England Short Mat Bowls

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.

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Essex close the gap on Kent

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Essex Premier claimed back to back victories in the Inter County Championship with a 22-18 away win at the New Line Learning Academy.

Essex made a dent in the deficit to Kent as their victory now leaves them just 12 points behind the hosts.

Dave Chittock’s side were without more key players as Dave Wooler, Alan Jones, Barry Hedges and Dom Reed were all unavailable.

In the first session Essex had a slow start, as Mitchell Young was edged out 13-11 to Kent’s singles player.

Essex’s transferee Jake Atrill was also narrowly beaten 13-12 to Kent’s team manager Tim Rycraft.

In the pairs, Essex found some joy as Babs Morokutti and Chris Coates won 16-9 against Nicky Bartlett’s duo. 

The other pair Alan Kay and Del Coates lost out 18-10 as Essex fell 6-2 behind after the first session.

In the second session, Essex hit back with strong results all round as Greg Wade, John Pye and Mark Chittock won well against the Gary Allard’s trio 18-9.

The other triple, Emily Poulter, Phil Banner and Nigel Reed got another comfortable victory 15-7. 

In the fours Essex kept their foot on the pedal, as Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert, Matt Dillon and Anthony Fautley won handy 16-6 against Tom Coles’ quartet.

The other rink, Mo Binstead, Jonathan East, Steve Killington and Keef Paxman also flew to victory 17-11 to take the clean sweep and surged into a 10-6 lead at the break to turn the tie on its head.

In the second half, Essex singles woke up and Atrill took a well earned 16-10 win.

Young also made hard work after coming from 14-9 down to take a shock 17-14 victory to swoop the bonus points by six shots.

Essex had a hard time in the pairs, as Coates and Morokutti lost 19-13 to the Kent duo.

Coates and Kay also came off on the wrong end of a defeat as they were edged out 14-13. Kent took the bonus points in the pairs with Essex remaining four points in front at 16-12.

In the final session Kent found their second wind similar to the reverse fixture, as Poulter, Banner and Reed lost 16-8.

Essex’s other trio Wade, Pye and Chittock got Essex over the line as they won 12-9 and claimed the bonus points.

The fours struggled, as Arthur, Linda, Dillon and Fautley lost heavily 18-8. 

Whereas Binstead, East, Killington and Paxman were narrowly beaten on the last bowl by Coles in a 10-9 thriller but held on to the bonus points to complete the 22-18 victory. 

Essex now continue on their travels, as they face Surrey in two weeks time where they look to close the gap further on Kent to hunt down a qualification spot.

The other game in the group, Kent will travel to Norfolk on 22nd of October.

Essex Premier record narrow home victory

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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 A endure narrow defeat

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Essex A’s late fightback was not enough as they lost 23-17 to Norfolk A in their ICC opener.

Essex has a poor start similar to their counterparts but a late surge gave them a positive result to take into next weeks home clash against Suffolk.

The visitors were also without key players such as Tony Hayes, Pat High, Brenda Neil, Kay and Peter Debenham who were all unavailable.

Essex kicked off with a poor start, as Pauline Childs suffered a last end defeat 15-14. Roger Dover also found trouble in his singles, as he lost 16-7.

In the pairs Andy Philbrick and Paul Glenister were also on the end of a tight 15-14 defeat. Norfolk completed the clean sweep, as Peggy May and County Captain David Chittock lost 14-11.

Essex responded in the second session as Eileen Smith-Allen, debutant Neil Paul and County A team Captain Rob Wade won 15-9. 

In the other trio Paul Reed, Brenda Crowe and Shirley Walker fell to a 19-4 defeat.

In the fours Jodie Robinson, Bob Taylor, Alan High and John Wade edged out the Norfolk four to take a 10-9 victory.

The other quartet Carol Taylor, Colin Addis, Pat Goodchild and Jonathan East won comfortably 14-4 to bring Essex back into the contest, as they trailed 10-6 at the break.

In the second half Essex struggled to continue their momentum, as Childs was narrowly beaten 12-10. Where Dover was also well beaten 19-8 to secure the bonus points for Norfolk. 

In the pairs, Philbrick and Glenister won Essex’s only game of the session 15-9. With May and Chittock going down 19-5, as Norfolk took the pairs bonus points and a 20-8 lead into the final session.

In the last session, Essex showed true grit despite the scoreline, as Smith-Allen, Paul and Wade won 13-7.

The other trio Reed, Crowe and Walker nearly followed suit but had to make do with a 14-14 draw, as Norfolk held on to the bonus points by three in the triples.

The fours continued where they left off, as Robinson, Taylor, High and Wade won 15-9. 

Taylor, Addis, Goodchild and East also took a convincing 17-3 victory to take the bonus points and session victory.

Essex’s late 23-17 comeback could prove vital later in the group stages. This gives them a good stepping stone for next weeks home encounter where they face Suffolk.

Essex Premier lose ICC opener

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Essex Premier were defeated 27-13 by Norfolk in the Inter County Championship opener at Hingham Sports & Social Club.

