Cambridge Short Mat Bowls

Essex A qualify but fall just short of top spot

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Essex A confirm qualification to the knockout stages of the Inter County Championship after a 22-18 victory over Cambridge at Deanes School.

The hosts needed 17 points to consolidate their place into the later stages of the tournament after overturning a 16-12 deficit in the final session to land the spoils over Cambridge.

Essex missed out on first place in the group by a single point, after Norfolk A came through 29-11 winners over local rivals Suffolk.

Essex got off to a good start in the singles, as Pauline Childs won 15-7 and Shirley Walker followed suit as she held on to win 13-11.

In the pairs Essex did not fare so well, as Cambridge evened up proceedings with County Manager David Chittock and Carol Taylor going down 18-7. The other pair Phil Glenister and Peggy May went down 17-10 to level the session 4-4.

Essex kicked on in the second session, as the triples followed on from where the singles left off, as Eileen Smith-Allen, Andy Philbrick and Rob Wade won comfortably 17-7. Shirley Banner, Pat Goodchild and Tony Ealham were 18-8 victors.

In the fours Essex continued the momentum, as Jodie Robinson, Rob Taylor, Alan High and John Wade came through 10-7 winners in a tight battle against the Cambridge quartet. Colin Addis, Brenda Crowe, Roger Dover and Peter Debenham edged out Cambridge with a 13-12 thriller to lead 12-4 at the break.

After the break Essex struggled to maintain their high level of performances, as Cambridge took full advantage as Childs lost 20-8 and Walker was well beaten 28-4 – which gave Cambridge the bonus points in the singles.

The pairs suffered a similar fate, as Chittock and Taylor were defeated 21-8 and Glenister and May also lost 19-7 as Cambridge swept up the session to take the pairs bonus points – to take the overall lead for the first time with the game poised 16-12.

But Essex were not going to just give up with qualification four points away, as Smith-Allen, Philbrick and Wade cruised to victory 22-8 with Banner, Goodchild and Ealham also won handy 15-6 to take the bonus points in the triples, secure their place in the knockout stages and regain the lead 18-16.

Essex finished strong, as Robinson, Taylor, High and Wade won a thriller at the death 16-15. Cambridge denied the clean sweep in the last session as Addis, Crowe, Dover and Debenham lost 14-11 but held on to the bonus points by two shots to complete the 22-18.

Essex now look ahead to the rinks which takes place at the weekend, as Essex head to Surrey to face Kent, Herefordshire and Surrey with two sides qualifying for the finals in January.

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Essex A superb away victory sends them top

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Essex A now top their Inter County Championship group with a brilliant team performance to gain a comfortable 33-7 away victory over Cambridge.

Essex were six points behind Cambridge before the match but a strong first half performance was carried throughout the day to now lead the charge to qualify out the group.

In the first session Pauline Child went back into here natural singles position and set Essex of with a 19-8 win. Shirley Walker also followed suit, as she came through 15-9.

The pairs continued the momentum, as Carol Taylor and county manager David Chittock won convincingly 22-8. But Essex were denied the clean sweep, as Phil Glenister and Andy Philbrick were held at 13-13 to take a healthy 7-1 lead.

In the second session, Essex continued to push as Eileen Smith-Allen, Neil Paul and county captain Rob Wade edged out the Cambridge trio 13-12. Essex’s other triple Pat High, Pat Goodchild and Tony Ealham were held at 11-11 to take a well earned point.

In the rinks, Josie Robinson, Bob Taylor, Alan High and John Wade found enough to get over the line 12-11 winners. Essex’ other quartet, Peggy May, Colin Addis, Brenda Crowe and Paul Bax stormed to a 23-5 win. To take a 14-2 lead into the break.

After the break, Essex did not let up on the pressure as Childs held on to claim her second victory 14-13. Walker followed the pattern with a comfortable 22-7 win to take the bonus points – for maximum points in the singles.

In the pairs, Glenister and Philbrick were well beaten 21-8 for Essex’ first defeat of the day. However, Chittock and Taylor counteracted the loss with a 15-9 victory to also claim the bonus points in the pairs. To put Essex in a commanding 24-4 lead.

In the final session, Essex did not let up as Smith-Allen, Paul and Wade won 16-6. High, Goodchild and Ealham had another tight encounter as they drew 9-9 as the triples claimed their bonus points.

In the fours, May, Addis, Crowe and Bax lost 17-7 for only theor second loss of the day. Robinson, Taylor, High and Wade made it two from two with a 12-5 victory to claim all bonus points available

Essex now leapfrog Cambridge to stretch their lead to 20 points and now extend their unbeaten run to three back-to-back victories. They now look ahead to the visit of Norfolk in two weeks where Essex look to continue their push for qualification.