were without key players for the match, as Alan Jones, Matt Dillon, Nigel Reed, Dominic Reed, Sheila and Roger Brooker were all unavailable.

In the first session Norfolk imposed their home advantage, as Barry Hedges lost 13-9 to Jack Pye.

Mitchell Young was also out muscled in the singles by Gary Best who won 14-9. 

In the pairs, Chris Coates and Babs Morokutti lost out to John Turner and Dave Lamb 14-8. The other Essex duo Paul Bax and Derek Coates also came off to a similar defeat 17-11 to Norfolk County Captain John Sparham as the hosts took a clean sweep.

In the second session, Norfolk continued their early pressure as Maureen Binstead, Alan Kay and Dave Wooller recovered well to only suffer a 18-11 defeat to the Norfolk trio headed by Simon Willies. 

The other triple, Greg Wade, John Pye and Mark Chittock gained Essex’s first points of the day with a 15-8 victory against Keith Cooke’s triple.

In the fours, Essex were edged out in both as Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert, Phil Banner and Antony Fautley lost 9-6 to Norfolk County manager and skip Selwyn Goldsmith. 

The other quartet Shirley Banner, Emily Poulter, Steve Killington and Keef Paxman also lost 8-7 despite being infront for a large spell of the match. 

For Norfolk to take a healthy 14-2 lead going into the break.

After the break, Essex settled and started to find their way as Young beat Pye 13-8. Although Hedges lost 17-10 to Best to claim the bonus points for Norfolk in the singles.

In the pairs, Coates and Morokutti stormed to a 17-4 victory. Coates and Bax were just edged out on the last end in a 11-10 thriller to split the bonus points overall. 

Which secured the overall victory for Norfolk as they lead 21-7 going into the final session.

But Essex did not give up and battled on to collect some vital points. Despite both triples struggling as Binstead, Kay and Wooller fell to a 17-7 defeat. Wade, Pye and Chittock also found themselves on the end of a heavy 21-6 defeat with Norfolk taking both bonus points.

However the fours had better joy, as Arthur, Lambert, Banner and Fautley managed to get passed the Norfolk four 12-6.

Banner, Poulter, Killington and Paxman also found a way passed Goldsmith’s quartet 11-9 to also take the bonus points.

To claw important points for Essex to conclude the ICC opener 27-13.

Essex Premier now look to next week where they host their first ICC match of the new campaign at their new venue against Kent. 

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