Norfolk Short Mat Bowls

Essex topple Surrey to snatch qualification from Kent

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Essex Premier qualified for the knockout stages of the Inter County Championship after a 27-13 victory over Surrey Premier at Deans School.

Essex managed to secure second place after Kent lost 27-13 at home to Norfolk as Essex qualified by 12 points.

Dave Chittocks’ side were without some key players as Dom Reed, Nigel Reed, Jake Atrill and Alan Jones were all unavailable.

Essex had a positive opening session, as Mark Chittock come home strong to win 18-12.

Captain Mitchell Young could not follow suit, as he lost 15-13.

In the pairs Essex had better joy as Babs Morokutti and Chris Coates won handy 21-3. Whereas Del Coates and John Pye came back from 12-6 to settle for a point at 14-14 – to give Essex a 5-3 lead.

In the second session Essex turned the screw as Greg Wade, Phil Banner and Dave Wooler won 12-9.

The other triple, Kay Debenham, Emily Poulter and Paul Bax were victorious 16-6.

Essex fours produced much of the same as Mo Binstead, Ian Arthur, Steve Killington and Keith Paxman won 17-7.

The other Essex quartet Alan Kay, Linda Lambert, Matt Dillon and Anthony Faultey were edged out 11-10 to go 11-5 in front at the break.

In the second half, Essex found some resistance from Surrey, as Chittock lost 17-9. But Young came through 19-7 to take the bonus points in the singles.

Peter and Jan Smith beat Morokutti and Coates for Surrey 15-7.

Coates and Pye were on hand to take a 16-11 win and the bonus points to extend Essex’s overall lead to 19-9.

In the final session Essex did not let up as Lambert, Kay, Dillon and Fautley won well 13-5 to set Essex on their way to the knockout stages.

The other four Binstead, Arthur, Killington and Paxman were well beaten 19-3 to snatch the bonus point at the death by one shot.

Essex’s trio Wade, Banner and Wooler fought back well late on but just lost out 11-10 on the last end.

The final triple Debenham, Poulter and Bax came through strong 16-7 to take the bonus points and Essex through to the knockouts.

Essex now look ahead to the rinks qualifiers in two weeks at Wey Valley where Essex will face Wilkshire and last years champions Northampton.

Where Essex will look to cap off a successful first half of the season.


Essex A fail first attempt to qualify

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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 edged out by Norfolk

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Essex Premier were narrowly defeated in the Inter County Championship 21-19 against Norfolk at Deanes School.

That now confirms Norfolk’s qualification into the knockout stages and top spot, with Essex now two points behind Kent after their 21-19 victory over Surrey yesterday.

Essex were without key players once again, Jake Atrill, Anthony Fautley and Paul Bax who were all unavailable ahead of the fixture.

The hosts flew out the traps, as Dom Reed and Jack Pye went head to head in the first singles match as they ended up unseparated at 13-13.

Mitchell Young had another battle with Gary Best and was just able to come through with a 15-13 victory.

The Essex pairs also applied the pressure, as Del Coates and Chris Coates held off Dave Lamb’s duo 14-11.

Babs Morokutti and Alan Jones followed suit with a 15-8 win over John Sparham and Simon Warnes. To give Essex a 7-1 lead.

Norfolk fought back in the second half, as Mark Chittock, Greg Wade and John Pye were beaten 13-7.

The other triple Phil Banner, Alan Kay and Nigel Reed also came off on the wrong end of a 19-7 defeat to Mark Linscell, Morgan Warnes and Simon Willies. 

In the fours Essex held their own with Mo Binstead, Ian Arthur, Steve Killington and Keith Paxman who won handy 16-5 against the Norfolk quartet. 

The other Essex four made up of Emily Poulter, Linda Lambert, Matt Dillon and Dave Wooller were unlucky to fall to a narrow 9-6 defeat.

For Essex to hold on to a slender 9-7 advantage at the break.

Norfolk then asserted their authority, as Pye held off Young 15-10. Reed was also just beaten on the last end by Best 11-10 for Norfolk to take the bonus points.

In the pairs, Sparham and Warnes just did enough to hold off Coates and Coates 16-15. The other pair Morokutti and Jones were also involved in a tight match but got the victory 13-12 and claimed the bonus points – as Norfolk took the lead for the first time overall 15-13.

The game went to wire, with Norfolk edging closer to the victory as Poulter, Kay and Reed were beaten 20-12 by the Norfolk trio headed by Keith Cooke.

Essex did snatch a victory in the triples as Wade, Chittock and Pye who picked up a big last end to overturn a 10-7 scoreline to win 12-10 but lost out on the bonus points.

