Norfolk’s Middleton Cup hopes hang by a thread after Northamptonshire defeat

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

Norfolk's hopes of reaching the quarter finals of the Middleton Cup suffered a blow on Saturday when they lost to Northamptonshire at Kingsthorpe 126-112.

Norfolk did at least manage to take eight points after winning on four rinks. Norfolk's next opponents are Hertfordshire at County Arts BC next Saturday and with Hertfordshire recording their third successive win on Saturday anything but victory will see their quarter final hopes extinguished.

The match against Northampton was evenly poised at the five ends stage with the scores level but the damage was done for Norfolk over the next five ends with Northamptonshire taking a 22-shot lead, a lead they extended to 30 at 15 ends and although Norfolk did recover over the closing ends it was not enough.

Norfolk's next match is against Hertfordshire on Saturday, June 24 at County Arts BC at 2pm and manager Brian Taylor has made one change with John Ottaway, who was unavailable for the last match, returning to the team in place of Peter Boldero.

In the regional semi-final of the Bowls England National Inter County Two Rink Championship for the Balcomb Trophy Norfolk play Essex at Parkway BC in Peterborough on Sunday 25th June at 10am.

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The winners of this match will then play the winners of the Leicestershire/Hertfordshire match at 2.00pm for a place in the national finals at Leamington Spa in August.

An unchanged team has been selected: John Tufts, Peter Wilkinson, James Segolo & Wayne Willgress; Dan Seabourne, George Tubby, Stephen Winter & Sam King.

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The County Championships have now reached the quarter finals stage. It has not been a good year for the defending champions with the winners of the two wood Singles, four wood Singles, Triples and Fours all losing in the early rounds.

The only champions in with a chance of defending their titles are Dan Seabourne (Freethorpe) in the Junior Singles and Barry Flatt & Garry Goodrum (Wymondham Dell) in the Pairs.

In the blue riband four wood Singles there will be a new name on the Championship trophy with none of the quarter finalists having previously lifted the title.

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