England Short Mat Bowls
The North regained the St George’s Cup after another spectator 37-31 victory to bring the overall series at 5-2.
The St George’s Cup VIII raised over £12,000 for their chosen charities The Guide Dogs and The John Taylor Hospice.
The enormous amount raised will see a guide dog puppy be named and met by the St George’s Cup Committee. Money raised for The John Taylor hospice will enable an inpatient to be looked after for 11 days.
North Captain Bronagh Toleman made it back-to-back St George’s Cup titles.
Last years North wooden spoon winner Lee Webb turned the tables to remain unbeaten over the weekend to take the Darren Beardsmore award (MVP).
The Barry Brindley award (North Wooden Spoon) went to Ben Stanway.
On day one the running total raised edged close to fives figures before the start of play.
The South kicked off the first session with a narrow 5-3 lead in the opening session of the pairs.
With a notable win for MVP Webb and Malcom Follis (throw away pair) over Paul Seaman and Jake Atrill, for the North to stay in touch early on in the contest.
The North then found their voices and form, as they swept the session 6-2. Toleman’s blue army got crucial wins from Ellen Lunn & Matty Worden, Tony Colclough & Gareth Stanway over Alistair McCrea, James Bucknall, Gareth Davies and Chris Coates respectively.
Young Northern duo Liam Lowery and Callum Mitchell came from behind to take a narrow 21-20 victory over Tom Clough and Ollie Hipkiss, to take the lead 9-7.
In the rinks, the South were under the cosh early on as the North momentum continued. A late surge from the South across the board managed to overturn the situation to edge the session 6-4.
Day one concluded with the scores all square at 13-13, as the captains named their singles with some mouthwatering ties for day two.
Before start of play the total was at £11,000 and the competition poised for an epic finale.
Both Captains made minor tweaks to their sides for the fours and was a role reversal of day one.
The South started well but the North wrestled for an advantage and took both bonus points for a 6-4 session win, for a two point lead going into the singles at 19-17.
The North had a dream start taking the first five points in the singles. Chris Willies came from the jaws of defeat to beat South Captain Mitchell Young for an early momentum swing as Mitchell (Callum) took the North a step closer with a 21-20 win over Jason Mclean.
The South stopped the rot but could not gain enough ground the heap pressure on the North. Key victories for Alan Jones over Anthony Fautley, Nathan Cairnes over Simon Willies and Lawrence Moffat over Seaman saw the North on 31 points; four off victory.
The South then threw the kitchen sink at the North to notch six wins on the board to bring the scores at 31-28.
Toleman’s side then found their second wind and cranked the noise levels up a notch. Victories for Lowery, Ivan Lunn and Stanway (Senior) put the North one point away from the trophy.
The North clinched victory from none other than John Lax who beat debutant Karl Hudson 21-12, to erupt with joy as celebrations started with five matches left to finish.
The North regained the trophy and brought the overall series to 5-2 for the South with a grand finish to match the superb fundraising done by all players and supporters.
The South MVP who also remained unbeaten for the weekend was Gary Best who was awarded the Craig Burgess award. With the Richard Walker award (South Wooden Spoon) going to Chris Coates.
The new Steve White Outstanding Achievement award was set up by the SGC committee. This was awarded to Chris and Becky Willies for all their dedication and hard work behind the scenes for the SGC cause.
Both captains now pass the baton onto the next. Those nominated by each team was Nick Tideswell for the North and Karl Hudson for the South for the ninth instalment of the competition next year.
Essex Premier were edged out of the Inter County quarter-final in a three end tie-break against Cornwall at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.
Essex came from 16-12 down in the final session to level the scoreline at 20-20. After the bonus points were taken off the scores remained the same, so headed to the tiebreak which Cornwall took all three points to progress.
Cornwall got off to a flyer in the first session, as British Open champion Nigel Nicholls just held off Dom Reed to take a 12-11 victory. Jake Atrill had better fortunes for Essex with him coming through 16-14 against Peter Hore.
In the pairs Cornwall took control, as Chris Coates and Del Coates were beaten well 21-6. Babs Morokutti and Alan Jones also had a tough time as they lost 14-8. Which gave the South West side a comfortable 6-2 lead.
Essex knocked on the door for a way back in but Cornwall held strong. Greg Wade, John Pye and Mark Chittock were denied at the death 11-10. The other triple had a similar outcome as Mo Binstead, Nigel Reed and Paul Bax lost 15-8.
In the fours, Essex regained their composure as Ian Arthur, Steve Killington, Keith Paxman and Anthony Fautley won 10-6. The other four Emily Poulter, Phil Banner, Linda Lambert and Barry Hedges won 10-6 to go in at the break 14-6 behind.
