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Essex Premier knockout out by West Sussex

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Essex Premier were knocked out of the Inter County Championship quarter-finals by West Sussex 25-15, at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club.

West Sussex despatched the Essex side in three sessions, to reach only their third semi-final in their recent history. 

Essex manger David Chittock stuck with the majority of the side that overcome Herefordshire, which left some regular Essex players out of the side.

Essex got off to a miserable start, as Alan Jones lost 24-3 to Jack Rollings. 

In the pairs, Shirley Walker and Greg Wade were beaten by the West Sussex duo 21-6. With Babs Morokutti and Keith Paxman also going down 16-12 to the West Sussex pair.

Antony Fautley was the only saving grace for Essex in the opening session, as he edged out Chris Page 13-12 which gave West Sussex a 6-2 lead.

In the second session, West Sussex continued to dominate as they beat Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Mark Chittock 18-4. Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham responded as they won 14-8.

In the fours Essex again struggled, as Shirley Banner, Sheila Booker, Roger Booker and Phil Banner were heavily beaten 14-4. In the other four, Pat High, Emily Poulter, Steve Killington and Mitchell Young were held to a 11-11 draw. 

West Sussex then gained a healthy 11-5 lead into the break.

Essex made changes at the break, as reserve Paul Bax was substituted into the singles in place of Alan Jones. Ian Arthur also moved into the pairs with Shirely Walker. Shirley Banner sat out, as Linda Lambert slotted into the four and Jones into Mark Chittocks triple.

West Sussex secured the victory after the break, as Rollings edged past Fautley 13-12. Substitute Bax ran Page close but was also beaten 14-10 and claimed the bonus points.

In the pairs Morokutti and Paxman also were defeated 18-5. The newly formed pair Walker and Arthur was the only win of the third session for Essex, with a healthy 16-6 victory but lost the pairs bonus points. To claim the overall match 21-7.

Despite the defeat Essex played on and made the scoreline slightly more respectable, as Binstead, Kay and Ealham won both their matches of the day with a 13-8 win.

The other newly formed triple Wade, Chittock and Jones also won comfortably 16-5, which overturned the bonus points in the triples.

In the fours High, Poulter, Killington and Young came from behind to nick the win on the last 13-12. 

The final four to finish Booker, Lambert, Booker and Banner lost out on the final end as they lost 14-12 for West Sussex to take the bonus points in the fours.

West Sussex will now face Cornwall in the semi-finals in two weeks time. With the other semi-final being West Midlands vs ICC reigning champions Norfolk.

Essex Premier back in the mix

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Essex Premier claimed a vital 25-15 home victory over Surrey in the Inter County group stages, at Stonyhills Indoor Bowls Centre.

Essex now move up to third in the group and sit just outside qualifying but put themselves right back into contention.

Dave Chittock’s side were without Alan Jones due to being unavailable and Babs Morokutti who withdrew through illness, as reserve Shirley Banner stepped in.

The hosts flew out the blocks in the pairs, as Chris Coates and Peter Fautley dug in deep to win comfortable in the end 17-9.

Shirley Walker and Greg Wade also worked well to win 19-9 to take maximum points out the session in the pairs.

The singles however, struggled as Mark Chittock fell short to lose 14-10.

Mitchell Young suffered the same, as he lost 14-10 to square the session 4-4.

In the second session, Surrey came back and edged the session as Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Dave Wooller could not sneak a result as they lost 9-8. 

Although the other triple had better fortune, as Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham won 10-5.

Both fours went down to the wire, as Derek Coates, Paul Glenister, Steve Killington and Keith Paxman were ahead but held on to draw 8-8.

In the other four, Shirley Banner, Emily Poulter, Phil Banner and John Pye battled throughout but came unstuck on the last end to Derek Johns’ quartet as they lost 9-7.

To give Surrey a 9-7 lead at the break.

In the second half, the singles had a spirited performance as Chittock came from 9-1 down to just lose out on the final end 13-12.

Young came through strong to win 16-6 and overturn the eight shot deficit to take the bonus points.

In the pairs, it was a mixed bag as Walker and Wade came through 14-12 winners. 

Essex’s other duo Coates (Junior) and Fautley were beaten in the latter stages, as they lost 13-9 but held on for the bonus points.

The home side went in to the final session with a slender 15-13 lead.

Essex then stamped their authority on the match, as Arthur, Lambert and Wooller won 14-6.

Although Binstead, Kay and Ealham lost 11-6 it did not stop Essex’ momentum, as they took the bonus points in the triples.

