Essex topple Surrey to snatch qualification from Kent

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Essex Premier qualified for the knockout stages of the Inter County Championship after a 27-13 victory over Surrey Premier at Deans School.

Essex managed to secure second place after Kent lost 27-13 at home to Norfolk as Essex qualified by 12 points.

Dave Chittocks’ side were without some key players as Dom Reed, Nigel Reed, Jake Atrill and Alan Jones were all unavailable.

Essex had a positive opening session, as Mark Chittock come home strong to win 18-12.

Captain Mitchell Young could not follow suit, as he lost 15-13.

In the pairs Essex had better joy as Babs Morokutti and Chris Coates won handy 21-3. Whereas Del Coates and John Pye came back from 12-6 to settle for a point at 14-14 – to give Essex a 5-3 lead.

In the second session Essex turned the screw as Greg Wade, Phil Banner and Dave Wooler won 12-9.

The other triple, Kay Debenham, Emily Poulter and Paul Bax were victorious 16-6.

Essex fours produced much of the same as Mo Binstead, Ian Arthur, Steve Killington and Keith Paxman won 17-7.

The other Essex quartet Alan Kay, Linda Lambert, Matt Dillon and Anthony Faultey were edged out 11-10 to go 11-5 in front at the break.

In the second half, Essex found some resistance from Surrey, as Chittock lost 17-9. But Young came through 19-7 to take the bonus points in the singles.

Peter and Jan Smith beat Morokutti and Coates for Surrey 15-7.

Coates and Pye were on hand to take a 16-11 win and the bonus points to extend Essex’s overall lead to 19-9.

In the final session Essex did not let up as Lambert, Kay, Dillon and Fautley won well 13-5 to set Essex on their way to the knockout stages.

The other four Binstead, Arthur, Killington and Paxman were well beaten 19-3 to snatch the bonus point at the death by one shot.

Essex’s trio Wade, Banner and Wooler fought back well late on but just lost out 11-10 on the last end.

The final triple Debenham, Poulter and Bax came through strong 16-7 to take the bonus points and Essex through to the knockouts.

Essex now look ahead to the rinks qualifiers in two weeks at Wey Valley where Essex will face Wilkshire and last years champions Northampton.

Where Essex will look to cap off a successful first half of the season.

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