In the second half Essex pressured Cornwall but were still denied as Atrill was defeated narrowly 11-9 by Nicholls. Reed was able to surpass Hore with a 14-10 victory which in turn secured the singles bonus points by one shot – which was maybe a sign that fortunes were turning for Essex.
In the pairs Morokutti and Jones suffered their second defeat 14-11. Coates and Coates managed to come from behind to win at the death 13-12. Cornwall took the bonus points for a 16-12 overall lead to leave the match poised going into the final session.
Essex threw everything they had at Cornwall with the situation they were in. The fours gave Essex a shot at the comeback as Arthur Killington, Paxman and Fautley won 10-9. Poulter, Lambert, Banner and Hedges followed suit with a 15-8 victory to claim the bonus points in the fours.
Cornwall were not going to lie down and regained some composure in the triples as Wade, Pye and Chittock went down 13-7 to leave the tie 18-18 with a game to play.
In the final triple to finish the situation left Essex needing a win to force the playoff, as bonus points were safe for Cornwall. Binstead, Reed and Bax battled away and despite being two behind on the last end, found three shots to win 15-14 and force the tiebreak.
Essex sent out Reed, Atrill and Fautley for the one end playoff. Where Cornwall named in-form Nicholls, Hore and David Studdon.
Nicholls stepped up to face Reed once again and despatched the jack in the ditch to give Cornwall a dream start.
Atrill was next up and was out played on the final end by Studdon which gave Cornwall the victory. Fautley also lost out to Hore in his tiebreak for a 3-0 victory, as Cornwall progressed in an epic quarter-final.
That calls an end to the premier’s season, as Cornwall now go into the semi-final in two weeks which we wish them all the best in the next round.
Essex will regroup and support the A team in their semi-final clash in two weeks against Devon A.
Essex A progressed to the quarter-finals of the ICC with a comfortable 26-14 victory over Stockport Metro at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.
Essex were level with Stockport at the break and were narrowly in front in the final session but kicked on late to secure victory in their first encounter with Stockport.
In the first session Jonathan East went down 16-10 to Peter Roberts.
Pauline Childs won convincingly 24-2 to give Essex a huge shot difference in the singles.
Essex manager David Chittock and Paul Glenister edged out the Stockport duo 14-11. Shirley Walker and Colin Addis lost out late on, as they lost 11-10 to D Lloyd and Mark Mchugh – to split the session 4-4.
In the second session, neither side could be separated as Eileen Smith-Allan, Andy Philbrick and A team captain Rob Wade were edged out 14-12.
Pat High, Pat Goodchild and Tony Ealham were also narrowly beaten 10-9.
The Essex fours were on top form as Josie Robinson, Bob Taylor, Alan High and John Wade won with ease 20-2. The other quartet Peggy May, Brenda Crowe, Roger Dover and Peter Debenham edged out the Stockport rink 12-11 – to level the overall score at 8-8.
In the second half, Essex turned the screw as East won 19-8 and Childs took a great 15-8 victory over Roberts to secure the bonus points.
Chittock and Glenister had a solid 16-12 win but Addis and Walker fell to a heavy defeat 20-4 which gave Stockport the bonus points in the pairs. With Essex leading 16-12 going into the final session.
Essex pressed Stockport for the victory as Smith-Allan, Philbrick and Wade strode to a 23-8 win. The other triple secured the overall win as High, Goodchild and Ealham won 17-9 to take the bonus points in the triples.
The fours then kept the scores tight as Robinson, Taylor, High and Wade were just beaten 9-8. Whereas May, Crowe, High and Debenham came through 12-9 winners and claimed the bonus points to take the overall victory 26-14.
Essex now look ahead to their quarter-final next weekend against Gloucestershire back at Daventry.
Essex A were denied a place in the Inter County Rinks final, after they went out on the head-to-head rule at the round robin stage at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.
Essex won their first two games against Dorset and Surrey before they were narrowly beaten by Somerset who progressed.
Essex kicked off the rinks finals against Dorset with Eileen Smith-Allan, Shirely Banner, David Chittock and Phil Banner who took a 9-7 victory.
Josie Robinson, Bob Taylor, Alan High and Pat Goodchild heaped the pressure on Dorset, as they came through 15-5 winners.
Essex then game managed the rest of the tie, as Pat High, Brenda Crowe, Roger Dover and Peter Debenham were narrowly defeated 10-9.
Kay Debenham, Carol Taylor, Paul Glenister and Pauline Child were also edged out 8-7 but won the overall contest for Essex by 10 shots.
Essex then went on to face Surrey where they continued their momentum as Robinson, Taylor, High and Goodchild won handy 15-7.
High, Crowe, Dover and Debenham pressed Surrey to increase their overall lead with a 12-7 victory.
