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Suffolk v Essex

On Sunday 21 January, Suffolk played their third ECCBA league match of the season. Two tight 20-16 away wins had got Suffolk’s season off to an unbeaten start, but performances hadn’t been convincing. An improvement was hoped for on the home carpets at Needham Market, albeit a tough match was expected.

The Suffolk team showed one change from the last match, the rinks selected were:

Suffolk 1 (S1): Sue Isles, Rita Runnacles, Peter Fellingham, Clint Watling
Suffolk 2 (S2): Sally Goodrich, Graham Davey, Andy Pooley, Sue Gilder
Suffolk 3 (S3): Paul Leach, Steve Isles, Andy Gilder, Tom Runnacles
Suffolk 4 (S4): Pete Runnacles, John Varden, Sam Runnacles, Paul Daniels
Suffolk 5 (S5): Don Allum, Peter Elmy, Colin Fellingham, Steven Cain
Suffolk 6 (S6): Sue Davey, Ellen Grube, Mick Watkins, Neil Jolly

None of the Suffolk rinks got off to a great start in the first session, but it was S1 that got a grip of their game first. A slim 5-2 lead after four ends was converted into a game winning advantage with a six shot count on the fifth end. No way back for the opposition rink from there and S1 eased away to a comfortable 14-3 win. At 3-3 after six ends for S3, the game could’ve gone either way. The next two ends decided the game though, a two, followed by a four shot count gave them a lead they could protect on the final end, S3 winning 9-5. That just left S5, could they make it a full house of Suffolk wins? It was a real high quality, see-saw game that always looked like going to the final bowl. S5 were 2-1 up, then 2-4 down, regained the lead at 6-5, but going into the last end it was 6-6. S5 played the better final end though, grabbing a single shot for a 7-6 win. Perfect start for Suffolk with a clean sweep of three wins.

The second session saw the other Suffolk rinks take to the carpets. S2 got off to a flying start and dominated their game throughout. Four shots on the third end gave them a 7-0 lead and it wasn’t until the sixth end that the opposition troubled the scoreboard. A strong finish though took S2 to a convincing 15-1 win. Meanwhile S4 had got off to arguably a better start, five shots on the first end. That proved to be the deciding end, as after that the ends were low scoring and shared. It got a bit nervy at 8-5 after seven ends, but winning the penultimate end was crucial, S4 holding on to a 9-7 win. Finally S6 were involved in the closest game, an early 3-0 lead disappeared and the game was level at 4-4 after six ends. The next two ends decided the game though, with S6 dropping five shots and going onto lose 7-9.

In the third session, it was a few ends in before the Suffolk rinks really got going. It was again S1 who were playing the better bowls and four shots on their fourth end took them to a 7-3 lead. From there, they did just enough to keep the scoreboard ticking over, four consecutive single shot ends and the game was won 11-4. Meanwhile S3 were involved in a strange game, winning only three ends, but still managing the win the game. Five shots on the third end earned them a 5-2 lead, but three ends later they were 5-8 behind. They then scored a four and a two to go 11-8 up and that proved to be enough, eventually winning 11-9. Lastly S5 were involved in a really close game, in which they were only behind twice, after the first end and crucially at the finish of the game. S5 were 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 ahead and could consider themselves very unfortunate to end up losing 5-6.

At the halfway stage, Suffolk held an overall 14-4 lead, but there had been enough close games to suggest the match was not over and Essex were giving a good account of themselves.

The least said about the fourth session, the better. Suffice to say the outcome of the session was one Suffolk will want to forget. Three very close and low scoring games all went Essex’s way, but that’s not to say that the Suffolk did not have their chances. S4 started fairly well and during the game held 3-1 and 5-3 leads. Unfortunately the last two ends were lost which turned the game, S4 losing 5-7. Then S6 lost by the same score and they were 3-2 and 4-3 up. The seventh end cost them, dropping three shots and they were unable to recover the deficit on the final two ends. Finally S2 were always playing catch-up but were never out of their game. At 3-5 down with two ends to play the comeback was on, but losing the penultimate end was decisive and the game was lost 4-6.

If the fourth session was a disaster, the fifth session wasn’t much better for Suffolk. The silver lining to the cloud was provided by S3 who controlled their game from the outset and after six ends, they had run away to game winning 11-0 lead. That advantage proved invaluable as they shipped some shots on the remaining ends, but held on to win 11-7. There was no other good news though, at 0-8 behind after five ends and despite best efforts, there was no way back for S1 and the game was lost 4-10. Meanwhile for S5, they were involved in their third tight game of the day and unfortunately for them, they were on the wrong side of a one shot margin come the end. In a game where they always playing catch-up, another unfortunate loss by 5-6.

