Felixstowe colleagues to meet in final

A LARGE crowd was entertained with an 11-hour marathon of bowls at the Suffolk County (EBA) semi-finals at the well-prepared Brantham Bowls Club green last Sunday.

A LARGE crowd was entertained with an 11-hour marathon of bowls at the Suffolk County (EBA) semi-finals at the well-prepared Brantham Bowls Club green last Sunday.

The spectators witnessed some excellent bowling, with many exciting and close finishes, on a day when the weather was kind with just one small interruption to the play.

The singles final will be an all-Felixstowe & Suffolk affair with Clive Webb taking on club colleague Richard Vest. Clive was in outstanding form against Brian Andrews from the Melton club. After conceding a single on the opening end Clive took control of the match and after 10 ends of play led 19-2.

Although Brian won the next four ends it was only a matter of time before Clive scored the two he needed to book his place in the final, 21-7.


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Richard's match against Steve Botten of the Haverhill club was a much closer affair. After five ends of play it was Richard who held the advantage 7-4.

At 10 ends it had switched to Steve, who led 11-9; by the 14th end it looked as if Steve would go on to win the match when he held a four-shot advantage at 17-13. Richard, however, booked his place in his first-ever county final by scoring eight shots over the next four ends to record a 21-17 victory.

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In the pairs Brian Andrews, partnered by Duncan Snape, felt the disappointment of defeat for a second time when they lost out to the Ipswich Bowling Club pairing of Chris Hunt and Phil Page in a game that was decided on an extra end. It was Duncan and Brian who started the better and after eight ends found themselves 12-2 up. From here the Ipswich pair began to claw back and after 13 ends had reduced the deficit to just two.

Over the next two ends the Melton pairing scored five shots to lead by seven in what looked like a match-winning position, but back came Chris and Phil to score eight shots without reply to go into the last end with a one-shot advantage and an outstanding bowl from Brian ensured the match would go to an extra end.

It was the Ipswich pair who triumphed, after a measure ensured they scored the single required.

In the final they will meet Graham Smith and Graham Rowland of the Sudbury club who defeated the young pairing from the Halesworth Club Alistair Cook and Ian Catchpole.

Leading 19-9 after 14 ends it looked all over for the young pairing but a spirited fight back saw them go into the last end just a single shot in arrears 19-20.

With one bowl from Graham Rowland to come he found himself game down, but an outstanding firing bowl from Graham converted the head to hold a single. Ian with his final bowl just missed the shot he was after and it was a delighted Sudbury pair that progressed 21-19.

IAN Catchpole's disappointment of missing out on a final place in the pairs was somewhat compensated by victory in the triples semi-final when playing at No. 2 with Mark Todd at lead and his father John as the skip.

At one stage it looked as if the Halesworth triple would miss out when they trailed 10-4 after 11 ends against the West Row rink of Robbie Morter, John Chalk and David Wellington. It was over the next seven ends that the Halesworth triple excelled, restricting their opponents to just a single while scoring 12 shots themselves to take a five-shot lead onto the final end. This was a lead they did not concede to win 16-14.

Also through to the final is the Stone Lodge rink of Paul Cullum, Russell Garwood and Lee Garwood who came back from 17-10 down after 13 ends to win the remaining five ends to snatch a single shot victory from A Cant, Wally Hoyle and Mick Amos of the Otley club.

Three of the Stone Lodge triple were involved in the fours semi final when they were joined by Mick Lambert to take on the Melton rink of John Homes, Geoff Sherwood, Duncan Snape and Brian Andrews. It was the Melton quartet who dominated from the off and they were always in control of the match, winning 22-12.

The other fours semi-final between Colin Hunting (sub for John Rednall, who was away on international duty) Mark Addison, Clive Webb and Adrian Holden (Felixstowe & Suffolk) and Alistair Cook, Mark Todd, Ian Catchpole and John Catchpole of Halesworth was a extraordinary game.

On the 12th end the Felixstowe rink looked dead and buried as they dropped a six to trail by 20 shots to six, but on the very next end they scored a rare maximum eight to reduce the deficit to six shots.The score of eight seemed to really affect the Halesworth quartet as they managed to win just one further end with a count of two as the Felixstowe rink amassed a further 13 shots to win 27-22.

MARCUS Fuller remains on course for a hat-trick of Under-25 singles titles after he defeated Ben Beamish in his semi-final. In that final he will meet Matthew Allen of Halesworth who eventually overcame Lee Botton of Haverhill 21-20. Leading 20-6 Matthew struggled to close out the game as Lee mounted a serious challenge eventually bringing it back to 20-20 before a relieved Matthew scored the single to book his place on the final.

Both Champion of Champions semi-finals were rather one-sided affairs when Steve Botten comfortably saw off the challenge of Paul Proctor of the Felixstowe Town Bowls Club 21-8.

Steve Prentice of the Margaret Catchpole was in outstanding form as he demolished his Lowestoft Railway opponent R. McGee 21-2.

This year saw the introduction of the Novice Singles at the county finals. Into the final are P Dimmack of Hadleigh who defeated P Woodgate of Lowestoft Railway 21-19, while R Slee of Norbridge overcame P Johnson of the Borough of Eye Club.

In the Over-60s Pairs there was an extra-end victory for the Felixstowe & Suffolk pairing of Maurice Wright and Jack Tibbenham who edged out the Lowestoft Railway pair of David Freaar and Ian Platford. In the final they meet Peter Plummer and John Goldsmith of the St Edmundsbury Bowls Club who defeated Barry Creasey and Billy Elliston of Norbridge 23-8.

In the Mixed Pairs the Ipswich Bowling Club pairing of Ken and Norma Wright will take on Anne West and Ken Frost of the Melton club. Ken and Norma overcame J Rush and Alfie Chambers of Borough of Eye 23-18 while Anne and Ken saw off the 2006 champions Sue Bernard and Gerry Barrell 21-16.

THE finals take place tomorrow at the Brantham Bowls Club, and if they are half as good as the semi-finals spectators should be in for an enjoyable day of bowls. The major disappointment is that the Men's Singles final will not take place as Richard Vest is unavailable. A date and time is to be fixed for the final.

Finals Day timetable

10am

Fours: C Hunting, M Addison, C Webb, A Holden (Felixstowe & Suffolk) v J.Homes, G Sherwood D Snape, B Andrews (Melton).

Triples: M Todd, I Catchpole, J Catchpole (Halesworth) v P Cullum, R Garwood, L Garwood (Stone Lodge).

Pairs: G Smith, G Rowland (Sudbury) v C Hunt, P Page (Ipswich BC).

1pm

Mixed Pairs: K Frost, A West (Melton) v K Wright, N Wright (Ipswich BC).

Over 60's Pairs: J Goldsmith, P Plummer (St Edmundsbury) M Wright, J Tibbenham (Felixstowe & Suffolk).

2.30pm

Champion of Champions: S Prentice (Margaret Catchpole) v S Botten (Haverhill).

Under 25 Singles: M Allen (Halesworth) v M Fuller (Rookery).

Novice Singles: R Slee (Norbridge) v P Dimmack (Hadleigh).

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