Essex extended their advantage as Debenham, Taylor, Glenister and Childs won 15-9 – to give Essex a 19 shot lead.
The final four were the only defeat in the session for Essex as Smith-Allan, Banner, Chittock and Banner went down 11-6 which concluded another comfortable victory by 14 shots.
In the deciding match after lunch, Essex faced Somerset and needed to avoid defeat to progress.
Smith-Allan, Banner, Chittock and Banner took a narrow 15-13 victory. Somerset then hit back as Robinson, Taylor, High and Goodchild were edged out by the same scoreline 15-13 to leave the scores all level.
Nothing separated the two sides even after Essex’s third rink had finished as High, Crowe, Dover and Debenham drew 10-10 with the Somerset four.
The tie went down to the wire with, Debenham, Taylor, Glenister and Child unfortunately were beaten 14-7 to lose out by seven shots.
Essex despite a strong shot difference were knocked out on the head-to-head rule which saw Somerset progress to the final to face eventual winners Devon.
Essex now look ahead to the weekend where they go into ICC action in the last-16 where they will face Stockport alongside the Premier team.
Essex Premier were denied a place in the final of the Inter County rinks finals, after they lost their last group game to go out in the round robin stage at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.
Essex won their opening two group games against Northampton and Herefordshire but lost out to West Midlands.
In the opener, Essex got off to a flyer as Babs Morokutti, Nigel Reed, Keith Paxman and Dom Reed won 14-5. Then Greg Wade, Mark Chittock, Mitchell Young and Barry Hedges won comfortably 21-4 against Chris Hopkins’ rink.
The other two rinks had a mixed bag with Ian Arthur, Steve Killington, Jake Atrill and Anthony Fautley won handy 19-8 to Chris Terry’s side.
Derek Coates, John Pye, Chris Coates and Craig Burgess were the only rink that lost 11-9 to Edward Sawbridge’s quartet but Essex came through comfortable winners by 35 shots.
Essex kicked on in their second group match against Herefordshire, with Wade, Chittock, Young and Hedges who won 12-7.
Arthur, Killington, Atrill and Fautley really put the pressure on Hereford as they coasted to a 16-2 victory.
Essex then controlled the tie, as Coates, Pye, Coates and Burgess were edged out late on 10-9. With Morokutti, Reed, Paxman and Reed took a 15-12 win to take a 22 shot overall victory – to set up the final group game decider against West Mids.
Essex got out the traps well to start off with in the deciding tie but West Mids supremacy came through in the latter stages to sweep Essex aside.
Morokutti, Reed, Paxman and Reed were defeated 14-6 against Ross Dunkley’s quartet.
Essex then fell further behind as Coates, Pye, Coates and Burgess went down 19-10 to Mitchell Harvey’s rink.
Wade, Chittock, Young and Hedges came back to lose 17-11 against Alan Jones’ side.
Essex finished on a high as Arthur, Killington, Atrill and Fautley finished with a 11-9 victory over Scott Follis’ rink to become Essex’ top rink without defeat for the day.
West Mids progressed to the final with a 21 shot overall victory to face Cornwall in the final.
Essex now look to next weekend back in ICC action, as they face Herefordshire in the last-16.
Essex Premier made the finals of the Inter County Rinks competition, after two victories over Wiltshire at Guildford Indoor Bowls Club.
Essex were due to play Northampton in their group of three but due to the weather conditions were unable to get to the venue.
This left both sides Essex and Wiltshire qualified by default but agreed to play for first and second place in a double header.
Essex got off to a flyer as Greg Wade, Alan Kay who stepped in for Jake Atrill with him unable to attend due to the weather, Mark Chittock and Mitchell Young rattled to a 18-5 victory.
Derek Coates, John Pye, Chris Coates and Craig Burgess had to stick to the task a take a narrow 12-9 win.
In the other fours, Matt Dillon, Paul Bax, Steve Killington and Antony Fautley won handy 17-4 – to give Essex a 29 shot lead.
Babs Morokutti, Nigel Reed, Keith Paxman and Dom Reed came through 13-5 winners to win overall by 37 shots.
Essex then went up a gear in the second round against Wiltshire as Coates, Pye, Coates and Burgess made light work this time around to win 16-7.
Dillon, Bax, Killington and Fautley blew the Wiltshire four away with a 28-5 victory – with Essex already 32 shots to the good.
Reeds’ quartet added to the light hearted atmosphere, as Morokutti, Reed and Paxman won 21-9 to extend Essex’s advantage.
The final four to finish was Wade, Ian Arthur, Chittock and Young who came home comfortably 17-7 – to take a whopping 53 shot victory and top the group.
Credit goes out to the Essex and Wiltshire players that attended in such bad weather conditions.
Essex now look to the New Year for the finals of the rinks competition at the end of January.
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.