Essex A won their opening home game of the Inter County Championship with a close 22-18 victory over Suffolk at Deanes School.
The hosts had a brilliant final session to take the win, with a substitution at half time made by County Manager David Chittock which paid dividends for the victory, despite without several key players also.
Suffolk took the advantage in singles with two big wins, as Pauline Childs and Roger Dover lost 20-4 and 14-9.
The pairs again performed well unchanged from the previous week, as Peggy May and Chittock won 16-9. With Paul Glenister and Andy Philbrick followed up with a 19-14 win to level the session at four a piece.
In the second session, there was once again little between the sides as Sylvia Ealham, Eileen Smith-Allen and Neil Paul won well 22-11. Whereas Shirley Banner, Peter Harris and Brenda Crowe were beaten 20-8.
In the fours Essex did not fared similar, as Carol Taylor, Colin Addis, Pat Goodchild and Jonathan East lost 12-5. Whereas the other four, Josie Robinson, Chrisie Le Rosenger, Rob Taylor and Peter Debenham managed a small victory 10-7. To replicate the second session with two games a piece with the match poised at 8-8.
After the break, Essex made a substitution switching Childs out the singles with Harris in the triples but were out muscled in the singles as Dover lost heavily 29-3 and Harris 20-9 to lose out on the bonus points by a whopping 58 shots.
Essex’s pairs tried to compensate for the singles, as Phibrick and Glenister stormed to a 22-7 victory but Chittock and May were well beaten 29-3. However, held on to the bonus point by just one shot as Essex fell behind 16-12.
In the final session, Essex fought back with both triples coming through as Ealham, Smith-Allen and Paul won 14-7 and Banner, Childs and Crowe won 20-14. To secure the bonus points by 12 shots and went in front overall 18-16.
The Essex quartet finished with mixed results, as Taylor, Addis, Goodchild and East were just edged out 13-11. Robinson, Le Rosenger, Taylor and Debenham won comfortably 16-8 and snatched the bonus points to take the victory 22-18.
Essex lost out on overall shots 191-234, but now take that win into the reverse fixture away to Suffolk in two weeks where they look to repeat their victory.
Essex premier gained their first home victory after a slender 22-18 win over a resilient Kent side at Deanes School.
A brilliant second session from Essex was ultimately the difference between the sides as they swept the session and a took a commanding lead.
But a late surge from Tim Rycraft’s side in the second half put Essex on the back foot but managed to creep over the line with the bonus points.
Essex were again without key players as, Antony Fautley, Dave Wooler, Mo Binstead, Linda Lambert, Alan Kay and Dom Reed all unavailable.
In the first session, Kent took command of the singles as Rycraft beat Barry Hedges 16-10 and Matt Dillon lost heavily 23-9.
Essex had better fortune in the pairs, as Babs Morokutti and Chris Coates came from behind to snatch victory 16-14 over Nicky Bartlett’s duo. In the other pairing Del Coates and Paul Bax just got over the line to win 13-12 against the Kent pair – to split the session 4-4.
In the second session Essex took control of the tie, as Phil Banner, Nigel Reed and Alan Jones won comfortably 15-10.
The game of the session came in the other triple, as Greg Wade, Mark Chittock and John Pye came from 12-6 down to win late in the day 16-14 against Gary Allard’s trio.
In the fours, Essex has two debutants in the side Josh Woods and Jake Atrill alongside two veterans Ian Arthur and Mitchell Young who came through 12-5.
The other quartet, had yet another close match but Kay Debenham, Emily Poulter, Steve Killington and Keef Paxman edged out the Kent four to win 8-5. To take the clean sweep in the session, to lead overall 12-4.
After the break Kent came out and made it difficult for Essex, as they again cleaned up in the singles with Hedges and Dillon both being narrowly edged out 17-15 and 14-11. To bring the scores back to 12-8 as they picked up the bonus points.
But Essex found some points when needed, as Morokutti and Coates won with ease 20-10 and secured the bonus points. Despite Bax and Coates who lost 15-7, to leave Essex with a small advantage 16-12 going into the last session.
