Norfolk enjoy great start to the season with win over old rivals Essex

NCSMBA Summer Cup Winners Wymondham. Back row, from left, Neil Davidson, Debbie Sparham, Jon Sparham

NCSMBA Summer Cup Winners Wymondham. Back row, from left, Neil Davidson, Debbie Sparham, Jon Sparham, Chris Mann and Roger Steele. Front row, from left, Jack Pye, Mark Linsdell (captain) and John Jeffery. Picture: Teresa Goldsmith - Credit: Archant

Norfolk enjoyed a successful start to the 2017-18 Inter-County Championship season with both teams winning at home to old rivals Essex.

Norfolk Premier beat Essex Premier 27-13 after taking an early lead. In the singles Gary Best beat Mitchell Young 14-9 and followed that up with a 17-10 win against Barry Hedges.

John Turner made a comeback to county bowls leading for David Lamb in the pairs and they recorded wins of 14-8 and 11-10. Another player making his return to the county scene was Mark Linsdell and with Morgan Warnes & Simon Willies they won their games by 18-11 and 21-6. The fours were shared with Jason Woods & Selwyn Goldsmith winning one game apiece.

Former Cambs star Andy Sindle made his debut for Norfolk leading for Jason Woods while Lesley Crowe & John Jarvis were called up for the Premier team in Selwyn Goldsmith's rink with several regular players unavailable.

Norfolk A also made a solid start against Essex A and despite a good comeback by the visitors they held on to win 23-17.

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Norfolk's singles players Robbie Lamb and Mike Boswell picked up maximum points in the discipline winning two games apiece. Father and son combination Karl & Terry Newby won both their pairs games by 15-14 and 19-5. Ex West Mids bowler Elaine Willies, Steve Hall, Ryan Fox and Steve Easter all made their county debuts for Norfolk A.

A sparkling first half performance by favourites Wymondham left Kirby Bedon reeling in the Summer Cup Final at St Faiths.

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Many believed that Wymondham's win at Bob Carter in the semi-final had as good as guaranteed them the cup and that speculation proved to be correct as Kirby Bedon failed to put their opponents under any meaningful pressure.

Neil Davidson, Jon Sparham & Chris Mann stormed to a 22-9 win against Teresa Goldsmith, Joan Costello & Selwyn Goldsmith with Davidson putting in a textbook performance at lead as he peppered the jack throughout the game. With Jon Sparham consolidating the head from the number two position the Kirby skip found himself in trouble throughout and was unable to stem the flow of shots against his triple.

On the occasions when Kirby did get woods in the head Chris Mann was normally able to rectify the situation. Wymondham's Roger Steele, Debbie Sparham & Jack Pye gradually pulled away from Carol Aggas, Joe Brown & John Aggas and an 18-7 win left Wymondham 4-0 up on points and 24 shots to the good at the interval.

In the second half Wymondham felt confident enough to substitute Neil Davidson and put in John Jeffery at lead in Mann's triple against John Aggas. This time the Kirby triple stopped Mann running away with the game and restricted his triple to a 14-11 score-line.

On the other mat Jack Pye's triple led Goldsmith's triple by 11-8 with three ends to go but finished with a flourish to record a 16-8 win to earn maximum points for Wymondham.

This match could prove to be the last ever played by Kirby Bedon. A meeting has been called for next week for club members to discuss the future of the club following declining membership. The team once dominated the NCSMBA Summer League for over a decade and became the first Norfolk side to win the triple crown when they won the Summer League, Summer Cup and the ESMBA National Club Championships in the same season.

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