Norfolk’s winning start to Middlelton Cup defence

Norfolk opened their defence of the Middleton Cup with victory over Huntingdonshire at the Parkway BC in Peterborough.

The county won by 119 shots to 111, taking 14 of the 22 points at stake. They next travel to Northamptonshire, who overwhelmed Bedfordshire 130-94 to take all 22 points, on Saturday, June 15 in what already has the look of a 'winner takes all' game for group honours and qualification for the quarter-finals.

Norfolk travelled to Huntingdonshire with a poor record on the Parkway green but started strongly, opening a 23 shot lead at the five end stage.

It was a lead they maintained over the middle period of the match but Huntingdonshire hit back strongly over the closing stages with the lead at one stage down to only two shots.

However, Norfolk held firm over the closing ends to secure victory, thanks mainly to a dominant performance by Peter Boldero's rink, who returned a fine 30-11 winning score.

Norfolk manager Brian Taylor said: 'In the past we have never done particularly well here, but today we played well across the green and deserved the victory.

'We play Northants next, who are a bit of an unknown quantity to us. With their big win we know it will be a tough match, but I'm sure we have the players to go there and win'

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Rink scores: John Colcombe, Peter Wilkinson, Jake Willgress & Stephen Winter 20 Stuart Popple 16; John Ottaway, Robert Hadingham, Paul Shackcloth & Mervyn King 14 Ean Morton 21; Mark Elliott, Justin Hudson, George Tubby & Andy Siely 18 Nicky Brett 22; Sam King, Bernie Perrett, Mark Turner & Ian Catchpole 24 Alex Walton 26; John Tufts, Neil Moulton, Mark Riches & Wayne Willgress 13 Tristan Morton 15; Max Harrison, Roger Guy, Chris Gaul & Peter Boldero 30 Trevor Collins 11

On Sunday Norfolk play their opening round in the National Inter County Two Fours for the Balcomb Trophy against Hertfordshire at the Rosedale BC in Cheshunt, starting at 10.30am

Norfolk team: Max Harrison (Downham Market), Justin Hudson (Wootton Park), Jake Willgress (Norfolk BC) & Peter Boldero (Downham Market); John Tufts (Norfolk BC), George Tubby (Acle St. Edmunds), Stephen Winter (Wootton Park) & Wayne Willgress (Norfolk BC). Reserve: Mark Turner (County Arts)

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