Going into the final session, Suffolk’s healthy overall halfway lead was long gone. Now only 16-14 in front, it was match on and it was anyone’s guess as to what the final outcome would be.

Like a lot of the games that had gone before, all three games would be undecided until the final ends. That said, for once all of the Suffolk rinks got off to good starts. S4 made the best start, scoring six shots on their second end. However they only won another two ends after that, but it proved to be enough. They were able to protect a 10-4 lead on the last two ends for an important 10-6 win. S6 had got off to their best start of the day, securing an early 5-0 advantage. However after the seventh end it was game back on, with a reduced lead of 6-5. The penultimate end was the decider though, three shots to S6 and they held on to win 9-7. Finally it was also looking good for S2 at 5-1 ahead early on, but not quite so good at just 6-5 up with an end to play. Unfortunately they got themselves in trouble on the last end and the game was lost 6-10.

Overall the match finished with a Suffolk win 20-16 (shots: 147 - 116).

Suffolk were relieved just to win the match, but it was a case of what could have been, given their good start to the day. If was another day of frustratingly inconsistent bowling from Suffolk, which resulted in giving Essex too many chances. Six games were lost by one or two shots and on another day, even a slightly improved performance would have swung those games around. On a positive note, three matches and three wins keeps Suffolk in the mix for the league title.

Suffolk will be hoping to play better and continue their unbeaten start to the season, when they face Bedfordshire at Needham Market Community Centre on Sunday 18 February. It is a 10.30am start and supporters are more than welcome.

Neil Jolly (County Captain)

Latest League Results

Cambridgeshire v Suffolk

On Sunday 14 January, Suffolk played their second ECCBA league match of the season. This being a re-arranged match, with the scheduled one having been cancelled due to the snow before Christmas.
Having edged a close 20-16 away win against Hertfordshire in their first match, the team knew that Cambridgeshire would be as difficult an opposition and an improved performance was hoped for.

The Suffolk team showed a couple of changes from the first match, with Adam Hubbard (Chelmondiston) making his debut for the county. The rinks selected were:

Suffolk 1 (S1): Sue Isles, Rita Runnacles, Peter Fellingham, Clint Watling
Suffolk 2 (S2): Sally Goodrich, Graham Davey, Mick Watkins, Sue Gilder
Suffolk 3 (S3): Paul Leach, Steve Isles, Andy Gilder, Tom Runnacles
Suffolk 4 (S4): Pete Runnacles, John Varden, Andy Pooley, Sam Runnacles
Suffolk 5 (S5): Don Allum, Peter Elmy, Colin Fellingham, Steven Cain
Suffolk 6 (S6): Sue Davey, Adam Hubbard, Ellen Grube, Neil Jolly

Being a new venue for the Suffolk team, the first session was all about getting to grips with the carpets. Credit to all three Suffolk rinks, as they all picked up the lines and bowling weight very quickly. It was S3 who made the better start and at the halfway stage they had compete control of their game, easing away to a comfortable 14-5 win. Not far behind them were S1 and at the midway point of their game, they also had a lead. They then completely dominated the remaining ends and raced away to a one-sided 17-4 win. The other game involving S5 was a closer encounter, but the Suffolk rink always looked in control, without the scoreboard reflecting that. It never looked like a game they would lose and they duly delivered an 11-7 win. A dream start for Suffolk with a clean sweep of three wins.

The second session saw the other Suffolk rinks take to the carpets. Right from the outset it always looked like there would be three close games, that would not be decided until the final ends. It was S2 who made the better start of the Suffolk rinks and they gradually increased an early advantage with some consistent bowling. They finished with a deserved 9-4 win. Unfortunately that was the end of the Suffolk scoring. Both S4 and S6 had chances, but neither could convert them into game winning opportunities. The games both finished with 5-7 defeats.

If the second session was disappointing, the third session was an absolute disaster for Suffolk. S1 just couldn’t get a foothold at all in their game, the harder they tried, the worse it got and ended with a 3-14 defeat. The other two games were far closer, but neither Suffolk rinks could do enough to apply any sustained pressure on their opposition. Both stayed in their games until the later ends, but the ends ran out with S3 losing 6-10 and S5 losing by 6-8.

So at the halfway stage, despite the best possible start, the match had turned around and Suffolk found themselves behind by 8-10. The match was up for grabs and Suffolk would have to improve in the second half if they were to leave Littleport with an overall win.