In the fours Norfolk sealed the victory, as Melvin Woods quartet won comfortably 17-8 over Binstead, Arthur, Killington and Paxman to get to the 21 points.

Essex were not done yet, as every point counted for them with Banner, Lambert, Dillon and Wooller who won 13-8 victory and held on to bonus points to end up with 19 points. 

Essex now took ahead to three weeks time for the final round of matches as they host Surrey. 

While Norfolk travel to Kent where it becomes a one game shootout for Essex and Kent in order to snatch that final qualification spot.

Norfolk blow Essex away to take ICC title 

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Norfolk Premier won their first Inter County Competition title since 1999, after they swept aside Essex Premier 22-6 at Daventry Indoor Bowling Club. 

Norfolk put on a terrific team performance to despatch Essex in the East Anglian derby, as Essex ended the weekend with their second runners up trophy.

It was Essex’ fifth attempt at the prestigious trophy but once again came up short and were convincingly beaten.

The game was conceded by the Essex side after the third session, as the game was beyond them.

Essex flew out the blocks in the opening session, team manager Adam Sultana asserted himself as he won 22-8 against Chris Mann. Norfolk battled back, as Neil Davidson was too strong for Hedges’ as he won 16-10.

In the pairs Jack Pye and Dave Lamb kept Mitchell Young and Matt Dillon at arms length to win 14-9. Father and son duo, Chris Coates and Del Coates held on to take the victory 14-12 over Simon Warnes and John Sparham, to level the session 4-4. 

In the second session Norfolk started to pile on the pressure, as Debbie Dillon, Racheal Cordy, Steve Killington and Craig Burgess were edged out on the final end despite a comeback to lose 10-8 against Norfolk manager Selwyn Goldsmith. In the other fours skipped by Anthony Fautley along with Babs Morokutti, Linda Lambert and Keith Paxman could not find a way back from their slow start, as they lost 10-9. 

The triples did not have better fortune either, as Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham were held off by Keith Cooke’s trio to win 11-8. The only glimmer of joy for Essex in the session was Phil Banner, Dave Stifford and Matt Stifford who beat Melvin Woods’ contingent 15-11. Which gave Norfolk a 10-6 lead going in the break.

Norfolk kicked on in the singles and pairs, as Hedges was beaten 19-8 by Mann. Davidson again showed his superb form with a 13-11 victory over Sultana and to claw the singles bonus points from the eight shot deficit. 

Coates’ pairing came from a slow start to get back in with a fighting chance against Pye and Lamb but Norfolk were just too strong as they lost 17-11. The match was unfortunately put out of reach for Essex, as their fate was sealed after Dillon and Young lost 13-9 to Warnes and Sparham. For Norfolk’s first ever ICC title. 

Sultana then revealed to the Essex players that he will step down as county manager, due to personal circumstances. 

I as an Essex player would like to thank Sultana for his hard work this season, on and off the mat and wish him all the best for the future.

Essex Premier close gap on Norfolk

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Essex Premier are now only seven points behind Norfolk in their ICC group after a great team performance with a 31-9 victory against Oxfordshire at Stonyhills.

After Norfolk got a 30-10 away win at Northampton, Essex still have an uphill struggle with just Northampton to play at home.

Adam Sultana kicked of proceedings with a 14-8 win as he held of England teammate Gareth Davies to get Essex up and running.

Matt Dillon came from 10-4 down early on to hold the draw on the last end but fellow countrymen AJ Brown drew his last bowl as he won 14-11.

Dominic Reed and Babs Morokutti were edged out by Dave Wiggins’s pair as they lost 12-9.

Barry Hedges and Mo Binstead evened the session as they won 18-11 to level the session four apiece.

The second session was also close but Del Coates, Paul Bax and Mitchell Young made sure of their victory against Les Woodwood’s triple as they won 12-7.

In the other triple Shirley Banner, Linda Lambert and Jack Shepard fell to a 14-7 defeat to put Oxford just up overall on the triples bonus points.

Debbie Tomlinson, Heather Amoss, Nigel Reed and Antony Fautley held of their opposition four as they won 10-7.

Ian Arthur, Sammy Lambert, Tony Ealham and Keith Paxman had a tight game as they were one shot up on the final end but managed to hold on for the draw at 6-6. To edge the session 5-3 which put Essex 9-7 up going in to the break.

Essex began to turn the screw in the second half as Sultana did eventually shake off Brown as he won 16-12.

Whereas Dillon made slightly lighter work of his match as he beat Davies 15-9 and secured the singles bonus points.