Essex’s reliable triples put the hosts close to victory, as Wade, Chittock and Pye won 15-13 against the Kent trio. The other triplet Banner, Reed and Jones lost on the final bowl as it agonisingly fell of the side of the mat after a pause for Allard’s triple to take an 8-7 win. Essex held on to the bonus points and got to the holy 20 points at that stage.
In the fours, Kent reversed the first round of fours, as Debenham, Poulter, Killington and Paxman lost out 10-8. The other quartet also came off worse, as Arthur, Woods, Atrill and Young lost 14-7 but despite defeat held on to the rink’s shots by one to take the 22-18 victory.
Essex lost overall on shots 198 to 189 but now take their opening win onto their travels, as they go to Kent 16 points behind them in third, for the reverse fixture in two weeks’ time where they look to repeat their victory.
Essex Premier opened their first home game in the Inter County Championship with a 20-20 draw against Northampton, at StonyHills Indoor Bowls Club.
The home side came from six points behind to get the draw. But Essex remain currently bottom of the group but with have a game in hand.
In the opening session, Northampton got off to a flyer and caught Essex unaware as Alan Jones returned to singles duty but bumped in Lee Hall who won 25-7.
Mark Chittock was also well beaten in his first Premier singles game, as he lost to Callum Beale 22-11.
In the pairs, Shirley Walker and Greg Wade’s match went to the wire against Chris Hopkins and his partner, but were just edged out 15-14.
Chris Coates and Peter Fautley were Essex’s saving grace in the first session, as Coates’ last bowl came in to win it and take the game 15-13.
To get Essex’s only points of the session, as Northampton lead 6-2.
Essex had a better second session, as Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Dave Wooller won comfortably 15-9.
Although Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham were narrowly beaten on the final end to lose 15-11.
Babs Morokutti, Steve Killington, Phil Banner and Keith Paxman sped to an early 13-0 lead. However, they were pegged back by Chris Western’s quartet but held on for the victory 14-10.
In the other fours, Shirley Banner, Brenda Crowe, John Pye and Mitchell Young came back from behind but could not find enough as they lost 12-8 against Edward Sawbridge’s four.
At the break, Essex trailed 10-6 in a game they much needed to win.
In the second half, the singles again struggled as Jones lost 14-7 to Beale.
Chittock gave it his best shot against Hall but just came up short on the final end as he lost 13-12 – as Northampton took the bonus points in the singles.
The pairs was better news for Essex, as Walker and Wade strode to a 16-7 victory against the Northampton duo.
Coates and Fautley looked to be in control, 11-8 up on the final end against Hopkins but dropped a three to draw 11-11. But held on to the bonus points in the pairs with Northampton now having a 17-11 lead.
Essex came back strong and Arthur, Lambert and Wooller ground out a 13-9 victory, to get Essex back on the comeback path.
Binstead, Kay and Ealham won 13-5 to secure the bonus points and level up the match 17-17.
Banner (Mrs), Crowe, Pye and Young made sure to win their second match and did 13-8 to give Essex the narrow overall lead 19-17.
Morokutti, Killington, Banner (Mr) and Paxman battled back from falling behind against Sawbridge’s quartet to nick the crucial last end. Despite defeat of 15-10 both sides split the bonus points in the fours to draw the overall match.
Essex’s next match is a tricky away game to Surrey where Essex need the victory to keep their qualification hopes on track.
Northampton Played 4 points 84
Norfolk Played 3 points 70
Surrey Played 4 points 70
Essex Played 3 points 56
Mark Chittock: 5/10
Alan Jones: 5/10
Shirley Walker: 7/10
Greg Wade: 7/10
Chris Coates: 7/10
Peter Fautley: 7.5/10
Ian Arthur: 8/10
Linda Lambert: 8/10
Dave Wooller: 8/10
Mo Binstead: 7.5/10
Alan Kay: 7/10
Tony Ealham: 7/10
Babs Morokutti: 7/10
Steve Killington: 7/10
Phil Banner: 7/10
Keith Paxman: 7/10
Shirley Banner: 6/10
Brenda Crowe: 6.5/10
John Pye: 7/10
Mitchell Young: 6/10
Essex Premier lost their first Inter County group match of the season with a 25-15 away defeat to Norfolk Premier.
