West Midlands 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.