Reed (Junior) and Morokutti came from a hefty 8-1 deficit after four ends but quickly got it back as they strode to a 19-12 victory.

Binstead and Hedges were held at arm’s length by Wiggins and could not find a way back as they lost narrowly 13-10 but won the pairs bonus points also by eight shots, to put Essex 19-9 in front.

In the final session, Essex kicked on again as Banner, Lambert and Shepard came from 13-11 down last end to take the win 14-13 with a great last end from the triple.

Coates, Bax and Young followed suit as they held off the Oxford triple to win 11-8 and secure the bonus points in the triples by three shots.

Tomlinson, Amoss, Reed (Senior) and Fautley did enough to continue the unbeaten session as they won 9-7.

Lambert, Ealham and Paxman had to regretfully see Ian Arthur pull out due to ill health and was replaced by Brian Daley. That did not faze the quartet who won 11-7 and claimed a clean sweep with the bonus points and a 31-9 victory.

Essex now close the gap on Norfolk as they now look to face Northampton at home in their final group game in a few weeks and also would like to wish a safe and speedy recovery to Ian Arthur.

Players Ratings

Adam Sultana 8/10

Dom Reed 7/10

Mo Binstead 7/10

Barry Hedges 7/10

Babs Morokutti 7/10

Matt Dillon 7/10

Del Coates 9/10*

Mitchell Young 8/10

Jack Shepard 7 ½ /10

Linda Lambert 7/10

Paul Bax 7/10

Shirley Banner 7/10

Debbie Tomkinson 7/10

Nigel Reed 7/10

Keith Paxman 7/10

Ian Arthur 7/10

Sammy Lambert 7/10

Tony Ealham 7 ½ /10

Heather Amoss 7/10

Anthony Fautley 8/10

Brian Daley 6 ½ /10


Essex stumble away at Norfolk

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Essex Premier were defeated 25-15 after a poor performance away to Norfolk as they took advantage to go top of the ICC group.

Essex were two points in front of the hosts but Norfolk now go eight points clear of Essex with two games left to play.

Adam Sultana kicked proceedings off against Chris Mann which was tight at the half way stage at 5-5 but Mann pulled away as he won 17-8.

Matt Dillon struggled after going 14-7 behind against Neil Davidson after nine ends but kept the score line down as he lost 16-12.

Mo Binstead and Barry Hedges could not overturn an early deficit but kept the tie tight for the bonus points with a 17-15 defeat to Jack Pye’s pairing.

Babs Morokutti and Dom Reed stopped the rot and savoured a clean sweep against John Sparham’s pair after they came from 11-5 down to go in front. They lost the lead going into the final end but Reed’s last bowl secured a much needed two points as Norfolk took an early 6-2 lead.

The second session was a slight improvement for Essex but losses still leaked as Del Coates, Mitchell Young and Jack Shepard lost despite swapping 11-7.

Linda Lambert, Paul Bax and Fred Gugeon also came from behind to get back to 10-10 with two ends to play but lost 15-10 against Melvin Woods’ triple.

Ian Arthur, Sammy Lambert, Tony Ealham and Steve Killington gained a valuable point on the last end after they got a four against David Lamb’s quartet to draw 9-9.

Debbie Tomlinson, Nigel Reed, Keith Paxman and Anthony Fautley romped home to win 14-3, with Norfolk going in at the break 11-5 up overall.

In the second half Essex were on the hunt for a comeback and for all Dillon’s efforts was edged out from being 8-5 in front as Mann won by three 13-10.

Sultana was on a mission to recover a 16 shot difference for the bonus points and it was in his sights at 18-2, with two ends to play. Davidson recovered on the last two ends which got Norfolk the singles bonus points as Sultana won 18-4.

Binstead and Hedges again went behind early on as they were 9-0 down after four ends and were kept at arm’s length by Sparham’s pair as they won 15-9.

Morokutti and Reed could not beat Pye’s pair as they also won 18-11 and secured the bonus points also in the pairs, which sewed up the win for Norfolk after the third session at 21-7.

The final session was a vast improvement with Essex’s first session win of the day as Coates, Young and Shepard controlled their match and won 15-6.

Lambert, Bax and Gugeon came off worse as they fell heavily to a 15-3 defeat against Cook’s triple which sealed the two bonus points for Norfolk in the triples.

Arthur, Lambert, Ealham and Killington put in a solid performance as they won comfortably 12-4 against substitute Selwyn Goldsmith’s four.

Tomlinson, Reed (Senior), Paxman, Fautley were 9-7 behind after six ends but responded and won 13-10 to gain the bonus points which finished the contest at 25-15.

