Norfolk go clear at summit after an impressive victory

Debbie Sparham, Keith Cooke & Kerry Greenacre (from left) helped Norfolk Premier extend their lead a

Debbie Sparham, Keith Cooke & Kerry Greenacre (from left) helped Norfolk Premier extend their lead at the top of the Inter-County Short Mat Bowls Championship table. - Credit: Archant

Inter County Championship action saw top of the table Norfolk Premier score a stunning 30-10 away win against Northamptonshire Premier as the home team were brushed aside by a rampant Norfolk side.

Norfolk made the perfect start, winning all four opening games and they never looked back. Chris Mann was again in superb form, beating Leigh Hall 12-8 and Ed Sawbridge 16-10 as Northant's England internationals failed to cope with the Wymondham ace. Jack Pye added a 17-5 win against Chris Weston as the singles collected eight from 10 points.

The same tally was earned by Norfolk's pairs with Kirby Bedon's Teresa and Selwyn Goldsmith winning both their games by 12-11 and 14-12 while Simon Warnes and Jon Sparham added a 15-9 win. An exciting finish to the triples games saw Norfolk snatch the bonus points with Bob Carter's Jamie Forster, Jason Woods and Melvin Woods returning to winning ways with a 20-3 second-half win and Kerry Greenacre of Haddiscoe, Debbie Sparham of Wymondham and Halvergate's Keith Cooke scoring a first half 16-9 win. Eight more points were earned in the rinks as Jenny Walker, Lewis Cranston, Peter Walker and Bob Oatway won by 12-1 and 11-10 and Owen Cranston, Karl Newby, Robbie Lamb and Phil Watson won their second-half game 8-5.

The result leaves Norfolk six points clear at the top of group two with Essex Premier in second place. Essex Premier won 31-9 at home to an Oxfordshire side who have failed to impress this season.

• The five Bure Pairs Championship heats were played but it was a bad week for the seeded pairs from last year's finals night as only two seeds made it through.

Kirby Bedon's seeded pair Janice Hewitt and Selwyn Goldsmith of Kirby Bedon won the Woodbastwick heat after getting off to a great start beating Halvergate's Josh Baxter and Morgan Warnes 12-0 in their first game. Hevingham's Alan Bunn and Maurice Kemp finished as runners-up and also qualified for the finals night next March.

Mandy Marshall of Thrope Marriott was impressively consistent in her first Bure Pairs appearance playing lead for Marjorie Hall as they finished the evening with a 7-2 win against the Halvergate pair.

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The heat at Coltishall was decided by a low scoring 4-3 win for Bob Burrage and David Claxton of Horsford BC against former county team stars Norma and Peter Jablonowski of Woodbastwick but both pairs made it through to finals night.

Simon Warnes and David Lamb of Halvergate took maximum points at Thorpe Marriott with Kirby Bedon's Jimmy Dye and Gerald Chilvers second with six points which was enough to earn the Kirby pair a best runners-up spot. Chris Mann and John Turner of East Tuddenham would have been expected to be contenders but lost their opening game 5-3 to Jimmy Dye and Gerald Chilvers and then went down 10-2 in their second game to Warnes and Lamb.

At East Tuddenham defending champions Keith Cooke and Robbie Lamb of Halvergate suffered a surprise defeat in their opening game which they lost 8-3 to Lyn and Roger Frank of Horsford Heroes who went on to win the heat as Cooke and Lamb also made a surprise exit. At Hevingham Thorpe Marriott's Sylvia and Tony Turner qualified as heat winners with six points and +8 shots while Kath Frost and Richard Perkins finished second on six points, but with their shots totalling 25 for and 25 against they failed to progress.

• Thorpe Marriott travelled to Horsford Heroes for the second leg of their Bure Cup clash defending a commanding 18-6 lead from their home leg but saw their big lead cut as Horsford Heroes launched a determined fightback. However Richard Perkins' triple finally saw Thorpe Marriott over the finishing line beating Mark Tuttle's triple by just one shot. Bradwell found visitors Woodbastwick too hot to handle in the Norwich Cup as they suffered a 12-4 defeat.

Hempnall began their Tens League campaign with a crushing 4-0 win at Connaught while Bob Carter won 4-0 at home to Hevingham. City League action saw Sprowston SSC win 10-4 at First Bus to keep in touch with leaders Costessey who were without a match. Thorpe Marriott look certain to be title contenders and they won 12-2 at home to Jarrolds. Felthorpe beat Taverham 12-2 while Framingham Earl beat Old Bonds 12-2. Coastal League leaders Bradwell Dynamos beat Bradwell Beacons 12-6 and Woodbastwick Owls won 13-5 at Hemsby Harvestors. South Walsham won 12-6 at home to Martham.