PREVIEW: Harlow Town v BRENTWOOD TOWN

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Harlow Town v Brentwood Town at Barrows Farm Stadium
Ryman League North

as Mitchell Young looks ahead…

Brentwood Town continue their good form in to the New Year as they are once again on their travels to promotion pushers Harlow Town on Saturday.

After staging a great comeback away from home to Dereham Town last weekend Brentwood stretch to four game unbeaten run. With two goals in seven minutes from super sub Tony Martin to snatch a point from a two goal deficit.

Brentwood progress their league form with only one loss in their last eight games and are slowly climbing up the table away from the relegation zone.

Harlow Town have better form with only one loss out of their last 12 games in all competitions and sit comfortably in fifth position, going in to the game with confidence after a 3-1 win over Kingstonian in the Cup on Tuesday.

Brentwood will have to stop Harlow’s top goal scorer Alex Read with 27 goals this season but Brentwood have shown great spirit with fight backs recently against Barkingside and Dereham Town.

Both sides haven’t met so far this season, so who will come out on top as 5th place Harlow Town host 19th Brentwood Town?

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Essex A topple Norfolk to secure second place

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Essex A had a great team performance to beat Norfolk in their final group game to secure second place in the group and progress in the knockout stages after a 24-16 win last Sunday.

The first session got Essex of to a good start Phil Banner and Frank Amoss won 19-12 in their opening game. The other pair Dave Amoss and Shirley Banner narrowly won with a 14-12 victory to get Essex into a good lead. Roger Dover responded for the home side to put another two points on the board with a 19-10 win. Pauline Childs could not cap off a great first session for Essex as she went down 24-6 to a great performance from Neil Davidson. As they head in to the second session the home side took a deserved 6-2 lead.

The second session was again good for Essex as Ian Arthur, Stewart Blackhall and Paul Cairns won 11-7. The other triple with Rita Blackhall, Eileen Smith-Allen performed very well together winning convincingly 18-5. The rearranged fours also did well with Peter Snelling, Brian Daley, Rose Hambelton and Peter Debenham winning 15-6. However the other changed four was unable to complete the clean sweep as Danny Curl, Alan, Heather Amoss and Peggy May lost 15-3. But at the break the home side were in the lead 12-4, a platform they hope they can build on in the second half to rack up the points to make sure of second place.

The third session was another good performance by the home side as they carried on their good form throughout the day as Pauline won to make up for her earlier lose with a 16-8 win. However Roger could not turn over the in-form Neil Davidson to lose 15-6. Dave and Shirley also made their day two out of two as they won another tight game 15-12. Although Phil and Frank could not complete win as they suffered a 22-5 loss, with both bonus points going to the away side to claw the points back.

As both sides went in the final session it was 16-12 with Norfolk closing the gap on the home side. However it was not looking good for the home side as both triples suffered losses as Ian, Stewart and Paul lost 15-12 and Rita, Eileen and Pat after being 10-6 up could not hold on and lost 11-10. The fours had better luck and retained the situation as Peter, Brian, Rose and Peter won a respectable 9-3 and Danny, Alan, Heather and Peggy finished off the day with a comfortable 10-3 win. The home side they took both bonuses in the triples and fours, as the triples kept both losses to a minimum finishing the day with a 24-16 win.

Essex put them selves 33 points in front of Suffolk as they played Cambridge the following day but could ot manage the task Essex had set. This puts both Norfolk and Essex in to the knockout stages of the A team knockouts in January.

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Essex finishes in style to top the group

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Essex Premier restored top spot in the last ICC group game after a great team performance to win 38-2 after only needing 23 to top the group last Sunday.

Barry Hedges kicked off proceedings with a 13-10 win after being 13-3 up, took his foot off the pedal for Chris Mann to shorten the deficit thinking ahead of the shots for the bonus points later on. The other singles game for the home side Mitchell Young could not repeat the same. After being close at the half way stage at 8-6, Trevor Brown continued to extend the gap and won comfortably 16-6. Little did we know that was to be the only lose for the home side, with Dom Reed partnered with his Dad, Nigel Reed got the points on the board with a 21-13 win against Nigel Willard and Jack Barrett. The other pairing for the home side Babs Morokutti and Adam Sultana saw off Norfolk’s young pair Josh Baxter and Morgan Warnes to win 16-10. Taking a 6-2 lead in to the second session.

