Norfolk storm to last eight
On a dramatic afternoon at Norfolk Bowling Club on Saturday Norfolk qualified for the quarter-finals of the Middleton Cup.
Going into their final group match against Bedfordshire, Norfolk had to better Essex's result in their contest with Huntingdonshire by 10 points, and this they did by winning by 18 points to four while Essex went down 14-8. As a result Norfolk and Essex tied on points at the top of the group – but Norfolk went through with a superior shots difference.
In the match Norfolk led by six shots after 5 ends increasing this to 15 shots at 10 and 26 at 15. They maintained their dominance to run out winners by 136 shots to 112, a result built around the 18 shot victory of the rink skipped by County Arts' Mark Turner.
'Though it did not look particularly good for us going into the match, I knew we had a chance as I was confident we could overcome Bedfordshire and there was no reason why Huntingdonshire, who reached the final last year, could not beat Essex,' said manager Brian Taylor.
'We knew we must win the match with at least three winning rinks and this we did. Maybe some justice was done following the manner of our defeat in the first group match against Essex'.
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'We knew that Huntingdonshire were winning as we played our closing ends and after we had finished we had an anxious wait until we got confirmation that Hunts had secured the match victory on the last end'
In their quarter-final, to be played at the Goodwood Bowls Club in Leicester on 23 July, Norfolk will play Northumberland.
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The other quarter-final ties are Leicestershire v Yorkshire, Wiltshire v Berkshire, Devon v Hampshire.
Rink scores: Gary Mallett, Rob Parker, Daniel Noble, Wayne Willgress 26; Nicky Brett 22. John Colcombe, Chris Gaul, Roger Guy, Peter Boldero 22; Paul Andrews 17. Sam King, Jake Willgress, Paul Shackcloth, Jamie Chestney 24; Tom Cawdell 17. Steffan Adcock, John Hunter, Mark Riches, Philip Barr 19; Paul Murray 22. George Tubby, Michael Hunter, Andy Siely, Mark Turner 28; K.Evans 10. John Ottaway, Mick Brown, Bernie Perrett, Brian Taylor 17; Rhys Lee 24.
• The 75th anniversary of the formation of the Norfolk County (EBA) Association was celebrated by a match between the County and the Bowls England President's Team, including the current senior vice president Stuart Lake and numerous past presidents of Bowls England and the EBA.
The match, held at the County Arts, resulted in victory for Norfolk by 128 shots to 124.
The Bowls England Team have also helped Cromer Marrams and Wymondham Dell celebrate their 75th anniversaries during an Eastern Counties tour.
Rink scores (Norfolk names first): Derek Talbot (President), Richard Banks, Roger Rudling, David Naunton 24; Stuart Lake (BE SVP), Terry Searsby, Don Pugh, Peter Arnold 17. Tony Lyon, Peter Henman, George Hunter (SVP), Roger Greef 24; David Besford, John Delman, Mike Boon, Ian Morrill 16. Peter Bird, David Bryant, Don Whyatt, John Ottaway 13; Adie Lloyd, John Snell, Pat Finney, Arthur Hockley 23. John Mason, Dennis Cousins, Pat Clover, Tony Dunton 28; John Todd, John Durston, Chris Smith, John Scholey 19. Tony Mark, Richard Church, Bill Windsor, John George 20; Gordon Cox, John Tolley, George Henderson, Martin Dolby 30. Mike Flynn, Tony Foulke, Tom Kelly, Brian Taylor 19; Bill Hatto, Michael Jennings, David Holloway, Wayne Manley 19.