Jon Sparham puts best foot forward in Norfolk’s short-mat bowls win

Norfolk Premier opened their Inter-County Championship campaign with a 24-16 away win at Northamptonshire.

One of the heroes on the day was fours skip Jon Sparham, of Hempnall, who played despite a badly sprained ankle and yet produced two superb wins of 19-4 and 9-6.

With Bob Carter's Jean Woods at lead, Bob Oatway of First Bus at number two and Wymondham's Brian Saunders at three, Jon Sparham collected maximum points.

In the pairs, Carter's Nigel Willard and Wymondham's Chris Mann were in unstoppable form as they won both their games by 20-8 and 16-11 as Northants found the visitors too hot to handle.

Another success story was the new-look triple of Wymondham's young star Jack Barrett, Carter's Kim Bridge and East Tuddenham's John Turner, who won their first game 12-3 and their second 15-8.

The win marked a successful start for the new Norfolk County management team who are expected to make few changes for the visit of the powerful Essex side on Sunday. Essex started their campaign with a 38-2 mauling of London County.