The fours continued to press Surrey for points, as Coates (Senior), Glenister, Killington and Paxman beat John’s side 14-5.

The final four to finish was Banner (Mrs), Poulter, Banner (Mrs) and Pye who came from 7-4 down to take the victory 11-9 and take the bonus points also and claim a 25-15 win overall. 

Essex now look ahead to their final match at home to Norfolk just before Christmas in hope to secure qualification.

Premier Table (as it stands)

Surrey Pl 6 Points 107

Norfolk Pl 4 Points 101

Essex Pl 5 Points 99

Northants Pl 5 Points 93

Player Ratings:

Mitchell Young 7.5/10

Mark Chittock 7/10

Chris Coates 7/10

Peter Fautley 7/10

Greg Wade 7/10

Shirley Walker 7.5/10

Mo Binstead 7/10

Alan Kay 7/10

Tony Ealham 7/10

Ian Arthur 7/10

Linda Lambert 7/10

Dave Wooller 7/10

Derek Coates 7.5/10

Paul Glenister 7/10

Steve Killington 7.5/10

Keith Paxman 7.5/10

Shirley Banner 8/10

Emily Poulter 7.5/10

Phil Banner 7/10

John Pye 7/10

Essex A leapfrog Suffolk in second

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Essex A got a superb 27-13 away victory in the Inter County group stages against Suffolk, at Stowbridge Indoor Bowls Club.

Essex now move up into second in the group ahead of Suffolk, after 

County manager Dave Chittock have to make a few changes to his side due to players availability. With Paul Bax and Mitchell Young stepping in, as Roger Dover was unavailable and others already playing for the Premier side on Saturday.

In the first session, Pauline Childs got Essex off to a flyer as she won comfortably 23-2.

Young could not follow suit as he lost 18-10 after a solid performance from the Suffolk singles player.

In the pairs, Dave Chittock and Heather Clemants went behind early on and could not claw the deficit back as they lost 16-10.

Bax and Andy Philbrick swapped after going behind early and recovered to win at the death 13-12, to level the session 4-4.

In the second session, Eileen Smith-Allen, Tony Hayes and county captain Rob Wade came from behind to grab a late draw on the last end 10-10.

The other triple was not so fortunate, as Kay Debenham, Paul Reed and Peter Debenham went down 14-8. 

In the fours Josie Robinson, Bart Clemants, Alan High and John Wade went behind early on but came back and won comfortably 16-5.

Carol Taylor, Collin Addis, Pat Goodchild and Jonathan East held on after late pressure from the Suffolk four to win 13-9. To give Essex a 9-7 lead at the break.

In the second half, Essex heaped the pressure on Suffolk as Young won 11-7.

Childs made it two wins from two, as she edged out the Suffolk bowler 11-8. To take maximum points from the singles in the session and claim the bonus points.

Philbrick and Bax maintained their unbeaten day, as they won 17-11.

Unfortunately Chittock and Clemants could take the clean sweep session, as they fell to a 18-6 defeat and lost out on the bonus points.

Essex took a healthy 17-11 lead going into the last session. 

In the final session, substitute Peggy May stepped in to play with Reed and Debenham to come from behind to win 13-7.

The other triple Smith-Allen, Hayes and Wade got a good lead and held on to win 11-7 and overturn the shot difference to take the triples bonus points – to give Essex a 23-11.

In the fours, there was a real battle as Robinson, Clemants, High and Wade were beaten on the final end 17-16 by the Suffolk quartet.

The final game to finish, was a corker as Taylor, Addis, Goodchild and East won on the last end from 10-9 down to take the win 13-10 and secured the 27-13 victory.

Essex now look ahead to the return leg against Suffolk, at Stonyhills in two weeks time.

Current A Team Table as it stands:

Norfolk Pl 4 Points 111

Essex. Pl 4 Points 84

Suffolk Pl 5 Points 83

Cambs Pl 5 Points 76

Essex Premier claw back to draw against Northampton

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Essex Premier opened their first home game in the Inter County Championship with a 20-20 draw against Northampton, at StonyHills Indoor Bowls Club.

The home side came from six points behind to get the draw. But Essex remain currently bottom of the group but with have a game in hand.

In the opening session, Northampton got off to a flyer and caught Essex unaware as Alan Jones returned to singles duty but bumped in Lee Hall who won 25-7.

Mark Chittock was also well beaten in his first Premier singles game, as he lost to Callum Beale 22-11.

In the pairs, Shirley Walker and Greg Wade’s match went to the wire against Chris Hopkins and his partner, but were just edged out 15-14.

