7a - THE NESMBA CHAMPIONSHIPS - 2015
THE 2015 FINALS
SUMMARY - The Championships were once again organised and run by the NESMBA Championship Secretary, Barry Purcell (Lancashire). (Note that Barry is stepping down this year). Both days commenced after a few words of welcome and thanks from this years Chairman, Pat Jones. 9 ESMBA umpires had been engaged and a rota was organised by Graham Foote to cover the whole weekend. David Rutt had organised the hire of a van with the intention of travelling to Church Gresley to pick up the 16 ESMBA mats but after he had been struck down with a major heart problem, Arthur Jackson had taken on this task. He was helped in the loading/unloading at CG by members of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Many players turned up at the Teesdale Centre to lay the mats and prepare the hall on the Friday evening. As usual 2 raffles were held with ticket sales organised by Alice Hollas and prizes supplied by the participating counties and these raised nearly £400.
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, 5 Triples and 6 Fours - 52 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 63 games played by our teams in the initial round robin stages, we had 38 wins, 24 losses and 1 draw enabling 14 of our 20 teams to make it through to the knockout stages (final 16). (Brief details of each discipline appear below).
Singles - Richard Walsh (Staffordshire) beat Steve Packer (West Yorkshire)
Pairs - Steve and John Packer (West Yorkshire) beat Darren Cookson and Kevin Siddle (West Yorkshire)
Triples - Royston Lewis, Darren Cookson and Andy Miles (West Yorkshire) beat Mike & Dorothy Shaw and Paula Moores (Stockport)
Fours - Geoff & Ann Whitehead, Jill Newsome and Geoff Dye (North Yorkshire) beat Graham Stubbs, Dave Smith and Dave & Elaine Coultas (Humberside)
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 18 points
2nd - 10 points - North Yorkshire
3rd - 8 points - Derbyshire
4th - 8 points - Staffordshire
5th - 7 points - Stockport
6th - 5 points - Humberside
7th - 0 points - Durham
8th - 0 points - Lancashire
SATURDAY 14th MARCH
Bowling commenced at 9.30 with the FOURS in which five of our six teams made it through to the preliminary KO round and then four of these made it into the Quarter Finals. Here Rose Haynes, Les & Margaret Lambert and Brenda Benson were drawn against Geoff & Anne Whitehead, Geoff Dye and Jill Newsome and after dropping an early 7 went out 5-11. Unfortunately our other two teams were also drawn against each other and it was Ben Render, Jayne Rudd, Emma Burrows and Joyce Perry who reached the Semi-Final after overcoming David Newsome, James Clark, Danny Langdon and Jake Potter by 10-7. However, in their Semi Final, after a "muck or nettles" running last wood from Dave Coultas Ben's four found themselves ousted by 7-8. Geoff and Co. however were still there and playing well as evidenced by a great 9-7 Semi Final win over Steve Packer's West Yorkshire rink. The Final was a close run thing against the Humberside rink of Dave & Elaine Coultas, Graham Stubbs and Dave Smith but it was Geoff's foursome who took the winners trophy with a 6-5 victory. This was North Yorkshire's 5th win in the Fours and a 2nd Fours win for Geoff & Anne.
In the afternoon it was the turn of the SINGLES in which our six contestants only managed 7 wins with 11 losses in the group stage. Two of these, Danny Langdon and Ben Render reached the Quarter Finals where Ben went down 8-10 to last years Champion, Royston Lewis. Danny went one stage further but lost his Semi-Final to last years runner-up, Steve Packer.
SUNDAY 15th MARCH
Sunday morning saw our four PAIRS take to the mats to see what they could achieve. Unfortunately, 6 losses and 6 wins meant only two reached the knockouts but that proved the end of the line with both then losing their initial game..
At this point Maxine Groce (NESMBA League Secretary) made presentations to the winners of the Inter-County league 2nd Division - Humberside B. Due to an as yet unresolved dispute, the 1st Division Cup was not able to be awarded. The trophies for the previous days finalists were also presented as well as certificates for all participating umpires.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon, it was the turn of our five TRIPLES. This began quite well, as with 10 wins and only 5 losses, four of the five went into the preliminary KO round. However, three were then immediately eliminated and only Arthur Jackson, Sue Pittham and Harry Welch reached the Quarter Finals. Here north Yorkshire's weekend came to an abrupt halt with a 1-10 defeat at the hand of the eventual Champions, Darren Cookson, Royston Lewis and Andy Miles.
For previous NESMBA Champions see ROLL OF NESMBA CHAMPIONS
To see how these results have altered the Order of Merit see OOM 2015. Also see PhotoGallery