Challenge Cup glory for Bob Carter but Wymondham push them all the way

Bob Carter are the Challenge Cup winners after beating Wymondham. Picture: Chris Mann

Bob Carter are the Challenge Cup winners after beating Wymondham. Picture: Chris Mann - Credit: Archant

Bob Carter went into the second leg of their Challenge Cup Final at Wymondham protecting a comfortable 16-4 points lead from the first leg played at Drayton and firm favourites to win the cup.

But it would prove to be no easy ride for the star studded Carter outfit as they were made to battle to the bitter end as Wymondham put up resolute resistance before Carter struck the fatal blow on the very last end of the match.

The first session of singles saw Wymondham star Chris Mann beat England international Jamie Forster 11-10 but a dropped four on the last end by Mann took the shine off the result. A poor start by Jack Pye saw him trail by 5-1 to Carter's Gary Best after three ends and although he picked up four shots on the eighth end to cut the deficit to 8-6 he eventually lost 9-7. In a further blow to Wymondham's chances Pat Saunders, Melvyn Barker, Debbie Sparham and Mark Linsdell slipped to a 7-3 defeat against Nigel Willard, Steve Bridge, Rob Howlett and Melly Woods.

This setback was countered by a great 10-1 win for Hayley Stratton, Roger Steele, John Jeffery and Jon Sparham against Jean Woods, John Turner, Jason Woods and Simon Willies that earned Wymondham the bonus points for shots.

Wymondham now knew that to force the first tie break in the competition's three-year history they could not afford to drop another point. The singles certainly came up with the goods as Jack Pye beat Jamie Forster 10-8 while Chris Mann was again in fantastic form beating Gary Best 12-7 to keep Wymondham's hopes alive.


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Both fours matches were tightly contested in the second half but Hayley Stratton, Roger Steele, John Jeffery and Jon Sparham produced their second win of the night narrowly beating Carter's Nigel Willard, Steve Bridge, Rob Howlett and Melvin Woods 6-5. A win for Pat Saunders, Melvyn Barker, Debbie Sparham and Mark Linsdell would have forced a dramatic tie break in the last scheduled game of the final but it was not to be.

Bob Carter's former West Mids legend Simon Willies delivered the winning bowl on the last end to take three shots and collect an 8-6 win for his rink which set off jubilant celebrations by the Drayton side.

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Chris Mann, NCSMBA Competition Secretary, presented the Challenge Cup trophy to Bob Carter who are now the third different team to have won the competition.

Summer Cup action saw Wymondham end Hingham's interest in the cup with an emphatic 8-0 win on points, 103-24 on shots. Mary Fisher, Mark Linsdell & Jack Pye opened with a 38-3 win and with Hayley Stratton subbing for Fisher they won their second game 22-6. Shropham pulled off a surprise 5-3 win at Forncett after a tight first half saw Jim Delaney's triple win 14-11 and Richard Broad's triple earn a 12-12 draw to give Shropham a 3-1 half time lead on points.

Broad's triple saw Shropham safely into the quarter-finals with a 15-11 win after the break where they will entertain Wymondham. Thorpe Marriott are top of Division One after a 5-3 win at Diss. Sheila Redwood, Kath Frost & Tony Turner led the way with a 20-9 win and a 16-16 draw. Wymondham are just one point behind and a game in hand after an 8-0 away win at Diss. Chris Mann's triple won 18-9 & 26-3 while Jack Pye's triple won by 14-11 & 15-9.

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