Chris Coates and Peter Fautley were Essex’s saving grace in the first session, as Coates’ last bowl came in to win it and take the game 15-13. 

To get Essex’s only points of the session, as Northampton lead 6-2.

Essex had a better second session, as Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert and Dave Wooller won comfortably 15-9.

Although Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and Tony Ealham were narrowly beaten on the final end to lose 15-11.

Babs Morokutti, Steve Killington, Phil Banner and Keith Paxman sped to an early 13-0 lead. However, they were pegged back by Chris Western’s quartet but held on for the victory 14-10.

In the other fours, Shirley Banner, Brenda Crowe, John Pye and Mitchell Young came back from behind but could not find enough as they lost 12-8 against Edward Sawbridge’s four. 

At the break, Essex trailed 10-6 in a game they much needed to win. 

In the second half, the singles again struggled as Jones lost 14-7 to Beale.

Chittock gave it his best shot against Hall but just came up short on the final end as he lost 13-12 – as Northampton took the bonus points in the singles.

The pairs was better news for Essex, as Walker and Wade strode to a 16-7 victory against the Northampton duo.

Coates and Fautley looked to be in control, 11-8 up on the final end against Hopkins but dropped a three to draw 11-11. But held on to the bonus points in the pairs with Northampton now having a 17-11 lead.

Essex came back strong and Arthur, Lambert and Wooller ground out a 13-9 victory, to get Essex back on the comeback path.

Binstead, Kay and Ealham won 13-5 to secure the bonus points and level up the match 17-17.

Banner (Mrs), Crowe, Pye and Young made sure to win their second match and did 13-8 to give Essex the narrow overall lead 19-17.

Morokutti, Killington, Banner (Mr) and Paxman battled back from falling behind against Sawbridge’s quartet to nick the crucial last end. Despite defeat of 15-10 both sides split the bonus points in the fours to draw the overall match.

Essex’s next match is a tricky away game to Surrey where Essex need the victory to keep their qualification hopes on track.

Table:
Northampton  Played 4 points 84

Norfolk           Played 3 points 70

Surrey            Played 4 points 70

Essex             Played 3 points 56           

Player Ratings: 

Mark Chittock: 5/10

Alan Jones: 5/10

Shirley Walker: 7/10

Greg Wade: 7/10

Chris Coates: 7/10

Peter Fautley: 7.5/10

Ian Arthur: 8/10

Linda Lambert: 8/10

Dave Wooller: 8/10

Mo Binstead: 7.5/10

Alan Kay: 7/10

Tony Ealham: 7/10

Babs Morokutti: 7/10

Steve Killington: 7/10

Phil Banner: 7/10

Keith Paxman: 7/10

Shirley Banner: 6/10

Brenda Crowe: 6.5/10

John Pye: 7/10

Mitchell Young: 6/10

Essex Premier claim opening away victory

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Essex Premier claimed a surprise 21-19 away victory in their opening Inter County group match at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club. 

Essex were without several key players ahead of their first ICC match with Debbie Dillon, Linda Lambert, Ian Arthur, Mitchell Young and current national triples champions Matt Dillon, Barry Hedges and Adam Sultana were all absent.

Many of last years ‘A’ team were given their opportunity in the Premier side for the tie and seized it.

Steve Killington was first up in the singles but he bumped into Northampton’s Lee Hall who won 22-5.

Last year’s ‘A’ team singles player Pauline Childs slotted into the other singles role and fought well against England International Callum Beale. With the game going to the wire at 12-12 last end but Beale snatched the victory at the end 13-12.

In the pairs, Greg Wade and Shirley Walker lost 13-6 against the Northampton pairing of C Drage and Thelma Hopkins.

Mark Chittock and Peter Fautley were Essex’s saving grace in the opening session, as they faced G Dormer and Chris Hopkins. Neither duo could be separated after 15 ends with a 14-14 draw. 

Which gave Essex their only point of the session and trailed 7-1.

In the second session, Essex hit straight back as they often do with new trio Andy Philbrick, Paul Bax and John Pye – who won 15-7.

The other triple, was unchanged from last year as Mo Binstead, Alan Kay and team captain Tony Ealham replicated their teammates as they won 17-9 – to take maximum points for the triples.

In the fours, Babs Morokutti, Phil Banner, Keith Paxman and Antony Fautley won convincingly over Ed Sawbridge’s quartet 20-7.

