Northampton short mat bowls

Essex edged out in rinks group decider

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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 qualify for rinks finals in top spot

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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 Cruise through Rinks Qualifier

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Essex Premier breeze into the finals of the new Inter County Team Knockout Cup after victory in their regional qualifier, at the Regal Centre in Oxfordshire.

Newly elected Essex manager Adam Sultana brought back four former county players into the side with returns for Alan Jones, Dave Wooller, Chris Coates and Craig Burgess.

Surrey and Northampton got proceedings underway as they faced off in the first session, which saw Surrey defeat Northampton by 14 shots over the four rinks, to put them in the driving seat.

Essex then came up against former ICC group rivals Northampton after their surprising loss to Surrey.

Mo Bintead, Phil Banner, Alan Jones and Dave Wooller held the steady Northampton four at 10-10, on a tricky rink to keep the scores tight.

Sultana’s quartet – Del Coates, Linda Lambert, Mitchell Young had an up and down contest but just edged clear against tough backend opposition in Chris Hopkins and Lee Hall, with a 12-10 victory, to give Essex a two shot overall lead.

The Essex manager also gave a county premier debut to Greg Wade who joined Barry Hedges’ experienced rink with Peter Fautley and Chris Coates but lost narrowly 10-8 to Edward Sawbridges’ four.

The standout four of the session which was the difference between the sides was Babs Morokutti, Steve Killington, Anthony Fautley and Craig Burgess who strode to a 20-7 victory against a youthful Northants team.

Which secured the overall win for Essex by 13 shots, the two points and their place in the finals as Northampton had an early exit from the competition.

Essex then faced Surrey to decide the winner of the qualifier. Essex began slightly flat compared to the previous game but kicked on in the final quarter of the match as Coates (senior), Lambert, Young and Sultana finished first to open up an early nine shot lead with a 14-5 win.

Binstead, Banner, Jones and Wooller also found some fortune which turned into shots as they extended Essex’s advantage with a 13-7 victory.

Hedges’ quartet – Fautley (Senior), Racheal Cordy and Coates (Junior) continued the momentum with an 11-8 win, to almost guarantee the overall victory with an 18 shot lead.

The final rink to finish which took the sting out of their opening performance Morokutti, Killington, Fautley (Junior) and Burgess fell to a 13-7 loss, as Essex finished with an overall 12 shot victory.

Essex topped the qualifier with 4 points +25 shots, Surrey in second with 2 points +2 shots and Northampton in third with 0 points -27 shots.

Surrey will now join Essex in the final which will take place at the end of January with the other six counties from their regional qualifiers.

Rinks Ratings:

Mo Binstead, Phil Banner, Alan Jones, Dave Wooller – 8/10

Babs Morokutti, Steve Killington, Anthony Fautley, Craig Burgess – 7.5/10

Del Coates, Linda Lambert, Mitchell Young, Adam Sultana – 8.5/10

Peter Fautley, Greg Wade/Rachel Cordy, Chris Coates, Barry Hedges – 7/10

Essex secure qualification to knockout stages

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Essex Premier secured qualification to the knockout stages of the Inter County Competition with a 20-20 draw against Northampton at Stonyhills.

The home side despite a healthy lead at the break, had to come from 16-12 down at the end of the third session to scrape a draw in the final session.

Adam Sultana gave Essex their first two points as he won 13-10 over Lee Hall, as his aggressive tactics just paid off.

Matt Dillon took Edward Sawbridge all the way, at 9-9 in the final end but Sawbridge edged Dillon to win 11-9.

Barry Hedges and Mo Binstead got an early lead and held off Callum Beale’s pairing, as they won 18-13.

Babs Morokutti and Dominic Reed fell 11-4 down after 11 ends and despite their best efforts lost out 13-10 against Thelma Hopkins and Chris Western, to go into the second session 4-4.

The second session was vastly improved by Essex as Del Coates, Tony Ealham and Mitchell Young held off Chris Hopkins triple, as they won 10-4.

Essex’s other triple Linda Lambert, Fred Gudgeon and Jack Shepard also kept the Northampton triple at arm’s length as they won 11-7.

The fours precipitated, as Debbie Tomlinson, Tony Orpin, Nigel Reed and Anthony Faultey did enough as they won 9-6.

Ian Arthur, Sammy Lambert, Keith Paxman and Steve Killington had a narrow 11-8 victory to make it a clean sweep for the hosts and went into the break with a 12-4 lead.

Northampton responded after the break as a frustrated Dillon was out bowled by Hall and lost 17-7.

Sultana was caught out by Sawbridge in his second game, after he lead 11-7 after 11 ends was pegged back and lost 14-11, which secured the bonus points for Northampton.

It went from bad to worse for Essex as Hedges and Binstead fell to another session defeat 16-13.

Northampton completed the reverse clean sweep as Reed (Junior) and Morokutti lost out to Beale’s pair 14-6, which gave them the bonus points and lead 16-12 going into the last session.

Essex had it all to do in the final session and Coates, Ealham and Young stormed to a 15-4 victory, to start the revival.

