Martham collect more silverware

Helen Cordingley, presents the Hansells Cup to victorious Martham captain Gino Gallant. Picture: New

Helen Cordingley, presents the Hansells Cup to victorious Martham captain Gino Gallant. Picture: Newsmakers PR - Credit: Archant

Martham Club captain Gino Gallant was 'ecstatic' after lifting the final piece of silverware of the 2013 Norfolk Bowls Association season.

The Hansells Cup, a knock-out tournament for the top teams in Divisions Two and Three across Norfolk, saw the east coast outfit win on all three rinks to beat Honingham 70-42 in a showpiece showdown at Wymondham Dell.

In the morning's semi-finals, Martham had beaten West Winch 61-39, winning on two of the three rinks, while Honingham had a walkover as opponents Suffield Park were unable to raise a team because of illness and holidays.

Martham won the Hansells League East Two division and West Winch won West Two. Honingham were victorious in Central Two while Suffield Park had earned a place in the semi-finals as champions of North Two.

Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers have sponsored the Association and the League, as well as the Hansells Cup, for 10 years. The finalists were presented with their cups by solicitor Helen Cordingley, while semi-finalists West Winch were congratulated by Hansells' Marketing Executive Dawn Towns.

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Martham gained a convincing win in the semi-finals then made a good start in the final – and never looked in any trouble.

Gallant, captain of the winning Martham team, who completed a season-long record of not losing a game, said: 'I am absolutely ecstatic. We have had a cracking season and a great day today. I am absolutely over the moon with the club.

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'We won our section of the league, then we beat Scole so we were lucky enough to make the semi-final. It was a good all-round performance from the chaps, they're a great bunch of lads – great team effort. It has been such a good day. It is a pleasure for me and for the club to pick the Hansells Cup up.'

Tony Lyon, club captain of runners-up Honingham, conceded his team had lost to a better side on the day.

He said: 'In bowls, the rinks are the same for both sides – you have to find the line to win the game – they found the line, and we didn't.'

However, fielding a completely new team this year, the club was extremely pleased to have won promotion.

'We have achieved our main objective of going back into the first division,' he said. 'To win would be a bonus but we came up against a better side who were worthy winners.'

Norfolk Bowls Association League Secretary Tony Dunton was delighted with the day's sport..

'We had a nice day and the green played very well. I think it's the best green in Norfolk with its facilities.'

Among the spectators was Norfolk Bowls Association Senior Vice President John Ottaway. He commented: 'A lot of concentration goes into the Premier League but its days like this for smaller clubs which are great for bowls.'

Semi-finals: Martham beat West Winch 61-39 (Martham names first): C Starkings, A Palmer, S Watson, T Gallant 28; M Fox, G Nunn, C Steward, D Bull 6. A Manser E Faircloth, T Watson, G Hewitt 15; B Graham, J Sills, K Evans, D Beckett 19. M Gallant, S Sieley, G Bowgen, J Dyball 18; P Parker, G Shipp, P Plume, J Grant 14.

Honingham v Suffield Park: walkover, Suffield Park unable to raise a team.

Final: Martham beat Honingham by 70-42. (Martham names first): C Starkings, A Palmer, S Watson, T Gallant 28; C Mardon, B Dack, A Webb, R Lindford 19. A Manser E Faircloth, T Watson G Hewitt 20; R Middleton, G Little, J McKinnon, A Lyon 14; M Gallant, S Sieley, G Bowgen, J Dyball 22; D Harvey, A Long, C Hipperson, D Richmond 9.

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