Suffolk's win is not enough
BOWLS: SUFFOLK produced their best performance in the Middleton Cup on Saturday since the 1995 semi-final against Kent. Suffolk, needing to win on at least four rinks and win the match to overtake Norfolk in the group, produced an outstanding performance, winning on five rinks and losing by just a single shot on the other rink.
SUFFOLK produced their best performance in the Middleton Cup on Saturday since the 1995 semi-final against Kent.
Suffolk, needing to win on at least four rinks and win the match to overtake Norfolk in the group, produced an outstanding performance, winning on five rinks and losing by just a single shot on the other rink.
Suffolk won by 46 shots -137-91 - a tremendous achievement against a Norfolk side unbeaten this year and played on their home green of the Norwich & Norfolk Bowling Club, Unthank Road.
Suffolk's joy at this victory was shortlived as the result from the Essex match came through, Essex having beaten Hunts by 20pts to 2pts to win the group by two points from Suffolk.
Although disappointed at not qualifying for the quarter-finals Suffolk's selectors were far from downhearted and gave credit to the Suffolk squad who hit back from the defeat by Essex with two excellent performances.
If the nucleus of this Suffolk squad can stay together they can look forward to next season's campaign with renewed confidence.
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George Ward, Mark Addison, Dave Wellington and Adrian Holden were involved in a tight match against the Norfolk rink skippered by Trevor Webb. Although the Suffolk rink were in control for most of the match they went into a nail biting last end just two shots up. Webb with his last bowl had the opportunity to deny Suffolk victory but failed and Suffolk claimed two precious points.
Colin Rumsby and his rink of John Rednall, Chris Love and Brian Andrews lost the first end and this was the only time they were in arrears. A score of six on the 11th end with the game all square gave them the cushion required as they went on to record a 19-12 victory.
Neil Prentice, David Thompson, Andy Catchpole and Kelvyn Earthroll always looked in control after the opening two ends. Winning 14 of the 21 ends played, they kept the pressure on their opposition, with all players performing well. Leading 17-8 at 10 ends, they continued to dominate, eventually winning 27-16.
Clive Webb and his rink of Steve (Sam) Mayes, Calvern Kemp, and Andy Meikle were all in excellent form as they totally overpowered the Norfolk rink skipped by the experienced Bob Thacker. Winning 13 of the 21 ends including a count of six on the 13th end, they ran out deserved winners 29-14.
Suffolk's only defeat came on rink five when Mark Todd, debutant Gene Barfield, John Catchpole and Robin Norman found Norfolk's Mervyn King in outstanding form in the opening 10 ends and trailed 15-3.
Credit should go to the Suffolk quartet who did not give up and went into the last end just two shots in arrears. The comeback was not to be complete as they managed just a single to lose 18-17.
Jason Smith, Duncan Snape, the recalled Arron Brown and Mark Royal raced into a 7-1 lead against David Ward after five ends, but by the 10th end they found themselves 10-9 in arrears. It was from this point the Suffolk rink took control, winning all but three of the remaining ends to secure a 25-14 victory.
Full match details
(Suffolk names first)
Rink one: G Ward, M Addison, D Wellington & A Holden 20, N Moulton, R Hadingham, C Wilgriss, T Webb17.
Rink two: J Rednall, C Love, B Andrews, C Rumsby 19, J Ottaway, M Brown, D Page, B Taylor 12.
Rink three: N Prentice, D Thompson, A Catchpole, K Earthroll 27, J Howlett, D Hudson, P Boldero, P Barr 16.
Rink four: S Mayes, C Kemp, A Meikle, C Webb 29, G Tubby, M Elliott, C Ward, B Thacker 14.
Rink five: M Todd, G Barfield, J Catchpole, R Norman 17, P Webb, C Boon, T Stone, M King 18.
Rink six: J Smith, D Snape, A Brown, M Royal 25, J Bailey, P Harlow, R Hayden, D Ward 14.
Scores at 5 ends 32-15, 10 ends 56-54, 15 ends 102-70, 21 ends 137-91. Suffolk 20pts Norfolk 2pts.
Of the 126 ends played Suffolk won 76.
With the Middleton Cup campaign over for another year attention switches to the Eastern Counties League. Suffolk, unbeaten in their opening two matches, are in a good position to capture this title for the first time.
Suffolk's next match is on Saturday against Middleton Cup qualifiers Essex at the Marlborough Bowling Club, Ipswich. Suffolk have yet to finalise the team and this will be announced in due course.