Norfolk end Kent hopes by claiming historic first over 60s national crown
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk clinched the national over 60 inter-county title at the National Indoor Championships at Melton Mowbray.
Kent's men were hoping to become the first to win the championship for the fourth time, but they were upstaged by a Norfolk side that included former internationals Tony Dunton, John Ottaway and Brian Taylor.
In the eight years since the event was introduced in 2009, the title had been won by only three counties – Kent and Northants three times apiece, and Hampshire twice.
Norfolk led from the start, but could never get far enough ahead to be sure of ultimate victory, with Kent always threatening.
Dunton's rink led the winning charge with a 23-9 result, but Taylor's men were not far behind at 25-16, while team manager Charlie Boon skipped his men to a 17-11 win, and Mike King won by two shots, 18-16.
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Roger Herridge's rink replied for Kent with a 15-12 win, while, on the rink where Norfolk's Bill Crittle took on Kent's Peter Hurren, the honours were shared, 12-12.
'When I took over as team manager two years ago, we lost in the first round, but we reached the quarter-finals last year,' said team manager Boon. I can tell you that I am proud of the way the guys played today, bringing the trophy back to Norfolk for the very first time.'
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In the women's triples all four of the skips involved in the semi-finals were current or former England players, and much interest was shown in the Norfolk v Suffolk clash between the North Walsham team skipped by 69-year-old Jayne Roylance, and the Ipswich trio skipped by Katherine Rednall, who is only 21.
It was a cat-and-mouse game, but Christine Rednall (Katherine's mum), Anna Chalk and Katherine, who won the title in 2015, struck a telling blow when they picked up a sensational six on the seventh end, followed by a double, to lead 13-8.
Although Ipswich were able to score only two more singles, they were always in control, and Roylance's North Walsham trio, with Jane Paris at lead and ex-Londoner Sharon Rickman playing in the middle, conceded after 15 ends, when the score was 15-8. Ipswich face Blackpool Newton Hall in the final.