Norfolk’s Willgress and King help England take British U25s crown
A great team performance from the best young bowlers in the land enabled England to regain the British men's U25 team title in Nottingham at the weekend.
And it was the performance of what was being dubbed the 'Norfolk Nucleus' that made all the difference as Wayne Willgress skipped his rink to two great wins and a narrow defeat.
The impressive Willgress, 23, who plays for the Norfolk indoor club in Norwich, received good support from his 20-year-old brother Jake, who was making his international debut.
At lead, also making his first appearance for England, was Gallow star Sam King – son of Norfolk legend and 2006 world champion Mervyn King – and he, too, was in good form.
Yet another newcomer Nick Voss, from Dorset, slotted in well at third man, as the 'Norfolk quartet' returned a 23-16 card against Wales, and stormed to a massive 38-14 win over Ireland.
In the crunch encounter with defending champions Scotland they played it tight, losing by five shots, 19-14, to Christopher Stein's rink to help England take the title.
After beating Wales 95-57, England swept to a 104-75 victory over Ireland, before beating the holders 73-70.
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Team manager Tony Horobin said: 'It was a fantastic win by a side that could hardly have played better. They showed plenty of spirit as well as skill, and the Norfolk rink was a great success. Some people may have thought it was a gamble to field three new caps on the same rink – but Sam, Jake, Nick and Wayne certainly came up trumps.'
Unbeaten England duly finished top of the table with Wales second, Scotland third and Ireland fourth.