In the final game of the first half, new fresh Premier blood was involved in the fours, as Eileen Smith-Allen, Pat Goodchild, John Wade and Rob Wade were beaten 11-7.

At the break Essex had pulled back after their bad start to trail 9-7.

In the second half, Childs then faced Hall which she came off second best despite her best efforts as she lost 15-9.

Killington also had a tough time against Beale who won 17-8 and Northampton comfortably claimed the bonus points in the singles.

In the pairs, Fautley (Senior) and Chittock (Chittock) won 17-8 to put Essex in a two shot lead on the bonus points in the pairs.

The other duo, Wade (Junior) and Walker went to the wire as they were narrowly beaten by Hopkins (Mr) 14-13 but took the pairs bonus points by one shot. 

Northampton extended their overall lead to 17-11 after their 8-4 session win – needing just four points to take the match.

But Essex had other ideas, as Binstead, Kay and Ealham made it two wins from two as they held on to win 12-11 to get the visitors off and running for the comeback.

The other triple were unfortunate not to also take a victory as Philbrick, Bax and Pye were just beaten 14-11. Although Essex took the two extra bonus points in the triples.

Smith-Allen, Goodchild, Wade and Wade managed to grind out their win 8-5 against Sawbridge’s rink, to bring the score back to 19-17 with one match remaining.

Morokutti, Banner, Paxman and Fautley brought it home for Essex with another huge victory 19-4 to level the scores and secure the bonus points to take an overall 21-19 away win.

In the other group fixture Surrey travelled to the current ICC champions Norfolk. Where Surrey were beaten 23-17.

Essex now look to carry their confidence into the next group game, on the 9th October with another away trip this time to top of the table Norfolk.

This leaves county manager Dave ‘The Tinkerman’ Chittock with a headache over selection as some absentees return for the tough outfit of Norfolk.

Norfolk blow Essex away to take ICC titleĀ 

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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 pushed aside by Devon to take rinks glory

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Essex Premier were edged out to come runners up in the first Inter County Rinks Competition, as Devon took glory by four shots. 

The Essex squad were pipped at the post by a strong Devon outfit, after Essex progressed from their group unscaved, as Devon progressed on shot difference.

Essex’ first game was up against West Sussex, the ICC finalists had a slow start and found themselves seven shots behind at the half way stage.

As the game drew to a close, Essex pumped the pressure on West Sussex as Barry Hedges’ rink Matt Dillon, Rachael Cordy and Matt Stifford came through 14-6.

Babs Morokutti, Chris Coates, Steve Killington and Craig Burgess also won 12-5 to overturn the deficit. 

The other two fours kept the scores tight despite their loses as Mo Binstead, Phil Banner, Dave Wooller and Alan Jones fell down 12-7. Del Coates, Tony Ealham, Mitchell Young and Adam Sultana kept their score close, as they lost 12-8 to win the overall shots by six shots (41-35).

In their second game against Dorset again Essex fell behind early on, with Dorset taking an early six shot lead.

Although Essex turned up the pressure once again and kicked on, as Burgess’ quartet won 15-8. Along with Hedges’ rink grabbing a three shot win 12-9. 

Jones’ team and team manager Sultana’s side came from behind to draw 9-9 and a narrow 8-7 loss. To claim a ten shot victory (43-33).

In their final group game, Essex had to still win their matchup against Somerset due to their significant shot difference. However, this did not phase a confident Essex as they produced their best team performance of the day. 

With just one rink losing, as Sultana’s quartet kept the shots tight as they lost 12-9 against Keith Hawkins’ rink.

Hedges’, Burgess’ and Jones’ rinks won comfortably 14-6, 17-7 and 14-11. To claim the victory by 21 shots (56-35) and book their place in the final of the new event.

Essex then had to face Devon, in a repeat tie of the ICC semi-finals. Devon flew out of the blocks and put Essex under extreme pressure. Despite a late surge from Essex, they managed to remain within touching distance but this time could not find a way back.

Sultana’s rink was the only rink to win for the Essex side 17-7. Hedges went down 14-6 against Devon manager Richard Ivings leading the line with younger brother Mike Ivings and Simon Pridham. 

Binstead, Banner, Wooller and Jones went down 14-11 to backend duo Paul Pomroy and James Trott. Devon continued their momentum, as backend pairing Elliot James and Tony Main claimed the tournament win, with a 12-9 victory over Morokutti, Coates (Junior), Killington and Burgess. To take the first title of the ICC rinks by four shots (43-47).

Essex will have to pick themselves up ahead of the ICC final tomorrow, against Norfolk.