Middleton Cup heroes in bowls showdown

The climax of the men's pairs sponsored by the Nottingham Bowls Shop saw Middleton Cup manager Brian Taylor playing against fellow cup member, the skip, Jamie Chestney.

The climax of the men's pairs sponsored by the Nottingham Bowls Shop saw Middleton Cup manager Brian Taylor playing against fellow cup member, the skip, Jamie Chestney.

This turned out to be, as expected, the match of the competition with the 2004 winners, Barry Hunt, Michael Brown and Taylor (North Walsham and County Arts), having an early 6-2 lead over Richard Lewis, Ken Frohawk and Chestney (Downham Market and Hunstanton), but after 11 ends they trailed 10-8.

After a seven on the 12th end for Taylor, the Chestney triple fought back to trail 16-14 with three ends to play. A 2-1 to Taylor made the game look safe, and a fighting three on the last end from Chestney could not prevent the Taylor trio from taking the trophy 19-17.

In their semi-final, Lewis, Frohawk and Chestney had scored two three's on the fifth and sixth ends to lead Freethorpe's Ken Adey, Richard Church and Shouldham's John Button 7-3 which they extended to 14-8 with four ends to play.

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Church's trio scored a two on the 15th end, but a disastrous six on the 16th end saw them go down 20-10.

The Yarmouth triple of Stan Hopwood, John Gray and Bryan Drake were down 7-5 after six ends in their semi-final against Hunt, Brown and Taylor and then dropped a five and to find themselves 18-6 down after 12 ends.

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The excellent run by the Yarmouth triple finally ended in a 21-8 defeat.

In the third-place play-off the Yarmouth triple were held 6-5 by the Freethorpe trio, but a five on the 10th end saw Drake's lads go 11-5 up before finally clinching a deserved 20-6 win.

Last year's runners-up in the Greater Yarmouth Independent Newsagents-sponsored ladies pairs, Pat Clarke and Geraldine Reeve (County Arts and Acle) went one better to collect the trophy this year in a game that went right to the wire.

Margaret Betts and Chris Wadlow (St Andrews and St Lawrence) started well, leading 11-3 after 10 ends. Clarke and Reeve had a great comeback to level at 14 all with three ends to play. A six on the 19th end to Clarke and Reeve gave them the advantage to take them to the title 21-16.

Earlier, in an exciting semi-final, Reeve and Clarke met the strong pair of Pam Rolph (Mill Farm) and Arlene Colbourne (Manchester) and at seven ends it was 5-5. Rolph and Colbourne eased away to lead 16-9 with four ends left, but back came Clarke and Reeve to trail 16-15 with one end to play, on which they scored a two to win 17-16.

Betts and Wadlow started well with a 2-4-1 to lead their semi-final 7-0 over Ormesby's Michelle Howell and Hemsby's Helen Farrow.

Howell and Farrow, with a 4-3, levelled the game 10-10 at nine ends, before Betts and Wadlow led 13-12 after 13 3nds, and a 4-1 on the next two ends made this 18-12.

However, they then dropped a five to be only one in front again. A two on the 18th end levelled the scores at 19 all before Betts and Wadlow finally clinched the game 23-19.

In the third-place play-off Rolph and Colbourne lost three ends of the first 10 ends to lead Howell and Farrow 11-5 and then scored a 5-5-2-1 to go ahead 24-5. A further five on the 18th end saw them win 31-6.

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