Norfolk eliminated from inter-county short mat championships

Norfolk A were eliminated from the Inter-County Championships after suffering a 28-12 defeat against West Sussex in Hertfordshire in the re-arranged fixture, originally set to be played in Northants before last week's heavy snow played havoc with the fixture list.

Norfolk made six forced changes from their original team with players from outside the squad.Costessey player Jack Barrett, 15, made his county debut as did Norfolk O60 bowler Margaret Reynolds of RG Carter while former Norfolk Premier bowlers Phil Watson and Selwyn Goldsmith of Kirby Bedon were brought into the action.

West Sussex opened strongly winning both singles games as Sprowston's David Dewing went down 18-5 against Rod McBeth and Colin Coman of First Bus lost a close game 14-11. Steven Lamb and Phil Watson produced Norfolk's first win by 14-9 but with Chris Musk and Elaine Cole losing by 22-5 West Sussex led 6-2 on points. The triples and rinks shared the points in the second session as Shirley Brown, Elaine Oatway, Malcolm Reynolds and Ray Lamb won 15-8 while Roger Green, Josh Baxter and Selwyn Goldsmith snatched a 12-11 win on the final end.

A good third session was needed badly if Norfolk were to keep their hopes alive but the singles and pairs proved to be a repeat of the opening session with only Steven Lamb and Phil Watson winning for Norfolk by 18-12.

Norfolk needed to win on all four mats and score plenty of shots in the final session if they were to turn things around but West Sussex were in no mood to let this match slip now and only Shirley Brown, Elaine Oatway, Malcolm Reynolds and Ray Lamb won for Norfolk as West Sussex earned their place in the quarter-finals against Devon. Breckland League champions Wymondham will be bitterly disappointed as they dropped valuable points in their quest to fend off the strong challenge of Connaught A. At Hingham Green Brian Saunders skipped his Wymondham triple to a 28-6 win and Debbie Phillips added a 20-10 win but the home side hit back with wins for John Higgs and Pat Groombridge as the visitors were forced to settle for a narrow 6-4 victory. At Carleton Rode worse was to come for Wymondham as they crashed to a shock 8-2 defeat.

Carleton Rode reeled off their sixth consecutive win with Russell Davidson beating Brian Saunders 23-16, Terry Newby beating Debbie Phillips 21-12 and Rod Baker beating England start Chris Mann 16-15.

Kirby Bedon went into their Bure Cup semi-final second leg tie at Hevingham with just eleven players but managed to clinch a place in the final with a session to spare. Leading 16-8 from the first leg Kirby Bedon's Jill Watson, Jimmy Dye and Phil Watson were in great form producing wins of 8-2, 9-2 and 6-4 to spearhead Kirby's victory. Their 6-4 win against George Clarke's triple in the fifth session took Kirby over the finishing line and Hevingham conceded the match with Kirby leading 25-19 on aggregate. They will face the winners of the Coltishall v Woodbastwick tie in the final. Bure League action saw Coltishall beat Horsford BC 10-0, with John Aggas and his triple winning 30-6, and beat Kirby Bedon 6-4 on successive nights.

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