The fourth session saw the match swing again, with the Suffolk rinks having just the better of things. This time it was S4 who made the quickest start and they had soon earned themselves a winning position, from which they didn’t look back. A good all round rink performance and a deserved, comfortable 13-5 win. Meanwhile S2 were carrying on, from where they had left off in their first game. Again consistent bowling was the key, controlling most ends and never looking like conceding multiple shot counts. Another win was never in doubt, S2 finishing with a 9-2 win. Unfortunately S6 were just unable to make it a whitewash session for Suffolk. They were involved in another close game, but couldn’t ever do quite enough to get away from their opposition, losing 6-10.

It had been a good session for Suffolk though, with their two wins levelling the overall match score at 12-12. Could they now capitalise on this and get a lead, ahead of the final session?

The penultimate session was always going to be a crucial one and the Suffolk rinks all made decent starts. This time it was S3 who got the first points on the board, controlling their game from first end to last. An early lead was gradually increased and they finished with a well deserved 11-3 win. The other two games were tighter, but in both it was the Suffolk rinks who secured early leads and then in the latter ends, sought to protect them. S5 had the closer of the two games and it was some sound tactical play, which maintained their advantage, finishing with an 8-6 win. Meanwhile it was positive shot making on the part of S1 which gained them a lead and helped them to latterly extend it. A hard earned 9-7 win for S1. Also, three important wins for Suffolk generally and a whitewash session at just the right time.

Going into the final session, Suffolk held an 18-12 overall lead, but there was still a match to win. The see-saw nature of the day suggested the outcome of the match could not be predicted with any certainty.

All three games turned out to be close ones, that would all be undecided until the final bowls. Unfortunately S2, with two wins under their belt couldn’t make it an unbeaten day for them. They found themselves behind early on and simply ran out of ends to make a successful comeback, losing by the odd shot, 7-8. For S4, their game swung one way and then the other, with neither rink getting any sort of control. It always looked destined to go to a last end decider, that went against S4 and the game was lost by the slimmest margin of 6-7. So that just left S6, in another game where the lead swapped hands multiple times. It was a two shot count on the penultimate end that proved crucial and S6 did just enough on the final end to hang on to single shot for a 7-4 win.

Overall the match finished with a Suffolk win 20-16 (shots: 152 - 118).

Suffolk were pleased to win the match, on a day where neither county could get any sustained momentum. There had been some good quality bowls played by the Suffolk team, and whilst it had been a better team display than the first match, there is still some room for improvement. However they can be pleased with two wins, from two tricky away matches.

Suffolk will be hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season, when they face Essex at Needham Market Community Centre on Sunday 21 January. It is a 10.30am start and supporters are more than welcome.

Neil Jolly (County Captain)

Hertfordshire v Suffolk

On Sunday 26 November, Suffolk played their first ECCBA league match of the new season in defence of the league title. It wasn’t going to be an easy start, an away match against Hertfordshire at a new venue in Welwyn Garden City.

The Suffolk team showed a number of personnel and positional changes from the Nationals winning team of a few weeks earlier, the rinks selected were:

Suffolk 1 (S1): Pete Runnacles, Steve Isles, Mick Watkins, Paul Daniels
Suffolk 2 (S2): Sally Goodrich, Graham Davey, Andy Pooley, Sue Gilder
Suffolk 3 (S3): Ralph Sadgrove, John Varden, Andy Gilder, Tom Runnacles
Suffolk 4 (S4): Jim Goodrich, Rita Runnacles, Sam Runnacles, Colin Fellingham
Suffolk 5 (S5): Don Allum, Peter Elmy, Peter Fellingham, Steven Cain
Suffolk 6 (S6): Sue Isles, Sue Davey, Ellen Grube, Neil Jolly

The first session was all about getting to grips with the carpets and none of the Suffolk rinks made a particularly quick start. After a few ends it was S5 who had made the better start and they gradually extended a small advantage into a game winning lead. Without scoring many shots they controlled most of the ends and deservedly got Suffolk’s first points on the board with an 8-3 win. It was not such good news from the other carpets though with neither S1 nor S3 being able to win their games. S3 got the closest but could never do quite enough to secure a victory, going down by the odd shot, 9-10. For S1, it was a disappointing start to their day, losing by 6-12.

The second session saw the other Suffolk rinks take to the carpets, having had the benefit of watching the first set of games. As such it was a slightly better start and it wasn’t long before S4 had got complete control of their game. In the performance of the session, it finished with a convincing 16-4 win. It was not so straightforward for the other two Suffolk rinks, with both games closely fought. One high scoring end in the middle of the game proved the difference for S6, in what was otherwise a close encounter. S6 were able to hold on to the lead during the latter ends, finishing as 11-6 winners. Meanwhile S2 were involved in the closest game of the session, which always seemed destined to go to the final end. They were holding a game winning position until the opposition skips final bowl and then unfortunately the closest of measures did not go their way and the game was lost 7-9.