Essex Premier will now look to bounce back next weekend as they host Oxfordshire at Stonyhills next Sunday.

Players Ratings

Adam Sultana 6 ½ /10

Dom Reed 7/10

Mo Binstead 6/10

Barry Hedges 6/10

Babs Morokutti 7/10

Matt Dillon 6 ½ /10

Del Coates 8/10

Mitchell Young 7/10

Jack Shepard 6 ½ /10

Linda Lambert 6/10

Paul Bax 5 ½ /10

Fred Gudgeon 5/10

Debbie Tomkinson 7/10

Nigel Reed 7/10

Keith Paxman 7/10

Ian Arthur 7/10

Sammy Lambert 7/10

Tony Ealham 7/10

Steve Killington 7 ½ /10

Anthony Fautley 9/10*


Essex Premier make it a hat-trick

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Essex Premier won a comfortable 23-17 against Norfolk Premier in their first home game of the season at Stonyhills.

Norfolk’s slow start found them 12-4 down at the break but brought themselves back into the game after the third session. Essex saw them off in the final session as they closed in on their third win.

Although both sides were without full strength sides as Essex were without Dominic Reed and Nigel Reed whereas the visitors missed Jack Pye and Chris Mann.

Adam Sultana got the home side off the mark as he held off Neil Davidson as he won 13-9.

Peter Fautley made a great comeback from 10-6 down to be 13-10 up in the last end and managed to hold on to the points despite the last gasp measure.

Babs Morokutti and Matt Dillon had a tight game throughout with John Sparham and his partner but went in front towards the end to claim a 16-13 victory.

Another dramatic comeback came from Barry Hedges and Mo Binsford against Teresa and Selwyn Goldsmith. After they came from 12-4 down to snatch the last end from a fortunate bowl of Hedges as they won 15-14.

Del Coates, Mitchell Young and Jack Shepard overturned a 5-2 score line to be 8-6 up in the final end which they only dropped one shot as they won 8-7 against Melvin’s triple.

Linda Lambert, Paul Bax and Fred Gugeon clawed back a bad start from 9-3, as they lost 13-10 against Keith Cooke’s triple with Debbie Sparham.

Debbie Tomlinson, Phil Banner, Keith Paxman and Antony Fautley kept their opposition quiet as they plodded to a 10-5 victory.

Ian Arthur, Sammy Lambert, Tony Ealham and Steve Killlington struggled and were beaten 15-4 against David Lamb’s rink, which gave Essex 12-4 lead at the break.

In the third session Sultana deadly performance put the singles bonus points out of sight for Norfolk as he won 24-6.

Fautley (senior) had a tight affair against Davidson with the scores balance throughout. Fautley was 10-9 down in the last end but narrowly missed out as Davidson won 11-9.

Morokutti and Dillon unfortunately lost against both Goldsmith’s but kept the shots tight for the other pair as they fought back from 13-7 down, as they lost 14-11.

Hedges and Binsford came from behind again but this time the win was too much of a stretch as Sparham won 15-14 but chose a tame attempt to take the bonus points as they shared the points.

The session gave the away side an opportunity in the final session at 17-11. Coates, Young and Shepard were 12-11 up last end but dropped a killer two to cost them the victory.

Lambert, Bax and Gugeon again lost another tight game, at 8-7 last end but could not gain any shots as they lost 10-7 again Wood’s triple. Which made sure of the bonus points for Norfolk and level the match.

Tomlinson, Banner, Paxman, Fautley (junior) regained the overall lead as they got an early superior lead which was enough as they won 12-6 against Lamb’s rink.

Arthur, Lambert, Ealham and Killington redeemed themselves with a sharp 14-2 victory which also sealed the bonus points which sealed the victory 23-17 with 193 overall shots to Norfolk’s 164.

Essex will now travel in two weeks time for the reverse fixture to Norfolk where they will look to continue their run and extend it to four.

Players Ratings:

Adam Sultana- 9*

Peter Fautley- 6 1/2

Babs Morokutti- 6 1/2

Matt Dillon- 6 1/2

Barry Hedges- 7

Mo Binsford- 6 1/2

Del Coates- 7

Mitchell Young- 7

Jack Shepard- 5

Linda Lambert- 6

Paul Bax- 6 1/2

Fred Gugeon- 6 1/2

Debbie Tomlinson- 7 1/2

Phil Banner- 7 1/2

Keith Paxman- 7 1/2

Antony Fautley- 7 1/2

Ian Arthur- 6

Sammy Lambert- 6 1/2

Tony Ealham- 6 1/2

Steve Killington- 6 1/2