The comeback was halted somewhat as Lambert, Gudgeon and Shepard came from 9-3 down to 9-8 last end but was edged out by Hopkins’s triple 10-8, as Essex held on to the bonus points.

Tomlinson, Orpin, Reed (Senior) and Faultey came from behind to snatch a draw from 8-5 down as Faultey drew his last bowl to take the valuable draw, with Essex trailing at 19-17 overall.

The final four, Arthur, Lambert, Paxman and Killington were 8-6 in front on the last end and were in danger of the defeat but held on for the draw and took the bonus points to draw 20-20 overall.

Essex secured qualification to the knockouts and top the group for momentarily, as Norfolk have a game in hand and play Northampton in the final group game next week with only 13 points required to reclaim top spot.

Players Ratings

Adam Sultana 6/10

Dom Reed 6/10

Mo Binstead 7/10

Barry Hedges 6 ½ /10

Babs Morokutti 6/10

Matt Dillon 6/10

Del Coates 8/10

Mitchell Young 8/10

Jack Shepard 7/10

Linda Lambert 7/10

Tony Ealham 7 ½ /10

Tony Orpin 7/10

Debbie Tomkinson 7 ½ /10

Nigel Reed 7 ½ /10

Keith Paxman 8 ½ /10

Ian Arthur 7/10

Sammy Lambert 7/10

Fred Gudgeon 7/10

Anthony Fautley 8/10

Steve Killington 7 ½ /10

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 Premier struck late on to grab away win

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Essex Premier scrapped a 22-18 victory away at Northampton from behind at Northampton Indoor Bowls Centre.

Essex turned around a 13-15 score line in the last session to take the overall match.

The away side were without Jack Shepard, Anthony Fautley and Adam Sultana.

Dominic Reed set the pace against Chris Western after he flew out the blocks and won 17-5 to get Essex off and running.

The absent Sultana saw Peter Fautley step up due to his SMPT performance but struggled against Lee Hall who notched up the shots and won 21-7.

Mo Binstead was shuffled into the pairs with Barry Hedges who gained an early 9-2 lead but let it slip to Northampton’s young star Callum Beale which they shared the points with an 11-11 draw.

Babs Morokutti and Matt Dillon started where they left off last week despite with difficulty from two shot behind after nine ends won 13-9 and took a 5-3 lead.

Del Coates, Mark Chittock and Mitchell Young put last week’s performance behind them as they fought back from 6-2 to grab a draw at 10 apiece against Chris Hopkins’s triple.

Linda Lambert, Paul Bax and substitute Fred Gudgeon were 5-3 behind after seven but struck back and gained some distance as they won 11-5.

Debbie Tomlinson, substitute Phil Banner, Nigel Reed and Keith Paxman did not get off to a great start and fell to a 15-3 defeat.

Ian Arthur, Sammy Lambert, Tony Ealham and Steve Killington shot into a 13-0 lead after seven ends and chalked up the two points as they won 15-2, as Essex carried a 10-6 lead into the break.

Northampton reacted from the break and Hall blew Reed (junior) away with a 21-7 victory which virtually secured the bonus points for the home side.

Fautley had a battle on his hands with Western as he found himself 12-8 down but edged back into the game and was 12-11 behind last end but could not gain anything as he lost 14-11.

Binstead and Hedges has a less pressured game as they stormed 10-0 in front and held that big lead as they won 16-7.

Morokutti and Dillon struggled from the start and Beale took advantage as he won 19-6 which split the pair’s bonus points which put Essex 13-15 down which included the bonus points.

Coates, Chittock and Young had two comeback which came to nothing as they brought back a 7-0 and 15-7 deficit level but fell short on the final end 16-15, which gave Essex an even tougher task.

Lambert, Bax and Gudgeon despite an early lead fell behind but regained the lead however Hopkins bite back which held both sides inseparable at 11-11 and held on for the bonus points for Essex.

Tomlinson, Banner, Reed (senior) and Paxman put in a solid performance to give the visitors a minimum of a draw as they gained a 9-3 victory.

Arthur, Lambert, Ealham and Killington were not there for the draw as they went from 6-4 down with two ends to play nicked the last end after the last bowl with a 7-6 win and the bonus points.

Which secured the overall victory after they had 163 shots to Northampton’s 174 and kept their 100% record with two wins.

Essex Premier next match is in two weeks in Essex’s first home game of the season against strong opponents in Norfolk at StonyHills.

Player Ratings:

Dom Reed 6/10

Peter Fautley 5/10

Mo Binstead 7/10

Barry Hedges 8/10

Babs Morokutti 6/10

Matt Dillon 6/10

Del Coates 6/10

Mark Chittock 5/10

Mitchell Young 5/10

Linda Lambert 7/10

Paul Bax 7/10

Fred Gudgeon 7/10

Debbie Tomkinson 7/10

Phil Banner 6/10

Nigel Reed 7/10

Keith Paxman 7/10

Ian Arthur 8/10

Sammy Lambert 8/10

Tony Ealham 8/10

Steve Killington 9/10*