THE NESMBA CHAMPIONSHIPS - 2011
THE 2011 FINALS
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 and laid out at the Teesdale Leisure Centre in Barnard Castle. (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), Charlie Cooper (Saturday) and Graham Foote (Sunday).
Our own team was 44 strong comprising 4 Singles, 4 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 substitutions were Francis Boatman for Geoff Dye in the Fours and Peter Watson for Mary Leng also in the Fours. See Roll of Honour for names of all our qualifiers.
Although as usual, there were mixed fortunes for our players these Championships resulted in the best overall performance by North Yorkshire ever recorded with our players reaching all 4 of the Finals. Of the 51 games played in the initial round robin stage, we had 26 wins, 22 losses and 3 draws enabling 9 of our 17 teams to make it through to the knockout stage (final 16). Out of these we then had 6 Quarter Finalists, 5 Semi Finalists, 4 Finalists and one overall Champion. This excellent all round performance enabled us to claim the County Shield for the very first time just beating West Yorkshire by 2 points.
(Details of each discipline appear below).
Singles - Ivan Lunn (Derbyshire) beat Bronagh Malone 8-7
Pairs - Kevin Siddle/Darren Cookson beat Nathan Kotek/Francis Boatman 9-3
Triples - Andy & Adam Lamb and John Skelding beat Nathan Kotek, Francis Boatman and James Lambert 11-4
Fours - David & Jo Newsome, Ben Render and Richard Lochman beat Kevin Siddle, Dave Fletcher and John & Steve Packer (West Yorkshire) 6-5
Shield - All those reaching the Quarter Finals and above are awarded points (15 per discipline) which go towards this Shield.
- Best overall county was NORTH YORKSHIRE with 16 points.
- 2nd W Yorkshire 14; 3rd Derbyshire 8; 4th Staffordshire 7; 5th Stockport 6; 6th Humberside 5 and 7th= were Durham 2 and Lancashire 2
- Merseyside did not take part.
SATURDAY 26th MARCH - After a brief opening address by this years Chairman Keith Worrell, the FOURS got underway at 9.30am. Our squad clocked up 9 wins and 6 losses in the round robin with four of our five teams reaching the last 16 and two of these then winning to reach the Quarter Finals. Here Rose Haynes, Paul Williamson, Simon Holtby and Roger Green were eliminated by 6-8 at the hands of Michael Mann's Durham foursome but David & Jo Newsome, Ben Render and Richard Lochman won 13-3 and then 13-0 in their subsequent Semi-Final. In the Final, they then had a very close game against Kevin Siddle, Dave Fletcher and John & Steve Packer (West Yorkshire) who no doubt are more than a little annoyed at allowing them to pick up a 2 on the last end to win by a single shot 6-5. The Fours Cup thus comes back to North Yorkshire after an absence of two years.
In the afternoon it was the turn of the SINGLES in which our four contestants managed 6 wins and 6 losses between them which was only enough to put David Newsome and Bronagh Malone through to the knockouts. David was then eliminated 7-12 but Bronagh went through by 12-7 to the Quarter Finals in which she came back from 1-7 down to beat Walter Stockhill in an extra end 11-10. In her Semi-Final against West Yorkshires Kevin Siddle she took a 3 on the last end to force another 10-10 draw and then to Kevin's dismay she ditched the jack with her opening wood to reach the Final for the second year running. Here she found herself up against Derbyshire's Ivan Lunn who matched her shot for shot until they were lying 7-7 with one end to go. With only one wood left each it was Ivan to go and although the shot wood was a good measure, Ivan decided against trying another draw and taking a leaf out of Bronagh's semi-final game, ditched the jack leaving Bronagh no hope of retaining her title for a second year.
Our successes in these two disciplines meant that at the end of Day 1 we had accumulated 8 points towards the County Shield and were equal leaders with West Yorkshire.
SUNDAY 27th MARCH - Sunday morning saw our 4 PAIRS make their bid for glory. A poor start was made in the round robin with only 4 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws being achieved. This meant that only Nathan Kotek/Francis Boatman progressed to the knockouts having been undefeated with 2 wins and a draw. They sailed through their preliminary, winning 14-7 with an end to spare and then won their QF and SF by 11-5 and 11-7 respectively. However, the wheels came off a little when they took to the mat against Kevin Siddle and Darren Cookson (West Yorkshire) who were determined not to let North Yorkshire beat them in another Final (see Fours above) and who finally claimed the Pairs title by 9-3. (Another 3 points towards the Shield meant we were now in 2nd - 2 points behind West Yorkshire.)
At this point presentations were made to the winners of the seasons Inter-County league. These were Staffordshire in Division 2 and North Yorkshire in Division 1 - who had sailed through the season without being defeated to retain the Cup won last year for the very first time. 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 2 of our Triples to progress to the knockouts. Rose Haynes, Gareth Townend and Roger Green had struggled through the round robin and had only progressed on the strength of 1 win and a small shot difference. However they rode their luck and reached the Semi Finals with two 7-6 wins in the Prelim and QF. Meanwhile, Nathan Kotek, Francis Boatman and Richard Lambert were undefeated with 2 wins and a draw in the round robin and then two more wins 5-4 and 9-4 to take them into the Semi Finals. Here our 2 teams met and although Roses team generally outplayed Nathans, the latter went through to the Final by 5-4. (It was probably Nathan's brilliant drawing wood into the narrowest of targets to save going 5 down on one end that was the real clincher in this match.)
Nathan and Francis thus reached their second Final of the day. However, weariness was beginning to tell and they proved no match for the Staffordshire triple of Andy & Adam Lamb and John Skelding who eventually won 11-4.
Thus ended a long and weary weekend with the Finals on both days not completing until after 10pm. Thanks go to all those who stayed to watch the Finals and help load up all 16 mats etc onto the ESMBA trailer. This was taken home by Rose Haynes who will be return it to Bedford on her way to the National Mixed Fours at the end of the week.
For previous NESMBA Champions see ROLL OF NESMBA CHAMPIONS. To see how these results have altered the Order of Merit see OOM 2011