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SUMMARY - The Championships were once again organised and run by the NESMBA Championship Secretary, Andy Miles (West Yorkshire) and his wife Barbara, using 16 mats borrowed from the ESMBA. (The trailer containing these mats and all ancillary equipment had been collected from Northampton during the previous week by North Yorkshires Rose Haynes then brought up from her home to Barnard Castle by Andy on the Friday afternoon). As usual, each discipline had 32 finalists playing initially in groups of 4, thus ensuring everyone had at least 3 games. Group winners and runners then played in a preliminary KO round leading to Quarter and Semi Finals before the last two eventually contested the Final.

Umpires for the weekend were Maxine Groce (both days - all day), Rose Haynes (Saturday and Sunday am), Roger Green (Saturday am and Sunday am) and Charlie Cooper (Saturday pm and Sunday pm). 

Our own team was 48 strong comprising 4 Singles, 6 Pairs, 4 Triples and 5 Fours all of whom had qualified by reaching the final stages of our own County Championships held earlier in the season. The only substitution was Steve Coupland for Geoff Clark in the Fours. See Roll of Honour for names of all our qualifiers.

As usual, there were mixed fortunes for our players 12 of whom were taking part for the first time. Of the 57 games played in the initial round robin stage, we had 34 wins, 20 losses and 3 draws enabling 14 of our 19 teams to make it through to the knockout stage (final 16). Out of these we then had 8 Quarter Finalists, 3 Semi Finalists and one overall Champion. This was a good performance but overall was not as good as last year and our hopes of claiming the  County Shield for the very first time did not come to fruition, mainly due to a disappointing performance in the Triples. (Details of each discipline appear below). 



Singles    - Bronagh Malone (N. Yorkshire) beat Dave Coultas (Humberside) 12-4 (with an end in hand)

Pairs       -  Scott Smith & Rhona Mason (Stockport) beat Ivan & Ellen Lunn (Derbyshire) 10-5

Triples    - Darren Cookson, Royston Lewis & Keith Worrall (W. Yorkshire) beat Dave Coultas, Steve Danby and David Rutt (Humberside) 6-5

Fours      - Simon & Val Smith, Mark Breame & May Precious (Humberside) beat Ivan & Ellen Lunn and Graham & Ann Fish 9-2 

Shield    - All those reaching the QF and above are awarded points (15 per discipline) which go towards this Shield.

             -  Best overall county was HUMBERSIDE with 16 points. 

              - 2nd= were Derbyshire &  N Yorkshire 13; 4th was Stockport 9; 5th was W Yorkshire 5; 6th was Lancashire 3 and  7th was Durham 1

              - Merseyside did not take part.


See PhotoGallery for photos of the weekend

SATURDAY 20th MARCH - The day kicked of with the FOURS in which our squad clocked up 9 wins and 6 losses in the round robin. Three of our five teams then went into the last 16 with all three winning to reach the Quarter Finals. Here Arthur Jackson, Jo Hearld and Jim & Jean Weatherill were eliminated by 5-13 at the hands of David & Jo Newsome, Ben Render and Richard Lochman and Len & Pam Bradley, Hilda Thomas and Steve Coupland also went out 3-8. David's Four then lost their Semi-Final by 5-7.

In the afternoon it was the turn of the SINGLES in which our four contestants managed 7 wins and 5 losses. This put three of them through to the knockouts and with another win they all reached the Quarter Finals. Here Roger Green was drawn against Bronagh Malone and after a gritty fight back from 0-9 down, he eventually went out by 8-9. Bronagh then defeated former Northern Champion David Newsome by 9-7 in the Semi Final to become our only finalist of the weekend. Here she found herself up against former (2 times) National Champion Dave Coultas. However she continued to play superbly and generally outplayed Dave to win comfortably by 12-4 with an end in hand. Bronagh therefore becomes this years Northern Singles Champion retaining the Cup for North Yorkshire (won last year by Geoff Whitehead).   

Our successes in these two disciplines meant that at the end of Day 1 we had accumulated 11 points towards the County Shield (4 points clear).

SUNDAY 21st MARCH - Sunday morning saw our 6 PAIRS make their bid for glory. A good start was made in the round robin with 5 progressing to the last 16. However, in spite of winning all their round robin games both Nathan Kotek/Francis Boatman and Ben Render/Richard Lochman were then knocked out as was Jill Newsome/Jayne Rudd. Bronagh Malone/Trevor Hanlon and Gordon Raggett/Dave Herbert went one stage further but then both lost their Quarter Finals to end a disappointing overall performance from our Pairs squad although 2 more points were gained towards the Shield.   

At this point the presentations were made for the winners of the Inter-County league. These were Durham in Division 2 and North Yorkshire in Division 1 - the very first time we have achieved this. See NESMBA for the full final tables.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon, it was the turn of our 4 TRIPLES. Overall round robin results in this were 7 wins, 4 losses and a draw allowing 3 of our Triples to progress to the knockouts. Unfortunately they then all failed to progress any further making the Triples our worst performing discipline of the weekend with no further points gained towards the County Shield.

Thus ended a long and weary weekend with the Finals on both days not completing until after 10pm. In addition to her full weekends Umpiring duties, Maxine then took the ESMBA mat trailer back to North Duffield from where Noel Clark returned them during the week to Northampton.

For previous NESMBA Champions see ROLL OF NESMBA CHAMPIONS

To see latest Order of Merit see OOM 2010