Norfolk Premier lose out to West Mids in final of Inter-County Champs

Norfolk Premier lost to West Mids in the final of the ESMBA Inter-County Championships. Picture: Ter

Norfolk Premier lost to West Mids in the final of the ESMBA Inter-County Championships. Picture: Teresa Goldsmith - Credit: Archant

For the second time in three years Norfolk Premier contested the final of the ESMBA Inter-County Championships but this time the day finished in disappointment as West Mids retained their title with a stunning performance in the second half.

Norfolk went into the final on the back of a season long unbeaten run and began brightly winning the first session 5-3. Both singles games went Norfolk's way with Neil Davidson winning 17-11 and Gary Best winning 13-8 while Jason Woods & David Lamb drew their pairs game 13-13.

The second session of triples and pairs also began well for Norfolk who at one time led on all four mats. West Mids though came back strongly showing the tenacity that earned them the title last year and levelled the match at 8-8 by the halfway stage.

Norfolk's three points came courtesy of a 10-9 win for Kerry Greenacre, Debbie Sparham & Keith Cooke and a 9-9 draw for Lewis Cranston, John Jarvis, Owen Cranston & Selwyn Goldsmith.

The third session proved to be the turning point as West Mids won both singles games and the only point earned in the pairs was by Mark Linsdell & Jon Sparham who drew 13-13. Norfolk had left themselves too much to do in the last session where they needed to win across the board but by now West Mids had the bit between their teeth and only Lesley Crowe, Morgan Warnes & Simon Willies managed a win by 11-10 leaving West Mids celebrating victory after a hard fought final. The match was the last to be played under manager Selwyn Goldsmith and assistant manager Jon Sparham who have stood down after a successful period for the county squad during which they have established Norfolk Premier as a force to be reckoned with. With immediate effect Simon Willies takes on the role of County Manager with Keith Cooke as Assistant Manager.

Jack Pye of Horsford BC is the new City of Norwich League Singles champion after beating young County Council star Owen Cranston. A great final went to an extra end and was decided by the last bowl as Jack Pye drew in to beat Owen who has become a key player for Norfolk Premier this season.

Despite winning four of the opening six ends Debbie & Jack Pye of Horsford BC saw their City League Pairs title slip away as a dropped five on the second end ultimately torpedoed their chances of retaining the title. Mark Linsdell & Chris Mann of Deaf Sports collected two shots on the last end to beat Debbie & Jack Pye by just one shot. Horsford BC beat Costessey 6-2 in the City Shield Final.

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Jack Pye was in excellent form in the group stages of the SMPT World Masters in Belfast but made a surprise exit in the last 32 round losing 12-8 to Elliot James.

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