Suffolk Carpet Bowls Association

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» 2022 ECBA Champion of Champions

The 2022 ECBA Champion of Champions was held at Stanley, County Durham over 11th-12th June.

Neil Jolly, Paul Daniels, Oscar Mew & Keith Jolly
A tough start to the day saw them up against Cambridgeshire in a game that was always going to be a close fought one, and with 2 ends to go it was all square at 4-4 but Suffolk came through, winning both ends, and taking the win 7-4.

Another tough game, this time against Sunderland, but they were able to edge out a lead, and were 7-2 up at the halfway point, before bringing it home with a 9-5 win.

Hertfordshire proved to be too strong though, although it was close(ish) after 6 ends, at 5-3, 4 shots dropped on the next saw the game slide out of reach, and they eventually finished 3-11 down.

A bounceback of sorts in the day’s last game, against Northumberland who had lost all 3 games so far. It was still a struggle, and with 2 ends to go Suffolk were a shot behind, but they somehow managed to do enough to take the game on the last end, winning 8-6, in a somewhat unconvincing manner.

That win saw them end Saturday sharing second place with Hertfordshire, with Norfolk sitting comfortably at the top on a maximum 8 points, 2 points clear.

Suffolk were going to need a good start to Sunday, needing not just wins, but shots as well, and they got it, rolling Durham over for a 17-1 win. The next match, against leaders Norfolk was going to be make or break.

As the ends ticked away Norfolk edged further and further ahead, and 5 ends in they led 5-1, but from then on it was all Suffolk, they picked up 3 on the 6th end, one more to draw level, and then a 4 to leap ahead, winning the game 10-5 and ending Norfolk’s unbeaten run.

That left Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk all on 10 points with a game to go, although Suffolk were at a shot disadvantage. However, Norfolk and Herts would be playing one another in the final round.

And Suffolk were off to a good start against Essex in their final game, they led 7-2 after 5 ends, however Essex finished the better of the two, although Suffolk held on for an 8-7 win. At the same time the other game was not going as Suffolk might have hoped, Hertfordshire, who were already 5 shots to the good before the game started, were running away from a Norfolk team whose weekend had completely fallen apart by this stage. Hertfordshire won that game 17-2.

Suffolk finished on 12 points, the same as Hertfordshire, but were second thanks to the 14 extra shots the Herts team had accumulated over the weekend.

Weekend record: W-W-L-W-W-W-W

Andy Pooley, Jim Goodrich & Sally Goodrich
They could hardly have hoped for a better start. Taking on Cambridgeshire they trounced their opposition, taking a 14-1 win.

Unfortunately they came down to earth in their second game, leaving their comeback just a little bit too late, as they were edged out 7-8 by Sunderland.

Playing Hertfordshire they were off to a great start, 6-0 up after 2 ends, but their opponents came back at them, and it was 8-8 going into the last end, but this time it was Suffolk who edged the win, 9-8.

Another close game to round out the first day, against Northumberland, another last end won, and this time it was enough to secure a draw, as the game finished 7-7.

The team ended on 5 points, which put them in third place overnight, but ahead of them were Durham and Sunderland who had both won all four games.

Sunday’s opening game was against joint leaders Durham. Unfortunately Suffolk were off to a slow start, and never recovered from losing the first 4 ends. They lost the game 8-5 and although they stayed third (just), their mathematical chance of taking the title was gone.

Although it was close for most of their penultimate game, their opponents Norfolk pulled away in the second half, to finish 9-5 winners.

The final game was a bit of a heartbreaker, having fallen behind against Essex, they picked up 3 on the last but one end to take a one shot lead, but Essex picked up 2 on the final end to take an 8-7 win.

Unfortunately they were unable to add to their overnight points tally, finishing on 5 points, in 6th place, while Durham snatched the title thanks to having conceded one shot less than Sunderland.

Weekend record: W-L-W-D-L-L-L

Ally Hobbs & Emma Watling
Opening against Northumberland, the girls had a close fought game, with only one shot in it, but it was Northumberland who had edged the win.

The second game saw Durham pull away from them in the middle part of the game, and the girls suffering a second loss as they went down 3-9.

Looking for a change of fortune Ally and Emma swapped positions for their game against Norfolk, but it was to no avail, and they again lost 3-9.

However, Saturday finished on a high, having swapped back again to Emma at lead, and Ally at skip, they finally clicked against Essex, raced out to a 7-0 lead, and picked up their first points of the weekend, with a 10-3 victory.

Sunday’s first game started well, and they were already 7-1 up after 4 ends against Cambridgeshire. However their opposition clawed their way back to within a shot with an end to go, but the girls held their nerves, won the last end, and the game 8-6.

Unfortunately their run of wins ended against Sunderland, falling behind early on, they lost 8-4, and it was a similar story in their last game against the team who had already all but won the title with a game to spare, Hertfordshire, who pulled away bit by bit, to win 9-1.

Ally and Emma finished in 7th place on 4 points. Hertfordshire took the title.

Weekend record: L-L-L-W-W-L-L

Clint Watling
Clint had quite the interesting game to start out the weekend. Against Northumberland he fallen behind in the middle part of the game, to the extent that he went into the last end 4 shots behind, and would need a full house just to get a draw. And he did it! Somehow he managed to scrape an 8-8 draw from nothing.

His second game was almost the opposite, he was off to a very strong start against Durham, and was 5-0 up after 4 ends. But his opponent came back strongly, picking up 2 one each of the last 2 ends, to beat Clint 6-7.

A slow start against Norfolk, was followed by 4 ends when he picked up 9 shots, coming home to take a 10-6 win over one of the pre-event favourites.

Saturday’s final game, against Essex, saw him race out to an 8-0 lead, and although his opponent came back towards the end, Clint won the game 9-4.

He ended Saturday on 5 points, 4th in the standings, but only one point off the lead. And with 5 players separated by just a single point, anything might happen on Sunday.

Clint started Sunday against Cambridgeshire, pulling out a lead in the middle of the game, and coming home to a 7-4 win, keeping him in 4th, just a point off the leaders.

And in his penultimate game he was off to a great start, picking up a 4, he went out to a 7-1 lead over Sunderland, and finished a 9-7 winner. Meanwhile Durham and Norfolk drew with one another which meant that Clint was joined in a 3 way tie with those other 2, on 9 points, and on the same shots as Norfolk and only 3 behind Durham.

Unfortunately, in his last game he came up against Pete Cook of Hertfordshire who, after a poor weekend up to this point, now hit his stride, and inflicted a heavy defeat on Clint.

He finished in third place, tied on 9 points with Durham and Cambridgeshire, 2 points behind the winner, Matt Frost of Norfolk.

Weekend record: D-L-W-W-W-W-L

Sunderland and Durham proved to be the two powerhouse teams on Saturday. Sunderland ended the day on top with 24 points, 2 ahead of Durham, while 7 points out of 8 in the final session, easily their best of the day, saw Suffolk rise to third, on 18 points, but with a gaggle of teams close behind.

Sunday was not great for Suffolk, they were only able to add a further 12 points, which meant that they ended up slipping down to 5th place, although only 8 points behind winners Sunderland.

You can find a full copy of the weekend's results here.