Kent Short Mat Bowls

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.

Who is going to win the Premier ICC Rinks Competition?

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The finals of the new Premier Inter County (ICC) Rinks competition will take place on Saturday 5th March at Daventry Indoor Bowls Centre.

With the groups now drawn for the final, this years ICC finalists Essex have been placed in group two joined by West Sussex, Dorset and Somerset.

Somerset Premier will be looking to do the double in this new tournament by the English Short Mat Bowls Association, as their “A” team won the rinks event back in January.

Essex will go into the finals full of confidence, after they breezed through their qualifiers and secured a spot in the ICC final where they will battle it out with Norfolk on Sunday 6th March.

Somerset will go in favourites prior to start of play, with the highest qualification score but face a tough test in their group with a strong Essex side.

In group one, is Devon who will meet Surrey, Kent and Cornwall. All potential dark horses in the competition and will battle it out to get through into the knockout stages.

Kent and Devon were runaway winners in both their qualifiers and will want to carry on where they left off, despite facing each other in an interesting matchup ahead of the day.

Vote for who you think will take the rinks title.

Essex stroll into semis

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Essex Premier progress to the semi-finals of the Inter County Competition with a convincing 32-8 victory over Kent Premier at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.

Essex made short work of their close rivals with the result confirmed after the third session.

England Internationals Adam Sultana and Barry Hedges lead the team into an early advantage, as Sultana beat Tim Rycraft 17-8 and Hedges won 18-4.

The pairs on the other hand had two tight encounter, as Chris Coates and Del Coates secured their victory on the last end to win 12-10. In the final match of the session, Matt Dillon and Mitchell Young had to battle it out on the final end and came out on top, as they won 10-9 against the Kent pairing skipped by England International Nicky Bartlett. To complete a clean sweep of victories and lead 8-0. 

In the second session Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham surged to a 10-0 lead but only held on for a narrow 11-10 victory. The other Essex triple Paul Bax, Phil Banner and Matt Stifford found themselves behind early on and the Kent triple won comfortably 17-5. 

Anthony Fautley’s quartet with Babs Morokutti, Linda Lambert and Keef Paxman was tight throughout but thanks to a big count on the final end held on and won 14-8. The other four Debbie Dillion, Racheal Cordy, Steve Killington and Craig Burgess edged out the Kent four, as they had a 12-8 victory. To go into the break with a 14-2 lead.

In the second half Essex maintained their momentum, as Dillon and Young shook off the fightback from the Kent Pairing to win 14-11. Coates senior and junior kept their match tight despite defeat, as they lost 13-10 to claim the pairs bonus points. 

Hedges made it two wins from two, as he won 17-7 against Rycraft. Sultana put in another convincing win, as he won 28-2 to claim the maximum bonus points available and book Essex’s place into the semi-finals – with the scoreline at 24-4.

In the final session Kent were playing for pride and got some on the find end as Binstead, Kay and Ealham were beaten 9-8 by the final bowl from the Kent triple. In the other Essex triple Bax, Banner and Stifford came from 9-0 down early on, to overturn the deficit and win 20-11 but was not enough to win the bonus points in the triples. 

In the fours Dillon, Cordy, Killington and Burgess eased to a 13-3 victory. Morokutti, Lambert, Paxman and Fautley completed the rout after coming from behind early on to win 15-7.

Essex will now return next weekend to Daventry to face Devon in the semi-finals, after their playoff victory against West Midlands.

Player Ratings:

Adam Sultana 8.5/10

Barry Hedges 8.5/10

Mitchell Young 7.5/10

Matt Dillon 7.5/10

Chris Coates 7/10

Del Coates 7/10

Mo Binstead 7/10

Alan Kay 7/10

Tony Ealham 7/10

Paul Bax 6.5/10

Phil Banner 4/10

Matt Stifford 7/10

Debbie Dillon 8.5/10***

Rachael Cordy 7/10

Steve Killington 7/10

Craig Burgess 8/10

Babs Morokutti 7.5/10

Linda Lambert 7.5/10

Keef Paxman 7.5/10

Anthony Fautley 7.5/10

***Star Player***