Norfolk pair Bex Field and Carole Baker play part in England win
No-one looked as pleased as Norfolk duo Bex Field and Carole Baker when England won the British women's team title for the fourth year running, and lifted Clara Johns Trophy in Swansea at the weekend.
Field, who plays for the Norfolk club in Norwich, and Diss ace Baker teamed up at the front end of a rink skipped by twice women's world champion Debbie Stavrou, and made a key contribution to England's triumph.
Stavrou's quartet suffered a shock 21-25 defeat against Wales in their opening match after leading throughout, but showed their true strength against Ireland and Scotland, returning winning cards of 24-14 and 25-20.
But it was the way that, with Cumbria's Janice Gower playing third, they managed to score a single and a double at the end of the title-decider against Scotland that proved to be absolutely crucial.
In a tense encounter, the up-for-it and unbeaten Scots looked certain to wrest the title from the holders when they opened up a lead of 12 shots with only a handful of ends left to play.
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But the 24-strong English team showed character across the green to close the gap, with Stavrou's rink applying the coup-de-gras, so that England retained the title with a 109-108 overall victory.
The game was played to the same script as last week's clash between England and Scotland in the men's championship, when the Scots stole the title from England – but this time, of course, the roles were reversed.
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'It was great playing alongside Carole, because she's a great player, and such a nice person,' said the 22-year-old Field, who made her international debut at the Stanley club in County Durham last year.
'It was also a great feeling to win the title again, and even more special, because we were doing it for Carole McLean,' Field added.
'Carole, from Scarborough, was part of the team last year, but tragically died a few days after playing in the outdoor series in Llandrindod Wells in June.'
McLean, who was only 27 when she died, thought she had gastric flu, but was actually suffering from cancer – and the teams from the four home countries raised more than �500 for the fund which has been created to honour her memory.
It was also a highly emotional victory for the entire England team, who all said they 'did it for Carole'.