The start of the third session again saw S5 make the better start of the Suffolk rinks. Consistent early bowls proved to be the difference and as with their first game, they gradually eased away from their opposition. Another fine performance from S5 and a deserved 12-3 win. The outcome of the other two games were not going to be decided until the final ends and at the finish of the session those games were shared, which was a fair reflection on the play. S3 did well to reverse their first session defeat, without being convincing, they did just enough to scrape a hard earned 10-9 win. The defeat for S1 was in a close game, which slipped away by 4-7.

So at the halfway stage, Suffolk held a very slim 10-8 lead. Wins had been hard to come by and the overall performance would have to improve in the second half if Suffolk were to win the match.

The fourth session, as with the earlier games were all close and there remained very little between the teams. From a Suffolk perspective, the best performance of the session came from S6 and again it was the accuracy of the early bowls that proved to be the difference. An early lead was secured, protected in the latter ends, resulting in their second 11-6 win. Unfortunately S4 couldn’t follow up their excellent first session display. In a very low scoring game they were holding a game winning position until the opposition skips final bowl took it away. S4 unlucky to just come out on the wrong side of a 4-6 scoreline. Finally for S2, they were involved in another nail biter, which again went to the last end and again would be decided by the closest of measures. This time the measure did not go against them and they edged the slimmest of wins, by 8-7.

It had been a good session for Suffolk that had taken them into an overall 14-10 advantage, could they capitalise on this?

The penultimate session was an opportunity for the Suffolk rinks to take a big step towards winning the match. Unfortunately despite best efforts, the match would still be in the balance at the end of the session. Without playing badly S1 had lost their first two games, but they made up for it here, controlling their game from start to finish on the way to a one-sided 14-5 win. For S3, they were always playing catch-up, but it never looked like they would do enough to put pressure on their opposition. The game was lost 11-4. Finally, S5 were looking for an unbeaten day. Their game always looked like being low scoring and they were in it all the way. Unfortunately they just left themselves a bit too much to do on the last end and the game was lost 5-7. However it had been a good day for S5, with two solid wins from three.

Going into the final session, Suffolk held a slim 16-14 overall lead and it was still all to play for. Losing the match was quickly avoided when S2 played some good early ends and secured an advantage that they were able to protect. S2 had had a good day and thoroughly deserved their two wins from three, finishing with an 11-3 victory. Meanwhile the other two games were going to the wire, with nothing in them. First to finish were S4 and it looked like they were doing just enough to avoid defeat but it wasn’t the best of final ends and they paid for it, two shots dropped and the game lost 6-7. That just left S6 to finish, they were involved in a real see-saw game that would go to the last bowl. It was 5-5 going into the final end and holding the single shot they needed, blockers went in and they were good ones. Job done and a nervy 6-5 win.

Overall the match finished with a Suffolk win 20-16 (shots: 152 - 120).

Suffolk were relieved to start the season with the closest of wins, in an entertaining match that could’ve gone either way. It had not been Suffolk’s best day, with the overall team display being inconsistent compared to the usual high standards, but within that there had been some good individual performances.

S2 and S5 had a good day winning two of their three games, but the star performers were S6 who won all three games.

In the other league matches, Norfolk edged out Essex 19-17 and Cambridgeshire are the early pacesetters, following their 26-10 win at Bedfordshire.

Suffolk will be hoping to build and definitely improve on their performance next time out. They have another away match, against Cambridgeshire at Littleport Leisure Centre on Sunday 10 December, a 10.30am start and supporters are welcome.

Neil Jolly (County Captain)

2017 National County Championships

Over the weekend of 11 and 12 November the Suffolk team and their supporters were at the Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton-on-sea for the 2017 National County Championships. Suffolk were looking to win the Nationals event for the fifth consecutive year.

Eight other counties took part, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Durham, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northumberland and Sunderland.

Each county were represented by six rinks (fours), each rink playing one nine end game against all of the other counties, over a long weekend of bowling.

The team representing Suffolk was:

A: Don Allum, John Varden, Colin Fellingham, David Ford
B: Ralph Sadgrove, Nick Wood, Andy Gilder, Steven Cain
C: Sue Davey, Ellen Grube, Peter Fellingham, Neil Jolly
D: Pete Runnacles, Steve Isles, Mick Watkins, Paul Daniels
E: Sally Goodrich, Graham Davey, Andy Pooley, Sue Gilder
F: Paul Leach, Rita Runnacles, Sam Runnacles, Clint Watling

Suffolk’s first opposition of the competition were Sunderland and it was rinks A, B and C who hoped to get the team off to a winning start. Any early morning nerves were quickly settled by B who made the better start of the Suffolk rinks and they eased their way to an 11-3 win. Without making a quick start, C also secured themselves an early advantage but the Sunderland rink kept pegging them back. However a good final end saw them home by 12-8. Unfortunately A could not make it the perfect start for Suffolk, never out of the game, but a defeat by 7-11.

