Norfolk A team pick up well-earned draw in short-mat bowls

Norfolk's double-header ICC clash in Essex ended with a well-earned 20-20 draw for the A team, while Norfolk Premier fought every inch of the way before going down 28-12 to a host outfit.

Having defeated Essex A at Lakeside Country Club, Norfolk A will be delighted with sharing the points at Stonyhill IBC, where captain Mike Boswell skipped his triple to a 13-7 win and a 9-9 draw. Sheila Redwood, Ted Redwood and Les Chadwick produced wins of 12-4 and 16-3 while Sprowston's David Dewing took maximum points in the singles and Colin Coman earned three points out of four.

Norfolk Premier knew the odds were stacked against them, but showed some real fighting spirit against a team used to blowing away opposition at home.

Squad captain Trevor Brown defeated England star Barry Hedges 14-11, but looked in deep trouble at 16-10 down with two ends left against Adam Sultana. A roaring finish saw Brown score six shots to draw the match 16-16. David Lamb and Jon Sparham both skipped their rinks to one win each. Jack Barrett and Keith Cooke won their second game by 11-8 while Neil Davidson, Bob Oatway and Selwyn Goldsmith won their second game 12-9. Andrew Stratton held Sultana to a 12-12 draw in his opening game.

Meanwhile, last season's Norwich Cup winners Connaught A made a shock first round exit against City League side Sprowston after a dramatic extra-end play-off.

Sprowston had suffered a semi-final meltdown last season against Connaught when they went down 27-9 on aggregate and looked to be going down again as Connaught led 8-4 on points with one session remaining at Attleborough. Linda Chadwick, Les Chadwick and David Dewing had kept the visitors in the match with wins of 8-6 against Bill Adcock and 10-3 against Owen Secker, but both Sprowston pairs competing in the final session had lost their opening games. Margaret and John Poynter beat Ty Musk and Sheila Bragg by 11-7 while Janet Roll and David Fuller won by 8-2 against Chris Musk and Sylvia Parsons to level the match 8-8 on points. After a delay, due to a disagreement on the overall shots total, a sudden-death extra end of triples finally took place with Margaret Poynter, David Dewing and John Poynter winning the tie for Sprowston with John Poynter playing the vital last bowl against Sheila Bragg's triple.

Another City League side to go through were Anglian Windows, who won by 10-6 at home to Kirby Bedon. Maximum points for Russell Daynes, David Walker and Avril Walker in the triples and Diane and Mike Boswell in the pairs made it a comfortable victory. Breckland League giants Wymondham lost 12-4 at Cromer.