Suffolk looking to build on fine Middleton Cup win against old enemy Norfolk

Richard Leeder

Richard Leeder

Twenty years after last winning the Middleton Cup, Suffolk have got off to a flyer as they bid to celebrate that anniversary in style.

They couldn’t have had a more satisfying start, brushing aside local rivals Norfolk at Felixstowe last Saturday, the hosts winning 18-4 (114-106).

Suffolk won four rinks, courtesy of Richard Leeder, John Catchpole, Martyn Rumsby and Jamie Gill’s rinks, while the rinks led by Scott Sampson and Mark Royal lost by six and nine points respectively.

It was a result that not many people predicted, apart from perhaps the Suffolk team, and interim manager Calvern Kemp was delighted.

“I put two under-30 rinks together and they played out of their skin,” said Kemp.

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“We were playing a very experienced team who got to the final last year and overall, the result was totally unexpected.

“Norfolk have won the competition a couple of times in the two or three years and are probably one of the strongest counties.

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“I just thought if we could target two rink wins that would be great, but we won 18-4 and they (Norfolk) were not expecting that.

“Our lads were rubbing it in at the end and they all stayed around the side of the green to cheer their team-mates on which was great to see.”

Next up for Suffolk is a trip to Leicestershire on June 13, before the county host Northamptonshire at Felixstowe a week later.

They finish off with an away game in Southend, against Essex, and Kemp discussed the road ahead, with only the top team going through to the quarter finals.

“Our final game is against Essex who are a really tough team on their home pitch,” he said.

“There are 22 points available, we go to Leicestershire next, and I would fancy our chances at home to Northamptonshire.

“Essex will be expecting to win and that will be really tough, but we have Mark Royal back in the team which has given everyone a lift, and all the players are performing very well at the moment.”

Kemp will make just one change for the team’s next game with Elliott Last taking the place of Ali Cook who is unavailable.

Skip: Scott Sampson (After five ends 7-7); (10 ends 10-12); (15 ends 13-17); (18 ends 14-18); (21 ends 15-21) -6

Richard Leeder (3-8); (11-13); (16-13); (18-16); (19-18) 1

Mark Royal (2-7); (3-13); (6-17); (10-18); (11-20) -9

John Catchpole (7-2); (15-5); (20-8); (25-10); (29-10) 19

Martyn Rumsby (4-4); (8-6); (12-10); (17-13); (18-17) 1

Jamie Gill (4-2); (11-9); (15-12); (17-18); (22-20) 2

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