Norfolk fall just short in John’s Trophy final but look to the positives

Norfolk fell just short in the final of the John's Trophy against Kent. Picture: Archant

Norfolk fell just short in the final of the John's Trophy against Kent. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant � 2010

A gallant effort in the John's Trophy national final at Leamington Spa on Saturday, saw Norfolk fall short by just nine shots against Kent in a repeat of the line up in the last time they reached the final in 2001.

In the morning, the 24-strong team from Norfolk had beaten defending champions Lincolnshire by eight shots, winning on three out of the six rinks. The game was close all the way through, with both teams never separated by more than 10 shots until the latter stages, when Norfolk crept to 14 in the lead.

The defending champions were not planning on letting their trophy go without a fight however, and a score of five on the 21st end on one of the remaining rinks, brought the score within eight with two ends remaining. There was to be no remarkable comeback however, as with just singles changing hands, Norfolk took the win and marched on to the final.

They would face a strong side from Kent, who had reached the final of the competition for the second consecutive year. The tally on the overall leader board changed hands multiple times during the game, with the team from Norfolk very much holding their own and at the half way stage they had their nose just out in front. It was then when the Kent side struck with a string of counts across three rinks: the Kent four skipped by England international Wendy King took a five against Rebecca Field, Carole Baker, Suzanne King and Jackie Devitt. The rink skipped by reigning Commonwealth gold medallist and England captain Sian Honnor dealt a blow of six to Ada Sumpter, Jan Dearman, Thelma Scarffe and Jenny Kirby and a destructive three end 3-6-7 against Brenda Whitehead's rink, saw the main scoreboard swing back in Kent's favour.

The scoreboard remained in Kent's favour through the second third of the game. Norfolk rallied back in the lead at the 18 end stage, giving a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, Honnor once again showed her class, with a five and three on the 19th and 21st end, and another score of three on Anne Harrison's rink sealed the Norfolk team's fate.

This was the first time the Norfolk team had reached this stage of the competition in 16 years, and they will certainly take many positives going into next year. With a strong team spirit they aim to come back and fight even harder in the round robin stages in 2018.

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