7a - THE NESMBA CHAMPIONSHIPS - 2014
THE 2014 FINALS
Saturday March 15th & Sunday March 16th 2014
SUMMARY - The Championships were once again organised and run by the NESMBA Championship Secretary, Barry Purcell (Lancashire).
In each discipline the normal format of 32 finalists playing in groups of 4 was followed, thus ensuring everyone had at least 3 games. Group winners and runners up then played in a preliminary KO round leading to Quarter and Semi Finals before the last two eventually contested the Final. Our own team of qualifiers comprised 5 Singles, 4 Pairs, 4 Triples and 5 Fours - 44 players in total, all of whom had qualified via our County Championships held earlier in the season. (See Roll of Honour for names of all our qualifiers). Of the 54 games played by our teams in the initial round robin stages, we had 33 wins, 20 losses and 1 draw enabling 12 of our 18 teams to make it through to the knockout stages (final 16). (Brief details of each discipline appear below).
Singles - Royston Lewis (West Yorkshire) beat Steve Packer (West Yorkshire)
Pairs - Steve & John Packer (West Yorkshire) beat Liam Smith & Peter Roberts (Stockport)
Triples - Royston Lewis, Darren Cookson & Andy Miles (West Yorkshire) beat Paul Mason, Wyn Thompson & Bill Burn (Stockport)
Fours - Royston Lewis, Hazel & Darren Cookson & Paul King (West Yorkshire) beat Anne & Mick Ridge, Andrew Leng & Ben Render (North Yorkshire)
Shield - All those reaching the Quarter Finals and above are awarded points (15 per discipline) which go towards the County Shield but only the first 4 teams entered in each discipline count so total points do not always add up to 60).
This year the best overall county was West Yorkshire with 22 points
2nd= - 8 points - North Yorkshire and Stockport
4th - 7 points - Staffordshire
5th - 5 points - Derbyshire
6th - 4 points - Humberside
7th - 2 points - Lancashire
8th - 0 points - Durham
Many congratulations to the West Yorkshire players who won all 4 disciplines - a feat never before achieved. On top of this they once again topped Division 1 - the 8th time in the last 15 years. (They really should try to join the ICC to see how good they are Nationally!)
SATURDAY 15th MARCH - Chairman Alan McAllum opened the proceedings by thanking Rose Haynes who had travelled to Northants to collect the ESMBA trailer and all those who had turned up to unload it and prepare the hall on the previous evening. (Alan himself had also brought down an extra mat from Durham in a borrowed trailer as we had been told that the ESMBA had only managed to fit 15 mats in the trailer. In the event there were the full 16 on board so unnecessary added expense for us poor northerners!). He then wished everyone an enjoyable weekend and proceedings commenced at 9.30 with the FOURS. Our 5 rinks did not make a very good start only winning 8 of their 15 round robin games so only 3 progressed to the preliminary KO round. Here our last years champions, Rose Haynes & Co went out (5-6) whilst Geoff Whitehead's rink went out in the QFinals also by a single shot (6-7). The highlight of the day for us (and indeed of the whole weekend) was provided by Mick & Anne Ridge, Andrew Leng and Ben Render who after a 12-1 QFinal win, an 8-7 SFinal win reached the Final. Here they met a very much in form West Yorkshire rink so can be quite pleased to have ended as runners up by 5-8.
In the afternoon it was the turn of the SINGLES in which our 5 contestants only managed 7 wins with 8 losses in the group stage and only Roger Green and David Newsome progressed to the knockouts where Roger was immediately annihilated by Kevin Siddle (2-15 with 2 ends remaining). However Dave then had 2 excellent games to beat Ivan Lunn (the 2004 and 2011 champion) by 11-8 and Kevin Siddle (a runner-up in 1999 and 2009) by 13-4. The wheels then came off and Dave went out in his SFinal against Steve Packer by 2-11.
SUNDAY 16th MARCH - Sunday morning saw our 4 PAIRS take to the mats to see what they could achieve. 4 losses and 8 wins meant 3 reached the knockouts. Here John Marshall/Paul (CF) Williamson lost 4-7 whilst Ben Render/David Newsome were drawn to play Rose Haynes/Richard Lochman with the latter going through by 10-5 only to lose their QFinal by 6-10.
At this point Maxine Groce (NESMBA League Secretary) made presentations to the winners of the seasons Inter-County league. These were North Yorkshire 'B' in Division 2 and West Yorkshire 'A' in Division 1. (See NESMBA for the full final tables.)
Finally, on Sunday afternoon, it was the turn of our 4 TRIPLES. This began very well, as with 10 wins and only 2 losses, all 4 went into the preliminary KO round. Here Rose Haynes, David Newsome and Roger Green, were drawn against Jake Potter, James Clark and Jamie Smith with the latter going through after a fine final running shot from Jake picked up the necessary 3 shots required to win a close contest 8-7 and reach the QFinals. Here they unfortunately just lost out to Bill Burn (runners up) by 6-7. The 3 Townends (Gareth, Jacinta and Edward) were disappointed to go out 4-5 after Stockport's Bill Burn ditched the jack with his final wood after Gareth had drawn the shot for a winning lie. Gordon Raggett. Danny Langdon and Dave Herbert's game ended in tragedy. On the last end, with the scores level at 6-6 and shots lying against, Gordon had his final wood to try to kill the end. The jack was lying on the edge of the carpet and it looked as if it only had to be touched to roll off. What happened next is probably best forgotten but probably never will be. Gordon's running wood did indeed just clip the jack but it remained in place and his wood settled in the ditch - a toucher in shot position! However, without thinking, Dave bent down and removed the wood (presumably unaware it was a toucher) and the match was lost.
Such are the vagaries of the game - two of our Triples going out to fine running woods from the opposition and one almost won by another fine running wood of our own. Oh well, such is life! Disappointments must however be overcome - life carries on and is too short to dwell on such things. Forget it and move on.
Another long and weary weekend thus drew to an end. Thanks go to all those who stayed to watch the Finals (which were both of high quality), and the few who helped load up all the mats etc onto the ESMBA trailer which was returned to the ESMBA later in the week by Rose. Thanks also to the 7 Umpires who between them covered about 24 hours of playing time over 16 mats - a tiring but invaluable task. These were Graham Foote, Barrie Chadwick, Andy Jones, Andy Miles, Joseph Newsome, Tim Pearson and Stephen Wilson. We must also thank Alice Hollas (Lancashire) for attending t the whole weekend to run the raffle which raised £400 to help cover the cost of the weekend. It was also good to see the England Team manager and Assistant Team manager (Brandon Whittaker and Keith Lackford) observing our bowlers and their performance.
For previous NESMBA Champions see ROLL OF NESMBA CHAMPIONS
To see how these results have altered the Order of Merit see OOM 2014
Also see PhotoGallery