Suffolk have the Herts for a fightback

Bowls: SUFFOLK produced a remarkable comeback to defeat Hertfordshire in their second Middleton Cup match of the season. Although Suffolk started the stronger – leading 34-32 after five ends – they found themselves 18 shots behind at 15 ends against a much-improved Hertfordshire team.

SUFFOLK produced a remarkable comeback to defeat Hertfordshire in their second Middleton Cup match of the season.

Although Suffolk started the stronger – leading 34-32 after five ends – they found themselves 18 shots behind at 15 ends against a much-improved Hertfordshire team.

It was from this point that Suffolk's team spirit shone through as they turned the match on its head scoring a remarkable 44 shots to their opponents' 19 over the last quarter of the match to secure a 127-119 victory.

Winning on three rinks, drawing on another and losing on two, Suffolk secured 17 points to Hertfordshire's five. This performance at Tring was another tremendous showing from the Suffolk team following last week's 20 point haul off Norfolk.

Gary Miller, Calvern Kemp, Andy Meikle and Clive Webb were never behind in their tussle with their opponents.

Although this was a close encounter, the Suffolk quartet held a five-shot advantage at ten ends (9-4).

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With Clive Webb in good form and well supported by his team mates, they deserved their 20-15 victory.

Alan Barnes and his rink of John Rednall, Chris Love and Brian Andrews did not make the best of starts and after just three ends trailed 11-1.

Although it was a disastrous start, the Suffolk rink never allowed their heads to drop and by the eleventh end they narrowed the gap to just three shots (15-18), but this was as close as they could get.

With the remaining ends closely contested, it was the Hertfordshire rink that held a slight advantage running in 20-15 victors.

Richard Leeder, Steve Miller, Carl Finbow and Greg Nash,

playing their second Middleton Cup game together, produced a solid performance on their way to an eight-shot victory (23-15). Leading 6-5 after five ends they found themselves 11-12 in arrears after 14 ends.

But Greg and his rink were not to be denied as they rallied and scored 12 shots to their opponents' three to earn another fine victory.

Over the opening four ends Neil Prentice, David Thompson, Andy Catchpole and Kelvyn Earthroll traded ends with their Hertfordshire opponents and led 5-4.

Over the next 11 ends the Hertfordshire rink took control of the scoring, winning eight of the ends and opened up a 19-9 lead. Kelvyn and his rink then restricted their opponents to just two more scoring ends as the game drew to its conclusion, eventually losing by seven shots at 15-22.

Mark Addison, Brian Insley, David Wellington and Adrian Holden had a nightmare opening ten ends. After winning just four ends, they found themselves 17-4 down.

They then stormed back to go into the last end one shot up (23-22), but with the Hertfordshire rink holding a good shot it proved too dangerous for Adrian to attack and they settled for a draw.

This was a remarkable recovery from the Suffolk rink which went a long way to helping the team to its victory.

Mark Royal and his team of Mark Todd, Duncan Snape and John Catchpole made a dream start winning five of the opening six ends to storm into a 14-1 lead.

Hertfordshire then began to get back into the match with the experienced John Dowler producing some telling bowls.

By the fifteenth end, the Suffolk four held a slender one-shot advantage, but in keeping with the whole Suffolk team they dominated the final five ends, eventually winning 25-18.

Match details (Suffolk first)

G Miller, C Kemp, A Meikle and C Webb 20; M Pope, P Andrews, C Leeks and R Mercer 15.

J Rednall, C Love, B Andrews and A Barnes 21; S Wake, M Plume, M Brackley and D Lewis 26.

R Leeder, S Miller, C Finbow and G Nash 23; S Kilford, G Wood, D Richardson and S Cook 15.

N Prentice, D Thopmson, A Catchpole and K Earthroll 15; G Gough, D Base, J Godman and A Briden 22.

M Addison, B Insley, D Wellington and A Holden 23; A Charter, D Vaux, R O'Flanagan and J Rumball 23.

M Todd, D Snape, J Catchpole and M Royal 25; A Charran, A Brow, I Greig and J Dowler 18.

Scores at five ends 34-32, ten ends 59-67, 15 ends 83-100, final 127-119.

Of the 126 ends played, Suffolk won 62.

Suffolk's next match is against Essex at the Felixstowe and Suffolk BC on June 29.

On Saturday, Essex have the chance to increase their points tally with the visit of Hertfordshire before travelling to Suffolk the following week.

Suffolk began their defence of the County Top Four title with a eight-shot victory over Essex at the Liberty of Havering Bowling Club on Sunday.

In a close and exciting encounter, Suffolk's team of John Rednall, Duncan Snape, Mark Royal and Adrian Holden needed to be on form to see off the challenge of the Essex Top Four skipped by Nigel Smith.

Essex held the early initiative leading 4-2 after five ends and 8-6 at ten ends, but a score of five for Suffolk on the 12th end gave Suffolk an 11-9 lead. It was a lead they never surrendered.

Going into the last end they led by five and as Essex tried to kill the end, Suffolk gained a 21-13 victory.

Suffolk now go forward to the regional finals on June 7 at Chesterton, Cambridge.

If the Suffolk rink maintain this sort of form there is no reason why they cannot defend their title successfully.

Rink details

J Rednall, D Snape, M Royal and A Holden 21; S Mitcheson, J Rippey, J Stamper and N Smith 13.

Suffolk won 13 of the 21 ends.

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