Norfolk Premier through to ICC final after holding nerve against Dorset

Jack Pye helped Norfolk Premier to victory against Dorset. Picture: Teresa Goldsmith

Jack Pye helped Norfolk Premier to victory against Dorset. Picture: Teresa Goldsmith - Credit: Archant

Norfolk Premier have reached the ESMBA ICC final for the second time in three years after snatching victory in a tremendous last session against Dorset Premier.

The first session indicated it was going to be a cracking semi-final as the singles and pairs shared the points.

Bob Carter's Gary Best beat fellow England international Sam Harvey 11-9 after holding off a great fightback by Harvey but the other singles game was lost as Wymondham's Jack Pye went down 17-12.

In the pairs Hempnall's Neil Davidson & Wymondham's Jon Sparham won 11-8 against Lynn Dean & Emily Thomas but there was disappointment for Carter's Jason Woods & Halvergate's David Lamb who dropped two shots on their last end to lose 15-14.

On came the triples and fours and it was Dorset who took a narrow 9-7 lead on points at the interval. Lesley Crowe of First Bus, Morgan Warnes of Horsford BC & Simon Willies of East Tuddenham won their triples game by 14-7 but Mark Linsdell & Debbie Sparham of Wymondham, skipped by Halvergate's Keith Cooke, were well beaten by 17-6. The only point in the rinks was scored by Lewis Cranston of County Council, John Jarvis of Thorpe Marriott, Owen Cranston of County Council and Hevingham's Selwyn Goldsmith who drew 9-9 while Connaught's Jack Marshall, Bob Oatway of First Bus, John Turner of East Tuddenham & Melly Woods of Bob Carter crashed to a 19-3 defeat.

The singles and pairs returned to the mats knowing that a good session was essential to keep Norfolk's hopes alive and they duly obliged.

Gary Best added his second win of the day winning 17-7 while Jack Pye produced a fighting performance to win 17-12 against Sam Harvey. Neil Davidson & Jon Sparham won again, this time by 13-5, and despite Jason Woods & David Lamb losing by 15-6 Norfolk went into the final session of triples & fours needing to win on two of the four mats to clinch victory.

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The first win came as Lewis Cranston, John Jarvis, Owen Cranston & Selwyn Goldsmith beat Alex Kley's rink 18-11 whilst Melwin Woods' triple completed the job to break Dorset hearts.

Norfolk Premier will now face defending champions West Mids in the final at Tamworth IBC on Sunday, April 22 after West Mids defeated Cornwall 30-10 in the other semi-final.

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