The second session has superb performances from the triples with Dave Sifford, Tony Ealham and Matt Sifford winning in style after taking a 9-0 lead early on, went on to finished up 19-4. The other triple including Mo Binstead, Paul Bax and Peter Faultey come from 9-3 down dug in deep and clawed back the deficit end by end to win 12-10. The fours had a less stressful task as Sadie Young, Linda Lambert, Steve Killington and Anthony Faultey gained an 8-0 lead two thirds of the way through and kept the difference to win 11-3. The partnering four Sammy Lambert, Mark Chittock, Mark Saunders and Jack Sheperd got an early 7-0 lead and held on to win 9-6. Going into the break with a 14-2 lead needing only nine points in the next two sessions to top the group.

The third session was terrific from the home side with four great individual performances from each team. As Mitchell was in a tight battle with Chris Mann but managed to pull away near the end and make up for his morning performance to win 18-10. Barry also completed a great win against Trevor Brown to win 20-8. The pairs matched the singles with a solid win for Babs and Adam as they came through 14-6 against Nigel Willard and Jack Barrett. Dom and Nigel responded with an even better score line of 21-6 against young pairing Josh and Morgan. The home side securing both sets of bonus points after a turnover of seven shots in the singles to make the score 26-2, with the last session remaining.

Norfolk were looking to regain some pride in the final session but Essex were not determined to let up with great spirit from the whole team. The triples continued their good form with a 11-5 win for Dave, Tony and Matt. The other triple made hard work of their victory after being 6-3 behind, again kicked on and gained a 10-5 lead but only scraped the win with a 11-10 victory. The fours also make hard work of their wins as Sam, Mark, Mark and Jack took an early 7-3 lead and hung on to win 9-7. The final four to finish Sadie, Linda, Steve and Anthony finding themselves 6-3 after dropping a six dug in deep and needed three on the last end. With John Sparham left with last bowl to clear one of the three counting bowls managed to sneak through the gap for the home side to complete the win 38-2. As Mitchell finishes up being the only player to lose for the home side, after a great team performance fm Essex Premier to top the group.

Essex will now have to wait for the draw to see who they will meet in the knockout stages of the ICC which will be played in late January.

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Essex A lose out at Cambridge

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Essex were looking to cement second place with a good performance at Cambridge but could not manage a away victory and suffered a 26-14 defeat.

The away side got of to a terrible start in the first session as in-form Pauline Child lost out narrowly 12-10. The loses continued as Roger Dover lost out 13-20, with the pairs following in the footsteps as Dave Amoss and Shirley Walker suffered a 15-10 loss. The other pairing went down heavily as Frank Amoss and Phil Banner went down 21-8. With Essex still in shock the home side took an early 8-0 lead and the visitors had it all to do in the second session.

The second session was a much better performance by Essex to steady the ship and bring them back into the game. With wins for both fours as Shirley Banner, Maxine Horn, Rose Hambelton and Peter Debenham won convincingly 13-2. The other four Rachael Cordy, Danny Curl, Paul Cairns and Peggy May also won well with a 13-9 win. The triples also continued the winning streak as Rita Blackhall, Eileen Smith-Allen and Pat Goodchild won comfortably 17-7. Although the other triple could complete a clean sweep as Stewart Blackhall, Heather Amoss and Brian Daley narrowly lost out 12-10. The score line was balanced out at the break with Essex only trailing 10-6 after their bad start.

In the third session Essex showed once again they were not going to lie down with the tight games swinging towards the away side. With two closely fought matches for Pauline and Roger but both came out on top in the end both winning by the same score 13-12. But unfortunately lost out on the bonus points. The pairs also responded as Frank and Phil make up for their early lose and won 17-11. Although Dave and Shirley could not complete the sweep as they lost 21-12, also losing the bonus points in the pairs too. Going in to the final session Essex were still trailing 16-12, but were still in with a chance in the final session.

However the final session did not go to plan with another poor session as Cambridge took all four mats. After a good win for Rita, Eileen and Pat in their first they could only manage a 11-7 defeat. The other triple also suffered a loss as Stewart, Heather and Brian lost 13-5 resulting in the bonus points going to the home side. The fours could not stop the rot as Shirley, Maxine, Rose and Peter went down 11-5 and Rachael, Danny, Paul and Peggy also fell to a 11-6 lose. The fours however kept their losses to a minimum and snatched the bonus points in the fours after their earlier wins.

Essex A went down 26-14 after getting them selves back in to the game going to the last session but just let the game slip away from them. This keeps them second but more pressure is put on them to get a good score at home to Norfolk only being nine points in front of Suffolk to secure their place in the knockouts.

