Norfolk Short Mat Bowls Association
Essex A were defeated 25-15 at home in the group stages of the Inter County Championship to Norfolk A at Deanes School.
Essex missed their first opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages with a game to go in the group, as they remain top but only by six points now after their defeat to second placed Norfolk.
Norfolk came out the blocks flying, as Shirley Walker was just edged out 13-10 by Robbie Lamb – whereas Pauline Child fell to a defeat on the final end 14-13.
In the pairs, Essex also had a hard time as Shirley Banner and Phil Glenister went down 16-7. Carol Taylor and County Manager David Chittock denied Norfolk the clean sheet after they came back from the depths of defeat to snatch a 15-14 victory late on, to end the session 6-2 behind.
Essex withstood the Norfolk pressure in the second session, as Pat High, Pat Goodchild and Tony Ealham won 15-10. Unfortunately Eileen Smith-Allen, Andy Philbrick and County Captain Rob Wade were beaten comfortably by the Lamb trio 17-8.
In the fours Essex had a mixed bag as Josie Robinson, Brenda Crowe, Bob Taylor and Alan High were narrowly defeated 12-9.
The other Essex four including Peggy May, Colin Addis, Peter Debenham and Jonathan East could not be separated by the Norfolk quartet as they drew 8-8 – with Essex 11-5 behind at the break.
In the second half, Essex still found it difficult to break Norfolk down and could not make a dent in their lead, as Child went down 16-7 to Lamb. But walker counteracted Childs’ defeat to win handy 14-7 as Norfolk took the bonus points.
Banner and Glenister were just beaten at the death as they lost 12-11 with Taylor and Chittock also going down 20-8. Norfolk claimed another set of bonus points, as Essex only took two points from the session for Norfolk to secure the overall win with a 21-7 advantage going in to the final session.
Essex battled on and doubled their overall score in the progress, with both triples coming through High, Goodchild and Ealham 15-8 and Smith-Allen, Philbrick and Wade storming to a 26-5 victory to overturn the four shots to take the bonus points.
In the fours Essex again had a mixed bag as Robinson, Crowe, Taylor and High took a slender 8-6 win. Although May, Addis, Debenham and East went down 15-8 and lost out on the bonus points in the fours to complete the 25-15 defeat to Norfolk.
Essex now look ahead to their final group game at home to Cambridge where a victory should be enough to qualify them for the knockout stages, as their opponents Norfolk will travel to Suffolk on the same day in three weeks’ time.
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