In the next session rinks D, E and F faced Norfolk, who had made the perfect six point start in the first session. It was E who got into their stride first, retaining control of the game on the way to an 11-4 win. It was a little less comfortable for D though, but a positive outcome nonetheless, an 8-3 win. Could F make it a full house? They could but only just, a close game in which they held their nerve to edge an 8-7 win. Even at this early stage, an important maximum six point session and Suffolk went to the top of the overall leaderboard.

The third session saw rinks A, B and C returning to the carpets to play Bedfordshire. Again it was B who made the best start and there was only ever going to be one outcome, one-way traffic and a superb 18-0 win. Next to get points on the board were A, bouncing back well from their first session loss to record a 12-3 win. Would this be another six point session? It was, as C also won their game, fairly comfortably by 12-5.

Cambridgeshire were the opposition for Suffolk in the fourth session and three contrasting games followed. First the bad news, F just couldn’t get to grips with their carpet and the game just drifted away, a 4-11 defeat. D were playing well again though and were always doing enough to merit a win, which was duly delivered, their second consecutive 8-3 victory. It was the remaining game involving E which was always in the balance, but they were holding their own against a strong opposition rink. It came down to the wire and deservedly they earned a hard fought 7-6 win.

At the halfway point on day one, Suffolk were still in top spot, six points up on Norfolk.

It was Northumberland who Suffolk faced next, and for A and B it always looked like wins were on the cards. So it proved to be, 10-3 and 10-6 respectively. Not quite so straightforward for C though, a very low scoring game in which they did just enough to scrape a hard earned 5-4 win on a nervy last end. Another maximum six point session though and Suffolk’s good day was continuing.

Another northern county opponent in Durham were next for D, E and F. In this session it was F who were the early pace setters, flying out of the blocks and never looking back. F hitting top form on their way to a convincing and high scoring 18-6 win. The other two Suffolk rinks weren’t too far behind them though, D winning by 11-4 and E by 8-3. Six points on the board again and a good day for Suffolk was getting better.

In the penultimate session of day one it was back to local opposition in the form of now second place Hertfordshire for A, B and C. An important session of bowls, one which had three games of high quality and low scoring. Wins would have to be earned and A did just that, first blood to Suffolk with a 7-4 win. Meanwhile C were involved in a real see-saw game, in which the outcome always felt like it was going to the final bowls. It did and C came out the victors, but only by the slimmest margin of 8-7 to complete an unbeaten day for them. Finally the best game involved B, another which would go the distance. Come the end and despite their best efforts, B just couldn’t get the two shots they needed for a creditable draw, losing by just the odd shot, 5-6.

The final playing session for Suffolk on Saturday saw D, E and F face Essex and they were hoping for a strong finish. With confidence high from their last win, F started where they’d left off and were soon in control again, running out comfortable 13-3 winners. Meanwhile both D and E were looking for their fourth consecutive wins of the day, to stay unbeaten. For E their game was a little more straightforward as they eased to a 12-5 win. D were made to work a bit harder, but the outcome was the same, a solid 9-7 win.

Suffolk sat out the final session and what a fantastic first day they’d had, losing only three games out of twenty four played, five maximum point sessions and with rinks C, D and E all with unblemished records. Overall, Suffolk sat in top spot on forty two points, Hertfordshire were in second place with thirty one and Norfolk a further point behind them. It was looking like Suffolk’s competition to lose, but the second day, as with the first would be hard fought with plenty of points still left to play for.

As with day one, Suffolk faced Sunderland first, with rinks D, E and F on the carpets. All three games had tight early ends, but then E and F got Suffolk off to the winning start they were hoping for. With their fifth consecutive win, E secured an 8-4 win and continuing their excellent form from day one, F were a little more comfortable with an 11-4 win. Unfortunately for the previously unbeaten D, the “wheels fell off”, a 2-16 loss and simply a game to forget.

Second place Norfolk were Sunday’s first opponents for A, B and C and an important session of bowls for both counties. Could Norfolk close the gap or could Suffolk extend their overall lead? Good news (for Suffolk) as it was the latter. The tone was set by A, as they raced away to a one sided 15-3 win. Two more points were then added by C, less convincing but an important 7-3 win and their fifth consecutive win. The best game of the session involved B, a long tactical game with both rinks playing quality bowls. Come the end, the 6-6 draw was a fair reflection of an excellent game and a point gained. Overall Suffolk were delighted with the unbeaten session and the five points.

