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» SUFFOLK COUNTY TEAM 2021/22

Suffolk/Hertfordshire Friendly

On Sunday 14th November, Suffolk played host to a friendly with Hertfordshire, nearly 2 years after their last competitive match against one another, the last before the original lockdown.

Morning Session
The day began with Random Fours knockout event, with 12 teams, each consisting of two Suffolk and two Herts players.

The finalists were Team D (S Palmer, P Harris, P Runnacles and N Jolly), and Team L (G Young, T Stevenson, R Runnacles and R Hearn), and it went all the way down to the wire.

For the first 6 ends there was never more than a shot between the teams, they were all square at 2-2 after 3 ends, and 3-3 after five. Going into the final end Neil held a single shot lead over Rebecca, who was holding one shot with one wood left for each skip, and the game looking destined for an extra end. But with his final wood, Neil somehow managed to move the jack to hold 3, leaving Rebecca with an impossible task.

The game ended with a 7-3 win for Team D.

You can see video of the session here, unfortunately the recording stopped before the final was played.

Afternoon Session
The afternoon took on more of the flavour of a regular county match, although the match length was reduced to 7 ends, and all the rinks played continuously through 3 sessions.

The Suffolk team was as follows:
Suffolk 1 (S1): Pete Runnacles, Steve Isles, Mick Watkins, Paul Daniels
Suffolk 2 (S2): Sally Goodrich, Ellen Grube, Colin Fellingham, Sue Gilder
Suffolk 3 (S3): Ralph Sadgrove, Tony Stevenson, Adam Hubbard, Sam Runnacles
Suffolk 4 (S4): Sue Isles, Jim Goodrich, Peter Fellingham, Clint Watling
Suffolk 5 (S5): Sue Davey, Paul Leach, Andy Gilder, Neil Jolly
Suffolk 6 (S6):
Karen Hubbard, Rita Runnacles, Andy Pooley, Tom Runnacles

Session 1
After a good start S1 fell behind and going into the final end were 3-6 down, but managed to take 5 shots at the last to pull off an 8-6 victory. S2 were a couple of shots behind before they got on the board, but once they hit the lead they never let go, winning 6-3. S3 were up from the very start and held the lead to finish 6-2 winners.

S4 took the first end, but were behind after 3, and although they were only a shot behind with 3 ends to go, the Herts team pulled away to a 10-3 victory. It was nip and tuck all the way for S5, with the lead going back and forth, before they took one on the last to earn a 6-6 draw. The worst start of the session by far was that on S6, who immediately dropped 4 shots, but they pulled it back bit by bit, to lead with an end to go, which they also won, taking the game the hard way, 8-6.

Suffolk 9 Hertfordshire 3

Session 2
It took S1 until the 6th end to get on the board, and by that time they were 6 shots down, they won the last 2 ends, but still lost 2-6. S2 made a horrible start, and they too were 6 down, but after only 2 ends, however they came back well to going into the last all square, only for their opponents to take it by a single shot, 7-8. S3 not only won the first end, but all the rest too, to take an emphatic 11-0 victory.

S4 began well and kept going, and even dropping 3 shots on the last end they still ended comfortable 7-4 winners. It was another close game for S5, who again took a single shot on the last end to earn a last ghasp draw, 4-4. Much the same could be said of S6's game, only this time it was Herts to snatched a 5-5 draw with one on the last end.

Suffolk 15 Hertfordshire 9

Session 3
S1
were 6-1 ahead after 3 ends and were never in trouble after that, finishing 9-5 winners. S2 had a close game, going into the final end only one shot in arrears, but it didn't finish well for them, and in the end they lost out 4-8. S3 spend most of their game in arrears, but drew level on the penultimate end, and took one on the last to win 5-4.

It was nip and tuck for S4 until the 5th end when their opponents allowed them to grab 6 shots, 2 ends later they took another 5 to take a 13-4 win. S5 also had the benefit of getting 6 in one go, this time on the 3rd end, they ended up equally impressive 13-2 winners. Having inched out a 4-0 lead after 4 ends, S6 proceeded to to lose the 3 remaining ends, and the game 4-5.

Final Score: Suffolk 23 Hertfordshire 13

In the end the score was all but irrelevant, this game was less about the competition, and more about having the opportunity to meet up with old friends again, and to regain a sense of normalcy after a very long lay-off from inter-county competition.

We would like to thank Hertfordshire very much for a hugely enjoyable day.

You can see video of the session here, and if you go to the very end, you'll see the long postponed presentation to Neil commemorating his time as Suffolk captain.