Norfolk Bowls Club grab national glory with English National Indoor Mixed Fours success
- Credit: Archant © 2013
Norfolk Bowls Club were last night celebrating after a quartet of their rising stars brought home a national title from Northampton.
Rebecca Field, Louise Catchpole, Ian Catchpole and Wayne Willgress are the new English National Indoor Mixed Fours champions after a thrilling finish to the final.
And what makes their success all the more remarkable is that all of them are under the age of 25. The two men are the both 24, Field is 23 and Louise Catchpole just 22.
Yet, playing against opponents with twice as much experience, they thrashed Barwell 24-13 in the first round and Tilbury 18-15 before demolishing Foxhill 21-3 in the semi-finals – in just 14 ends.
Wellingborough's Jean Burgess, Tina Broderick, Paul Broderick and Jamie Walker were to prove a much tougher proposition.
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Both of the Brodericks are seasoned England internationals and they opened an 11-4 lead in just five ends.
Norfolk fought back doggedly but remained behind all the way to the final end, which Wellingborough began leading 24-23.
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The key moment came when, with Wellingborough holding a game-winning lie, number three Ian Catchpole took out the Northants team's two closest woods to give Norfolk the two they needed.
Willgress still needed to consolidate the position, but he did so without difficulty to edge Norfolk to a 26-24 victory.
'Ian's bowl was the one which won the match,' said Willgress. 'They had two on the jack and he drilled them out with what I can only describe as a wonder bowl.
'We were behind all the way and most of the crowd was against us as they were the local favourites – but we just kept fighting.'
Willgress and recently crowned World Matchplay champion Field also reached the quarter-finals of the mixed pairs before bowing out to the eventual champions Zoe Eagles and Adam Liddle from Leeds.
Three other members of Norfolk BC to make an impression in Northampton were Sylvia Randell, Linda Bennett and Kay Carrick, who reached the quarter-finals in the Over-50s triples.