Could rinks D, E and F follow that up with further wins over Bedfordshire? It turned out to be far from straightforward as Bedfordshire gave a good account of themselves. That said, nothing was looking like stopping the winning machine that was Suffolk E. Another game, another win (9-2) and six wins on the bounce for them. D would also win, but it took them to the final end and pretty much the last bowl to edge their game 7-6. It was equally as close for F in the other game, nothing in it for nine ends, finishing with the tightest of measures on the final end. Alas, measure lost, one shot dropped but a hard earned point from a 5-5 draw.

Next up for A, B and C were Cambridgeshire, three tough games were expected. First the disappointment, a first loss of the weekend for C. Like the day before for F, they just couldn’t get to grip with the carpet and the ends slipped away, as did the game and a 5-8 defeat. Better news from B though, they were always in control of their game without looking like they were going to run away with it, finishing with a 7-4 win. Lastly for A, a close game and one always destined to be undecided until the last end. As it happened it wouldn’t be decided until the last bowl. 6-4 up but two down on the end, 6-6 looked like the outcome until the most (millimetre) perfect of all drawing bowls from skip David Ford stole the shot, a 7-4 win and their fifth consecutive win.

Overall Suffolk’s lead over second place Norfolk had now increased to a significant nineteen points.

It was Northumberland who were up next for D, E and F. This session saw the winning machine of Suffolk E malfunction for the first time. It must’ve been something they had for lunch, as they slipped to a 3-13 defeat. Meanwhile D and F weren’t having it all their own way, but as with previous close games, both found a way to win. It was four more points on the board for Suffolk, with D winning 8-6 and F by 12-8.

Overall it was now a twenty two point lead and Suffolk were on the brink of winning the title.

A, B and C faced Durham next knowing a single point would guarantee Suffolk the title, with three sessions to spare. After their previous session heroics, A couldn’t repeat their win and lost 5-9. However B and C were in no mood to delay the celebrations and duly delivered wins. C were convincing 13-2 winners, but this time the heroics came from B. A slow start saw them having to play catch-up, but some excellent middle end bowls saw them do the hard work to earn a 10-9 lead with an end to play. However it took a superb final end, final bowl running shot from skip Steven Cain to move the jack, save the game and grab an exciting 12-9 win.

Whilst Suffolk could not now be caught, they had two playing session to go and wanted to score more points. For D, E and F, their final opponents were Hertfordshire. F were having a great day and that continued with another good all round team display, winning 13-4 for their seventh consecutive unbeaten game. D had only lost one game all weekend and their fine form was unrelenting in winning their last game by 13-6. For E, they quickly put the disappointment of their last game loss behind them, a return to form but not quite enough to earn them a win. They finished with a very creditable 7-7 draw in a high quality game.

The final games of the weekend saw Essex as the opposition for A, B and C. B were involved in a tight game, where the final ends just didn’t go their way, finishing with a 6-9 loss. C took control of their game during the middle ends and eased away to a comfortable 11-5 win, finishing with seven wins from eight overall. Finally to finish the weekend on yet another high note, a last end 11-8 win for A.

Overall the finishing positions were:

PTS Shots+ Shots-





































Suffolk were National County champions for the fifth consecutive year.

Looking back at the event, Saturday had been such a successful day and losing only three games had given Suffolk a significant advantage over the rest. Sunday had been all about maintaining consistency and whilst the team performance didn’t hit the heights of Saturday, still only five games were lost. Every rink contributed at least eleven points (out of sixteen), in what was a superb all round team performance.

The weekend concluded a successful 2016/17 season for the Suffolk team, who have won everything on offer, ECCBA league, Six Counties and Teambowl, ECBA Inter-League and National Championships, an incredible achievement. Every squad bowler has contributed to those successes and Suffolk can be proud of how the team plays and conducts themselves.

The Suffolk team thank everyone who has supported them during the season and particularly those that travelled to Potters for the National Championships, it is greatly appreciated.

Neil Jolly (County Captain)

You can find the full set of results here.

Inter County League Play-Off Match 2017

On the evening of Friday 10 November at Potters, the 2017 Inter County League Play-Off match saw Suffolk face Sunderland, a repeat of last year’s match.

This match precedes the National County Championship and is between the Eastern Counties League winners and the Northern Counties League winners.

Suffolk were hoping to retain the trophy. Each county were represented by six rinks (fours), each playing one nine end game.

Suffolk’s team was:

A: Don Allum, John Varden, Colin Fellingham, David Ford
B: Ralph Sadgrove, Nick Wood, Andy Gilder, Steven Cain
C: Sue Davey, Ellen Grube, Peter Fellingham, Neil Jolly
D: Pete Runnacles, Steve Isles, Mick Watkins, Paul Daniels
E: Sally Goodrich, Graham Davey, Andy Pooley, Sue Gilder
F: Paul Leach, Rita Runnacles, Sam Runnacles, Clint Watling

Whilst not off to a flying start, it was generally the Suffolk rinks who got to grips with the Potters carpets first.