Essex were without key players once again, as Peter Fautley and Alan Kay were out with illness and Matt Dillon, Debbie Dillon and Chris Coates all unavailable.
The current ICC champions now go back to the top of the table after the comfortable victory, as Essex settle in third.
In the first session the singles was tight early on but Gary Best pulled away against Mitchell Young to win comfortably 16-9.
Barry Hedges was heading for the victory going into the final end, until Chris Mann picked up a three to snatch the win 13-12.
In the pairs, Mark Chittock and Heather Clement were beaten by the young duo of Morgan Warnes and Jack Pye 19-8 – to take the first three matches for Norfolk.
Shirley Walker and Greg Wade rescued Essex from the whitewash, as they secured their victory on the final end to win 13-10 against Simon Warnes and John Sparham, as Norfolk took an early 6-2 lead.
The second session, was much of the same for Essex as Mo Binstead, Pauline Childs and Tony Ealham lost 18-8 against Melvin Wood’s trio.
Andrea Philbrick, Paul Bax and John Pye almost got a result from their match on the final end, but could only manage to get three as they lost 10-9 to Keith Cooke’s reliable triple.
In the fours, Babs Morokutti, Steve Killington, Keith Paxman and Anthony Fautley struggled despite their fightback as they lost 13-6 against David Lamb’s quartet.
Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert, Pat Goodchild and Phil Banner were Essex’s saving grace, as they won with ease 15-1 to give Essex a glimmer of hope for the second half.
Norfolk took a healthy 12-4 lead going into the break.
In the second half, Essex battled back as Hedges edged past Best on the last end to take a narrow 12-11 victory.
Young and Mann were tight throughout but Mann clawed back the two shot deficit on the final end to draw 13-13 as Norfolk claimed the bonus points.
In the pairs, Wade and Walker were kept at arms length by Warnes (Junior) and Pye to win 18-13.
Whereas Clement and Chittock came back from 12-7 down to win 16-13 and take the session win but lost the bonus points in the pairs.
Norfolk went into the last session with a 19-9 advantage and needed just one point to secure the overall victory.
Essex put in a better second half display, as Morokutti, Killington, Paxman and Fautley won comfortably 15-5 against substitute skip Selwyn Goldsmith and his four.
Arthur, Lambert, Goodchild and Banner almost pulled back at the death from 11-6 down but lost 11-10 to Lamb’s rink and claimed the bonus points in the fours for Essex.
In the triples, Binstead, Childs and Ealham fought hard for their narrow 12-11 victory over Cooke’s trio.
Although Philbrick, Bax and Pye fell to a heavy defeat 16-6 to Wood’s triple and dropped the bonus points in the triples to finish 25-15 to Norfolk.
This send Norfolk back to the top of the table, as Essex clamber into third two points behind Northampton.
Essex’s next test is the outfit of Northampton on 23rd October, for Essex’s first home match of the season.
Barry Hedges 7/10
Mitchell Young 6/10
Mark Chittock 7/10
Heather Clement 6/10
Greg Wade 7/10
Shirley Walker 7/10
Mo Binstead 8/10
Pauline Childs 7/10
Tony Ealham 6.5/10
Andrea Philbrick 7/10
Paul Bax 7/10
John Pye 6.5/10
Babs Morokutti 7/10
Steve Killington 7/10
Keith Paxman 7/10
Anthony Fautley 7/10
Ian Arthur 7/10
Linda Lambert 7/10
Pat Goodchild 8/10
Phil Banner 7/10
Essex Premier claimed a surprise 21-19 away victory in their opening Inter County group match at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.
Essex were without several key players ahead of their first ICC match with Debbie Dillon, Linda Lambert, Ian Arthur, Mitchell Young and current national triples champions Matt Dillon, Barry Hedges and Adam Sultana were all absent.
Many of last years ‘A’ team were given their opportunity in the Premier side for the tie and seized it.
Steve Killington was first up in the singles but he bumped into Northampton’s Lee Hall who won 22-5.
Last year’s ‘A’ team singles player Pauline Childs slotted into the other singles role and fought well against England International Callum Beale. With the game going to the wire at 12-12 last end but Beale snatched the victory at the end 13-12.
