Norfolk hit form to seal last four spot

Norfolk stormed into the semi-finals of the Middleton Cup on Saturday by beating Northumberland 131-85 at the Goodwood Bowls Club in Leicester.

Having scraped through the group stages on shots difference the county put in an emphatic performance to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2008.

Norfolk took control from the start building a 46-19 lead at the five-end stage with Philip Barr's rink leading 14-0. The expected Northumberland fight-back did not materialise and Norfolk maintained and built on this lead, extending it to 64 shots at 15 ends. At 18 ends Northumberland's team manager, Chris Palmer, conceded the match with Norfolk 48 shots ahead.

Norfolk won on all six rinks with the quartet of George Tubby, Michael Hunter, Andy Siely and Mark Turner beating ex-international Kevin Wall's four 30-13.

Manager Brian Taylor said: 'This was another great performance by the team. We have shown great character after the defeat in our first match against Essex.'

In the semi-final at Worthing on August 27 Norfolk will play Devon, who beat them in the 2008 final. The other semi-final is between Leicestershire and Berkshire.

Quarter-final results: Norfolk 133, Northumberland 85; Wiltshire 104, Berkshire 117; Devon 145, Hampshire 107; Leicestershire 113, Yorkshire 103. Rink Scores: George Tubby, Michael Hunter, Andy Siely, Mark Turner 30-13; Gary Mallett, Rob Parker, Daniel Noble, Wayne Willgress 20-11; Sam King, Jake Willgress, Paul Shackcloth, Jamie Chestney 21-20; Steffan Adcock, John Hunter, Mark Riches, Philip Barr 24-13; John Colcombe, Chris Gaul, Danny Page, Peter Boldero 16-13; John Ottaway, Micky Brown, Brian Taylor, Chris Willgress 20-15.

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Prior to the Middleton Cup semi-final, Norfolk have two matches in the Eastern Counties League.

In the first of these they entertain Bedfordshire at County Arts on Saturday and the following team has been selected: Matthew Carter, Daniel Noble, Ashley Smith, Rob Parker; John Hunter, Tony Goodson, Kenny Breame, Mark Turner; Sam King, Charlie Boon, Bernie Perrett, Philip Day; Mark Flatman, Liam Stevenson, Peter Stevenson, Mike King; Frank Ray, Roy Hubbard, Nigel Carter, Peter Wilkinson; Derek Talbot, George Hunter, Don Whyatt, John George.

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