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Essex Premier get job done at Surrey

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Essex Premier visited Surrey in their second to last game of the group stages needing as many points as possible to keep the pressure on Norfolk at the top.

Essex came away with a 28-12 win which was satisfactory for the away side and were hoping for a Norfolk slip up the following day as they played Northampton at home.

The first session kicked off with a full house session for Essex with straight wins for Barry Hedges with a 22-7 win and Mitchell Young with a 17-9 win after seeing out the pressure in the middle period at 9-9. The pairs also got the points in the bag as Adam Sultana and Babs Morokutti during a tight game pulled away in the last few ends to win 14-9. Dom Reed and Peter Faultey stormed home with a … win also to complete the 8-0 going into the second session.

The second session had nearly a repeat of the first with a 9-5 win for the triple Paul Bax, Dave Sifford and Matt Sifford, getting their points on the board. The other triple Sadie Young, Tony Ealham and Nigel Reed however could manage a win and lost 6-8 the only game in the session for the visitors. The fours had better luck with wins for both team all be it narrow as Mo Binstead, Linda Lambert, Steve Killington and Antony Faultey won on the last end to nick the win 6-5. The other four: Sammy Lambert, Dave Chittock, Keith Paxman and Jack Sheperd despite going 13-1 up and in full control nearly lost after being six down but Jack’s last bowl saved the game to only drop two, winning 13-10.

Going into the break Essex were comfortable into a 14-2 lead and in front on all the bonus points but they needed to keep their foot on the gas to keeping racking up the points.

The third session had a split session as both singles slipped up after a tight game throughout Mitchell’s game was unfortunate despite going 12-11 in front last end dropped a two to lose 13-12. Barry although coming back from 9-1 down got back to 12-12 with two ends to play but could kick on to win and lost 17-12. Whereas the pairs resumed order as Adam and Babs won 18-13 and Dom and Peter completed a 18-9 victory. With both loses in the singles the bonus points were still held on too from the first session results and the pairs comfortably secured theirs. Leaving the score going in to the last session 22-6.

In the final session the triples were not too successful for Essex with both teams losing as Paul, Dave and Matt went down 13-6 and the other triple Sadie, Tony and Nigel were well beaten 16-5. As Surrey strengthened the triple to win big and it paid off for Mrs Johns, Ben Ottley and Mark Jones. Unfortunately costing the bonus points for Essex as well. The fours had better luck as Mo, Linda, Steve and Antony had a less stressful game with a 13-5 win. Jack’s rink nearly fell into the same trap after going ahead 15-7 but manage held on to win 15-10.

To conclude the day Essex finished up and secured a 28-12 win but Norfolk won convincingly at home 31-9 putting Norfolk five points in front at the top of the group. Going into the last game of the group stages at Stonyhills for both sides to battle out for top spot.

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PREVIEW: THURROCK v Witham Town

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Thurrock v Witham Town at Ship Lane
Ryman League North

Mitchell Young looks ahead…

Thurrock are hoping to continuing their great run as they give chase to claw VCD Athletic back at the top of the Ryan League North with Witham Town on Saturday.

The visitors had a great run of 11 games unbeaten in all competitions broken by Sohan Town Rangers as they were thumped 5-2 in the league on Boxing Day. Thurrock however are 11 league games unbeaten and will look to increase that with a win over Witham to continue putting the pressure on VCD as they try to close the five point gap at the top.

Both sides have met twice since the start of the season with the previous league meeting ending in a 2-2 draw. The latest encounter was in the Essex Senior Cup where Witham come out on top with a 2-1 win but without the Cup feel how will the game pan out?

PREVIEW: Dereham Town v BRENTWOOD TOWN

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Dereham Town v Brentwood Town at Aldiss Park
Ryman League North

Brentwood Town look to continue their good run of form after getting back to back wins with a win against Barkingside last weekend. Brentwood have picked up 10 out of a possible 15 points with a new lease of life from new joint management Adam Flanagan and Danny Dafter as they increase the gap to fours points away from the drop zone. ’The Blues’ travel to Dereham Town who have also won three of their last five games currently sitting in ninth spot three points off the playoffs. Brentwood’s goals in their last two games have come from their centre-half’s Bobby Port and Martin Stokes with two goals each. Both sides will be looking not to lose to continue their good run of form, can Brentwood get themselves a well earned point away from home or even better and take all three points?