In the pairs, Greg Wade and Shirley Walker lost 13-6 against the Northampton pairing of C Drage and Thelma Hopkins.
Mark Chittock and Peter Fautley were Essex’s saving grace in the opening session, as they faced G Dormer and Chris Hopkins. Neither duo could be separated after 15 ends with a 14-14 draw.
Which gave Essex their only point of the session and trailed 7-1.
In the second session, Essex hit straight back as they often do with new trio Andy Philbrick, Paul Bax and John Pye – who won 15-7.
The other triple, was unchanged from last year as Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and team captain Tony Ealham replicated their teammates as they won 17-9 – to take maximum points for the triples.
In the fours, Babs Morokutti, Phil Banner, Keith Paxman and Antony Fautley won convincingly over Ed Sawbridge’s quartet 20-7.
In the final game of the first half, new fresh Premier blood was involved in the fours, as Eileen Smith-Allen, Pat Goodchild, John Wade and Rob Wade were beaten 11-7.
At the break Essex had pulled back after their bad start to trail 9-7.
In the second half, Childs then faced Hall which she came off second best despite her best efforts as she lost 15-9.
Killington also had a tough time against Beale who won 17-8 and Northampton comfortably claimed the bonus points in the singles.
In the pairs, Fautley (Senior) and Chittock (Chittock) won 17-8 to put Essex in a two shot lead on the bonus points in the pairs.
The other duo, Wade (Junior) and Walker went to the wire as they were narrowly beaten by Hopkins (Mr) 14-13 but took the pairs bonus points by one shot.
Northampton extended their overall lead to 17-11 after their 8-4 session win – needing just four points to take the match.
But Essex had other ideas, as Binstead, Kay and Ealham made it two wins from two as they held on to win 12-11 to get the visitors off and running for the comeback.
The other triple were unfortunate not to also take a victory as Philbrick, Bax and Pye were just beaten 14-11. Although Essex took the two extra bonus points in the triples.
Smith-Allen, Goodchild, Wade and Wade managed to grind out their win 8-5 against Sawbridge’s rink, to bring the score back to 19-17 with one match remaining.
Morokutti, Banner, Paxman and Fautley brought it home for Essex with another huge victory 19-4 to level the scores and secure the bonus points to take an overall 21-19 away win.
In the other group fixture Surrey travelled to the current ICC champions Norfolk. Where Surrey were beaten 23-17.
Essex now look to carry their confidence into the next group game, on the 9th October with another away trip this time to top of the table Norfolk.
This leaves county manager Dave ‘The Tinkerman’ Chittock with a headache over selection as some absentees return for the tough outfit of Norfolk.
Mitchell Young evaluates his season so far and previews his chances in the final Short Mat Players Tour (SMPT) event coming up this weekend…
Currently sitting 22nd in the Order of Merit, which takes into account this seasons performances I want to end this 2015/16 season with my best performance yet.
Considering I missed the first two events due to being away on holiday, overall I don’t think it’s been a bad effort, even if I say so myself! However, the competitiveness in me is saying that’s good but not good enough.
Back in November I competed in my first European Masters over in Herentals, Belgium where I managed to reach the final 16, but eventually lost out to fellow Englishmen, Nigel Reed who in all fairness played me off the park.
In between the ranking events was the World Fours and Pairs, where I had my best weekend’s performance in the SMPT and made it through to the semi-finals in the Fours and collected a whopping £32.50 in prize money.
The Pairs was also a strong finish having reached the quarter-finals, with fellow Tour player, Dan Winmill.
Then on it was over to Stromstad in Sweden for the start of 2016. I was really getting used to this jet-set lifestyle. It was probably one of the best events I’d attended with great hospitality and facilities, but performance wise, I had a disappointing tournament – falling at the first knockout hurdle in the last 64.
Fast forward to the English Masters in February and I had a solid performance, reaching the last 16 for the second time this season, before being knocked out by Pauline Beattie – one half of the 2014 World Pairs Champions.
As we tee up for the final SMPT event of the season, The World Masters in Belfast, where 210 players will battle it out for one of the biggest prizes in Short Mat bowls.
