Essex Premier progress to quarter-finals

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Essex Premier qualified for the quarter-finals of the Inter County Competition with a 31-9 victory over Herefordshire at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.

Essex secured progression to the next round after the third session to face Cornwall in a fortnights time.

In the opening session Essex started strong, as Dom Reed raced to a 19-7 win.

Chris Coates and Del Coates came through to take a handy 16-10 victory. The other pair Babs Morokutti and Alan Jones managed to edge out the Herefordshire duo 12-11.

Essex were denied the clean sweep, after Jake Atrill was beaten 19-7 to give Essex a 6-2 lead.

In the second session, Essex pressed Herefordshire as Greg Wade, John Pye and Mark Chittock won 13-7 against Hereford captain Becci Cox. The other Essex trio Phil Banner, Nigel Reed and Paul Bax came through 9-6 winners.

In the fours Essex continued the winning momentum as Ian Arthur, Steve Killington, Keith Paxman and Anthony Fautley won handy 12-5.

In the other fours, Essex were denied the maximum points in the session as Alan Kay, Emily Poulter, Mitchell Young and Barry Hedges were held 9-9 by the Hereford quartet but extended their overall lead to 13-3.

After the break, Essex were put under some pressure by Hereford as Coates and Coates went down 19-11. Morokutti and Jones agin had a tight encounter with the Hereford duo but again came through 13-10 to maintain their 100% win percentage and hold on for the bonus points in the pairs by two shots.

In the singles, Reed did enough to come through 11-7. Atrill again had a tough time as he was edged out 11-10 but denied Hereford the bonus points on the final end to secure the victory for Essex as they lead 21-7.

Essex then relaxed with qualification confirmed, but still did not let up as Arthur, Killington, Paxman and Fautley won comfortably 15-4.

Kay, Poulter, Young and Hedges after a re-shuffle midway through defied defeat to take a 10-7 victory and take the bonus points in the fours.

The triples had a mixed bag to finish as Wade, Pye and Chittock were defeated at the death 13-12. Banner, Reed and Bax brought home another handy victory 15-4 against Cox’s triple. To secure the triples bonus points and knockout Hereford to complete the 31-9 victory.

Essex now look ahead to their quarter-final clash against Cornwall in two weeks time back at Daventry.

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