By the halfway stage, that good start had been rewarded with three of the Suffolk rinks having secured comfortable leads.

Suffolk A got the first two points on the board, easing away to a 9-4 win.

Two further points were added when Suffolk F got a similar win of 9-2.

That was soon followed by another win and two more points, this time from Suffolk C with a convincing 12-2 win.

Meanwhile there was no certainty in the remaining three matches, although in Suffolk’s favour, they were all close matches.

Suffolk E had gained themselves a small advantage but by the end they were just unable to hold on to it. However conceding only one shot on the final end, resulted in an 8-8 draw and that was enough to for Suffolk to win and retain the trophy.

In the other two matches, Suffolk D just dropped short in losing 7-9 and despite a valiant attempted comeback, Suffolk B lost by the slimmest margin of 7-8.

Suffolk had won the match 7-5 (shots: 52 – 33), the perfect start to their weekend.

Neil Jolly (County Captain)

2017/18 Suffolk Squad

The Suffolk squad trials took place on Sunday 15 October at Needham Market Community Centre.

Each bowler played six rinks games during the day, with every bowl scored on its accuracy.
There was a high standard of bowling throughout the day and very little to choose between a number of bowlers.

After careful consideration the following bowlers were selected for Suffolk’s first ECCBA league match, away to Hertfordshire on Sunday 26 November:

Neil Jolly - Brockley – captain
Sally Goodrich - Claydon – selector
Tom Runnacles - Barking – selector
Don Allum – Bealings
Steven Cain – Great Blakenham
Paul Daniels – Kelsale/ Belstead
Sue Davey - Cockfield
Peter Elmy – Bealings
Colin Fellingham - Cockfield
Peter Fellingham – Cockfield
Andy Gilder - Barking
Sue Gilder - Barking
Jim Goodrich – Claydon
Ellen Grube – Hundon
Steve Isles – Claydon
Andy Pooley – Great Blakenham
Pete Runnacles – Barking
Rita Runnacles – Barking
Sam Runnacles – Barking
Ralph Sadgrove – Hundon
John Varden – Great Blakenham
Mick Watkins – Barking
Clint Watling – Claydon
Nick Wood - Hundon

In addition to the above, the following bowlers were selected to make up the squad, to give the Selection Committee flexibility and cover in the event of unavailability during the season.

Karen Cadman – Chelmondiston
Graham Davey – Cockfield
Adam Hubbard – Chelmondiston
Sue Isles – Claydon
Paul Leach (unavailable for first match) – Stanningfield/ Thurston

The Selection Committee thanks Jane and Richard Sago, Keith Hull and Keith Jolly who assisted with scoring the games.

Neil Jolly

2017 Six Counties Charity Teambowl

On Sunday 24 September, Cambridgeshire CBA hosted the ECCBA Six Counties Charity Teambowl. This was the first ECCBA event to be held at the new Littleport Leisure Centre, so a good floor to bowl on but still a mixture of carpets which would be a challenge.

The competition involved the six Eastern Counties, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Each county were represented by four singles,, four pairs and four triples, each playing one seven end game against each of the other counties.

Suffolk were looking to win the Teambowl for the fifth consecutive year and add the trophy to the league title and Six Counties already won in 2017. The team selected was:

S1: Steven Cain (single), Pete & Rita Runnacles (pair), Jim Goodrich, Ellen Grube & Sue Gilder (triple)
S2: Mick Watkins (single), Paul Leach & Colin Fellingham (pair), Ralph Sadgrove, Graham Davey & Neil Jolly (triple)
S3: Paul Daniels (single), Don Allum & Andy Gilder (pair), Peter Elmy, Nick Wood & Tom Runnacles (triple)
S4: Andy Pooley (single), Sally Goodrich & Sam Runnacles (pair), Sue Davey, John Varden & Peter Fellingham (triple)

Suffolk’s first opponents were Bedfordshire, with the four singles bowlers starting off. It was Andy who made the best start, completely controlling his game, on his way to a comfortable 9-2 win. Steven then added another two points with a 6-3 win and Mick held his nerve to edge a very tight 6-5 win. Paul slipping to a 3-7 defeat. Next on were the pairs and it was Sally/ Sam who made the best start and they eased away to a one-sided 14-2 win. Not far behind them were Pete/ Rita, just as straightforward for their 11-3 victory. Meanwhile the two other pairs were also ahead in their games and it was a full house with Paul/ Colin winning 9-3 and Don/ Andy winning 9-2. Finally, the triples and these games proved to be far closer than the pairs, but by the end, Suffolk still came out unbeaten. S3 played well to win their game 8-4, whilst there were the slimmest of wins for S4 and S1, by 6-5 and 8-7 respectively. Whilst not at their best, S2 held on for an 8-8 draw. Overall Suffolk were delighted with their twenty one points against Bedfordshire, just the start to the event they were hoping for.