Currently sitting 35th in the World Rankings, which takes into account ranking points from the last three seasons, I feel that this is a comfortable reflection of where I’m at, but I know I still have a lot more to give and achieve.
Pushing past the last 16 seems to be my nemesis at the moment – I haven’t been able to progress past this stage since the SMPT’s first year where I managed a quarter-final place, but with less players.
This year has not been my best in Short Mat bowls and if I’m honest probably one of my worst, however as the season comes to an end I still want to finish it as best I can.
So I’m going into this tournament my eyes firmly fixed on achieving a spot in the SMPT World Cup, where the top four highest ranked players in each country will represent their country in the World Cup – which will take place before the first event of the new season in August.
Although I need to have the best performance I have ever produced to get close to snatching a late spot (currently sitting 8th in England 109 points off a World Cup position).
A good preparation for the tournament is the 2 Bowl World Masters on Friday, which will get my arm in ready for the tournament at the Weekend.
Wish me luck!
For more information and updates on how I get on at the Short Mat Players Tour then check out the http://shortmatplayerstour.com/
Essex Premier extended their pole position finish in their final Inter County group match with a healthy 25-15 away victory over Oxfordshire, at the Regal Centre.
Essex were without numerous players including manager Adam Sultana, Barry Hedges, Matt Stifford and Mo Binstead but still stuck to the job at hand – to progress to the knockout stages.
Mitchell Young and Matt Dillon stepped up into the singles with Young getting Essex off the mark after a 14-6 win over Gareth Davies. Dillon found himself behind early on and struggled to get back into the game despite his best efforts lost 15-13.
Chris Coates and Peter Fautley continued their superb partnership with a 14-9 victory over the Oxford pairing skipped by AJ Brown. Babs Morokutti and Keith Paxman tried their best to find a way through Geoff Brown and Dave Wiggins but could not find enough, as they lost 15-10 – to split the session 4-4.
In the second session, the Essex triples had a tough time as Shirley Banner, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham fell to a 13-6 defeat. Also Tony Orpin, Paul Read and Phil Banner went behind and to lose by the same scoreline.
The fours had more fortune, as Del Coates, Rachael Cordy, Steve Killington and Craig Burgess held off the Oxford quartet to win 8-5. Debbie Dillion, Linda Lambert, Paul Bax and Anthony Fautley pulled away towards the end of their game to win comfortably 18-5 – as both sides went into the break level at 8-8.
After the break, Young continued his good start, as he won 20-4. Dillon followed up with a 15-10 win over Davies – to claim the bonus points.
Fautley (Senior) and Coates (Junior) showed their promising partnership, as they won 15-6. Morokutti and Paxman struggled once again against Brown and his counterpart, but Paxman saved the bonus points with his last bowl as they lost 16-7 – to split the points and gave Essex a 17-11 lead.
In the final session, Banner, Kay and Ealham found themselves in more trouble – resorting to damage limitation as they lost 21-6. Orpin, Read and Banner put their first game behind them, as they won 13-6 but unfortunately was not enough to recover the bonus point deficit.
The fours carried on where they left off, as Dillon, Lambert, Bax and Fautley (Junior) held off a late attack from the Oxford four as they won 10-8. Coates (Senior), Cordy, Killington and Burgess also maintained their lead despite a last end gasp, with a 10-8 victory and the bonus points to complete the 25-15 win.
Essex will now await their opponents in the knockout stages, after the festive break in search of their first ICC premier title.
Craig Burgess: 7 1/2 / 10
Matt Dillion: 7/10
Debbie Dillion: 8/10
Mitchell Young: 8/10
Peter Fautley: 8/10
Chris Coates: 8/10
Babs Morokutti: 4/10
Keith Paxman: 4/10
Tony Orpin: 5/10
Paul Read: 5 1/2 /10
Phil Banner: 5 1/2 / 10
Shirley Banner: 3 1/2 /10
Alan Kay: 4/10
Tony Ealham: 4/10
Linda Lambert: 7/10
Paul Bax: 7/10
Anthony Fautley: 7/10
Del Coates: 7/10
Rachael Cordy: 6 1/2 /10
Steve Killington: 7/10