Brian Taylor so proud of his Middleton Cup winner

Team manager Brian Taylor picked out Wayne Willgress for special mention as Norfolk celebrated their fifth Middleton Cup triumph.

Norfolk won the prestigious national inter-county crown at Beach House Park, Worthing on Saturday with a tense 118-114 over Wiltshire, having earlier taken revenge for last season's semi-final defeat to Devon by beating them 122-118.

And having seen his men lift the trophy for the first time since 2006 Taylor declared: 'I'd like to pay tribute to the whole squad but would mention Wayne Willgress in particular who overcame the disappointment of losing the singles final the day before to be one of the star performers in both the semi and the final'.

Willgress, 23, had been beaten in heart-breaking fashion in the final of the men's singles, 21-20 by another of the sport's rising young stars, Tom Bishop of the Atherley club in Southampton, whose winning shot was decided on a measure.

But he shrugged off the disappointment to play a key role in Saturday's Middleton Cup semi-final and final – before returning to Norfolk to take part in the men's fours at the Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival on Sunday.


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Taylor added: 'Going into the semi final we knew we would have a hard match against Devon who won the title last year and have been the dominant county in recent years.

'We made solid start and as Devon hit back we held our nerve and played some big bowls to win.

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'In the final Wiltshire were a bit of an unknown quantity and although they took an early lead we did not let this build.

'The last few ends were a bit tense but as in the semi final we played some big shots to get the win.'

Match details. Semi-final v Devon: John Ottaway, Mick Brown, Paul Shackcloth, Mervyn King 21 Sam Tolchard 19; Max Harrison, Roger Guy, Chris Gaul, Peter Boldero 15 Kevin Phillips 17; John Colcombe, Peter Wilkinson. Jake Willgress, Philip Barr 20 Jamie Chestney 21; George Tubby, Justin Hudson, Andy Siely, Darren Rowsell 27 Griff Sanders 16; John Tufts, Rob Parker, Stephen Winter, Wayne Willgress 29 James Webber 12; Gary Mallett, Liam Stevenson, Brian Taylor, Mark Turner 10 Robert Paxton 33

Final v Wiltshire: John Ottaway, Mick Brown, Paul Shackcloth, Mervyn King 20 Mike Jackson 17; Max Harrison, Roger Guy, Chris Gaul, Peter Boldero 20 Steve Snell 19; John Colcombe, Peter Wilkinson. Jake Willgress, Philip Barr 17 Russell Francis 21; George Tubby, Justin Hudson, Andy Siely, Darren Rowsell 21 Michael Snell 14; John Tufts, Rob Parker, Stephen Winter, Wayne Willgress 22 Neil Smith 17; Liam Stevenson, Brian Taylor, Mark Turner, Chris Willgress18 Mel Biggs 26

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