Next up were Essex, who had also started well, taking seventeen points off Cambridgeshire. Historically the singles games against Essex are always close and these were no different. By the end, sharing two games each was a fair outcome. Paul bounced back well to win 8-4 and Steven got another win on the board, this time by 7-3. Whilst Mick and Andy didn’t bowl badly, their games were lost 3-5 and 4-9 respectively. In the pairs, the games were just as tight and wins would have to be earned. One game never in doubt was Pete/ Rita, as they eased to another win, by 8-2. Don/ Andy then added their second win of the day, only just by 8-6. Meanwhile it was all looking good for Sally/ Sam who had played well to secure an early advantage, but then one poor end stopped them in their tracks and the game was drawn 7-7. Unfortunately Paul/ Colin couldn’t add any more points, losing 5-7. The triples started well for Suffolk with S1 taking an early lead, which they extended to win comfortably 13-5. S2 followed that up with a tight 7-4 win, but that was the end of the Suffolk points. S3 and S4 defeated by 3-6 and 6-7 respectively. It had been a hard fought thirteen points taken off Essex but it kept Suffolk in first place overall, four points ahead of Hertfordshire.

Cambridgeshire were up next and four close singles games followed. At the midway point all of the games could’ve gone either way, so it was no surprise by the end when they were shared. Andy bounced back well from his previous loss to win 7-4 and the other two points were added by Paul with the closest of wins, by 8-7. There were the slimmest of defeats for Mick and Steven, by 6-7 and 4-5 respectively. In the pairs games, Don/ Andy flew out of the blocks and in the performance of the day, they won 14-0. Sally/ Sam soon added another two points, easing to an 8-2 win. The other two games were far closer, going to the final bowls before Suffolk completed a whitewash session. Paul/ Colin winning 6-4 and even closer were Pete/ Rita with a 5-4 win, for their third straight win of the day. In the triples matches, after a good start S2 were comfortable 12-5 winners and then S1 won their third consecutive game of the day, by 8-3. Another two points were added by S3, down to the wire with a 5-4 victory, but S4 slipped to a 3-9 loss. Overall Suffolk were pleased with the eighteen points scored against Cambridgeshire and that increased their advantage at the top to eight points ahead of Hertfordshire.

The penultimate session and Norfolk were the opponents. Again there were four very hard fought singles games, which Suffolk just edged. Three important wins, Mick by 6-4, Paul by 4-3 and with his final bowl, Andy by 8-6. In the pairs, there was no stopping Sally/ Sam as they raced away to an excellent 11-1 win and Pete/ Rita won again, this time by 6-4. It was looking like Don/ Andy would add another win but one end cost them, slipping to an 8-10 defeat, Paul/ Colin also just being edged out by 4-6. In the triples, it was again the unbeaten S1 leading the way, in complete control with a 12-1 win. S3 weren’t far behind them with an 11-3 win. The final two games always looked like going to the last ends, that’s exactly what happened and Suffolk were happy with two draws, S2 at 7-7 and S4 at 5-5. Fourteen points from Norfolk was a decent return and again Suffolk’s overall lead had increased, now up to twelve points over Hertfordshire, with the top two to play each other in the final session.

Suffolk went into those games against Hertfordshire knowing that just seven points were required to win the event. The singles set about trying to do just that and so nearly delivered. There were good wins for Steven (8-2), Mick (10-3) and Paul (9-2). In the pairs the winning points were secured, Don/ Andy with another good win by 10-4 and Sally/ Sam winning 9-5. Then to add the icing on to the cake, the triples finished the day with a whitewash four win session, wins for S1 (6-2), S2 (11-1), S3 (13-5) and S4 (8-7). Overall Suffolk scored eighteen points against Hertfordshire, who had been their closest competition throughout the day.

The final points and standings were:








It had been a good all round team performance from Suffolk, reflected by the significant margin of victory over the other counties. Particular mentions should go to:

* The pair of Sally Goodrich/ Sam Runnacles who were unbeaten with four wins and a draw;

* The unbeaten triples of Jim Goodrich, Ellen Grube and Sue Gilder (five wins) and Ralph Sadgrove, Graham Davey and Neil Jolly (three wins and two draws).

Neil Jolly (County Captain)

You can find the full set of results here.