Norfolk team boss Brian Taylor hails performance after easing to Hunts victory

Wayne Willgress helped Norfolk to victory in the Middleton Cup. Picture: Archant

Wayne Willgress helped Norfolk to victory in the Middleton Cup. Picture: Archant - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Norfolk began their Middleton Cup campaign on Saturday with a fine win by 17 shots against Huntingdonshire at Brampton Institute BC.

By winning on four rinks they took 18 of the 22 points at stake.

With Wayne Willgress's rink getting off to a great start Norfolk opened up a 16-shot lead after five ends and this early lead proved crucial as although Norfolk maintained this lead at the halfway stage Huntingdonshire hit back to take a five-shot lead at 15 ends. A strong finish over the closing ends saw Norfolk secure the victory, which manager Brian Taylor described after the match as the county's best performance for several years.

The rink skipped by the recalled Peter Boldero beat Mike Robertson, who represented England in the recent Commonwealth Games, by 12 shots and David Smith, making his first appearance as skip, skipped his rink to a nine-shot victory over former international Tristan Morton. Wayne Willgress's rink held on to win by two shots and George Tubby's rink, who were always in the lead, won by four shots.

There was however disappointment on the other two rinks with Philip Barr's rink losing on the last end and Peter Wilkinson's rink also going down.

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Not surprisingly Brian Taylor has announced an unchanged team for the next match at County Arts on Saturday, June 16 against Northamptonshire, who in the other group match beat last year's group winners Hertfordshire 13 points to 9.

Norfolk have a break from Middleton Cup but on Sunday, June 10 they entertain Bedfordshire in the Balcomb Trophy National Two rink championship. The match will be held at County Arts BC with an 11am start and the following team has been selected: John Tufts, Matt Flatman, James Segolo, Wayne Willgress; Max Harrison, George Tubby, Peter Wilkinson & David Smith.

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The winners go forward to the regional finals to be held at Parkway BC Peterborough on Sunday, June 24.

The Bowls England Junior international trials were held last weekend at Victoria Park Leamington Spa and following this the team to play in the British Isles International Championships was selected.

Dan Seabourne of Freethorpe has retained his place in the team whilst Norfolk BC's Tom Segolo has been named as one of the reserves. The series will be held at Belmont BC in Belfast on September 8/9.

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