Norfolk stormed into a healthy which was enough to see off Essex.

Essex were without key players for the match, as Alan Jones, Matt Dillon, Nigel Reed, Dominic Reed, Sheila and Roger Brooker were all unavailable.

In the first session Norfolk imposed their home advantage, as Barry Hedges lost 13-9 to Jack Pye.

Mitchell Young was also out muscled in the singles by Gary Best who won 14-9. 

In the pairs, Chris Coates and Babs Morokutti lost out to John Turner and Dave Lamb 14-8. The other Essex duo Paul Bax and Derek Coates also came off to a similar defeat 17-11 to Norfolk County Captain John Sparham as the hosts took a clean sweep.

In the second session, Norfolk continued their early pressure as Maureen Binstead, Alan Kay and Dave Wooller recovered well to only suffer a 18-11 defeat to the Norfolk trio headed by Simon Willies. 

The other triple, Greg Wade, John Pye and Mark Chittock gained Essex’s first points of the day with a 15-8 victory against Keith Cooke’s triple.

In the fours, Essex were edged out in both as Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert, Phil Banner and Antony Fautley lost 9-6 to Norfolk County manager and skip Selwyn Goldsmith. 

The other quartet Shirley Banner, Emily Poulter, Steve Killington and Keef Paxman also lost 8-7 despite being infront for a large spell of the match. 

For Norfolk to take a healthy 14-2 lead going into the break.

After the break, Essex settled and started to find their way as Young beat Pye 13-8. Although Hedges lost 17-10 to Best to claim the bonus points for Norfolk in the singles.

In the pairs, Coates and Morokutti stormed to a 17-4 victory. Coates and Bax were just edged out on the last end in a 11-10 thriller to split the bonus points overall. 

Which secured the overall victory for Norfolk as they lead 21-7 going into the final session.

But Essex did not give up and battled on to collect some vital points. Despite both triples struggling as Binstead, Kay and Wooller fell to a 17-7 defeat. Wade, Pye and Chittock also found themselves on the end of a heavy 21-6 defeat with Norfolk taking both bonus points.

However the fours had better joy, as Arthur, Lambert, Banner and Fautley managed to get passed the Norfolk four 12-6.

Banner, Poulter, Killington and Paxman also found a way passed Goldsmith’s quartet 11-9 to also take the bonus points.

To claw important points for Essex to conclude the ICC opener 27-13.

Essex Premier now look to next week where they host their first ICC match of the new campaign at their new venue against Kent. 

Essex Premier knockout out by West Sussex

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Essex Premier were knocked out of the Inter County Championship quarter-finals by West Sussex 25-15, at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.

West Sussex despatched the Essex side in three sessions, to reach only their third semi-final in their recent history. 

Essex manger David Chittock stuck with the majority of the side that overcome Herefordshire, which left some regular Essex players out of the side.

Essex got off to a miserable start, as Alan Jones lost 24-3 to Jack Rollings. 

In the pairs, Shirley Walker and Greg Wade were beaten by the West Sussex duo 21-6. With Babs Morokutti and Keith Paxman also going down 16-12 to the West Sussex pair.

Antony Fautley was the only saving grace for Essex in the opening session, as he edged out Chris Page 13-12 which gave West Sussex a 6-2 lead.

In the second session, West Sussex continued to dominate as they beat Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Mark Chittock 18-4. Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham responded as they won 14-8.

In the fours Essex again struggled, as Shirley Banner, Sheila Booker, Roger Booker and Phil Banner were heavily beaten 14-4. In the other four, Pat High, Emily Poulter, Steve Killington and Mitchell Young were held to a 11-11 draw. 

West Sussex then gained a healthy 11-5 lead into the break.

Essex made changes at the break, as reserve Paul Bax was substituted into the singles in place of Alan Jones. Ian Arthur also moved into the pairs with Shirely Walker. Shirley Banner sat out, as Linda Lambert slotted into the four and Jones into Mark Chittocks triple.

West Sussex secured the victory after the break, as Rollings edged past Fautley 13-12. Substitute Bax ran Page close but was also beaten 14-10 and claimed the bonus points.

In the pairs Morokutti and Paxman also were defeated 18-5. The newly formed pair Walker and Arthur was the only win of the third session for Essex, with a healthy 16-6 victory but lost the pairs bonus points. To claim the overall match 21-7.

Despite the defeat Essex played on and made the scoreline slightly more respectable, as Binstead, Kay and Ealham won both their matches of the day with a 13-8 win.

The other newly formed triple Wade, Chittock and Jones also won comfortably 16-5, which overturned the bonus points in the triples.

In the fours High, Poulter, Killington and Young came from behind to nick the win on the last 13-12. 

The final four to finish Booker, Lambert, Booker and Banner lost out on the final end as they lost 14-12 for West Sussex to take the bonus points in the fours.

West Sussex will now face Cornwall in the semi-finals in two weeks time. With the other semi-final being West Midlands vs ICC reigning champions Norfolk.

Essex Premier claim opening away victory

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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.