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ESMBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2005

Total entry = 107  :  10 Singles ;  14 Pairs ;  9 Triples ;  5 Fours ;  4 Mixed Fours ; 6 U18s

THE HEATS

The SINGLES Heats - November 13th 2004 - (All games played were of 8 ends duration.) The 10 entrants this year were placed into two round robin groups of 5 with the top 2 in each group going on to a semi final. In Group 1, Fred Wood won all four of his games whilst Arthur Jackson, Rose Haynes and Colin Raper managed two wins each. It was Arthur however who reached the semis dues to a greater shot difference.  Group 2 was headed by Geoff Whitehead with three wins whilst Philip Elgie and Audrey Wood won two and drew their game against each other after Philip finished with a 3, 4, 3 to pull back from 10-0 down. It was Philip however, who secured the fourth semi final place with a greater shot difference. Buoyed up by this escape act, Phil then went on to edge Fred out 8-5 in the first semi whilst Geoff just pipped Arthur 10-9 in the other. In the final, after winning the opening end, Phil conceded a 4 . From then on it was a very well played and tight game with only a single shot scored on each of the remaining six ends. Geoff ended 6-5 up to qualify for his first National Finals at his very first attempt. The match was umpired by Derek Williams.      

 

The PAIRS Heats - November 20th 2004 - (All games played were of 7 ends duration.) With 14 entries, it was necessary to play a preliminary round to reduce the field to the last eight. This was done by grouping nine of the entries into three round robins of three with only the group winners qualifying. These were Colin Raper/Jill Hall (3 points), Rose Haynes/Simon Holtby (4 points) and Gareth & Jacinta Townend (4 points). In Round 1 these three pairs joined the other five entries in two more round robins of four. In the first group, Rose & Simon and Colin & Jill went through with two wins each. Fred Wood/Ivan Topping had their hopes dashed after a surprise defeat at the hands of the U18 brothers David & Joseph Newsome. In the other group, Audrey Wood & Barbara Topping won all three games and went through together with Gareth & Jacinta who had two wins.

 

In the semi-finals, the twins continued to play well. knocking out Colin & Gill whilst Audrey and Barbara took a two on the last end to draw with Rose & Simon, then went on to take the extra end with their last wood. In the Final there was little the twins could do against the consistent drawing of the experienced pair and they conceded with an end unplayed and the scores at 10-1. They must now wait and see if we are offered more than a single place in the Finals so they can join Audrey & Barbara at Kettering in April. (12/1/05 - confirmation of two places received from ESMBA so Gareth & Jacinta will join Audrey & Barbara in the Finals) 

 

The TRIPLES Heats - December 4th 2004 - (All games played were of 7 ends duration.) An additional entry this year meant that a preliminary round robin was necessary in order to reduce the numbers  to eight. These then played in two groups of four with the top two in each group playing a semi-final. Group 1 was won by Geoff Whitehead who was unbeaten whilst the other three triples won a single game each. Based on shots difference, the triples led by Philip Elgie (-9) and Edna Chilvers (-12) were eliminated allowing David Newsome (-7) through. In Group 2, it was Rose Haynes with three wins and Danny Brown with two wins who progressed. Arthur Jackson and Brian Bennett went out. In the first semi-final, Geoff  with Anne Whitehead and Geoff Dye knocked out Danny who was playing with Derek Williams and Barry Simmonite 10-6, whilst David, brother Joseph Newsome and mother Jill Newsome could not get the better of Rose, Roger Green and Simon Holtby who won 9-2.

 

The Final between Geoff and Rose's triples was a close fought affair with only eight shots scored in the seven ends. All players performed well but Geoff had to save the day on two ends by sending the jack off. He found himself 4-3 down and needing a dead draw to the edge of the mat with his last wood to force an extra end. However it was not to be with his shot just slipping off the mat, leaving Rose, Roger and Simon qualifying for the National Finals for the second consecutive year. (12/1/05 - Two places have been offered by the ESMBA so Geoffs triple will join Roses at Kettering)   

 

The FOURS Heats - December 11th 2004 - (All games played were of 7 ends duration.) With just five entries this year, the qualifiers were decided on the results of a simple round robin with everyone playing everyone else. Having lost one of their four games (6 points and +12 shots), Rose Haynes, Roger Green, Arthur Jackson and Phillip Elgie had to watch the last session in which Jill Newsomes four had to win by six shots or more. With a good final wood, Jill who was lying two down, took the shot and clinched the result. Jill with Colin Raper, and Nobby Clark thus qualify in the Fours for the second year running together with Ron Watson, making his first trip to the National Finals. In third place was Fred Woods rink with two wins whilst the fours of Danny Brown and David Newsome both had a single win each.  

The UNDER 18s Heats - December 18th 2004 - (All games played were of 7 ends duration.) As with last years Heats, there were six entrants and these players were placed in two round robin groups of three. In these, Richard Powell and David Newsome won both their games whilst Gareth Townend and 9 year old James Clark went through with one win apiece. Young James could not match Davids experience going down 1-12 in the first semi whilst Gareth, after conceding a 3 on the first end, did not let Richard in to score again and won the other semi 10-3. Probably our two best Juniors thus fought it out in the Final with Gareth finally getting the better of David 8-4. Gareth will now go to the Finals for the 4th consecutive year whilst David will probably be joining him should we be offered the expected 2nd place. This will be confirmed in the new year. (12/1/05 - Additional place confirmed by ESMBA - David will thus join Gareth at the Finals.)  

The MIXED FOURS Heats - December 18th 2004 -   (All games played were of 7 ends duration.) With just four entrants (last year qualifiers did not enter) a simple round robin decided this years Heats. None of the fours was able to win all three games in this and although they remained undefeated with two draws and a win giving them 4 points and + 1 shot, Colin Raper, Jill Newsome with Janet & Noel Clark were just pipped by Fred & Audrey Wood with Ivan & Barbara Topping who also had 4 points after two wins but had a shot difference of +6. Fred's four thus return to the Mixed Four Finals after an absence of four years.  

 

THE FINALS

MIXED FOURS FINALS - Saturday 2nd April 2005 Daventry: (8 ends) Paying their first visit for 5 years in the Mixed Fours, Fred & Audrey Wood and Ivan & Barbara Topping were hoping to better their last result in 2000 in which they reached the Quarter Finals. However it was not to be and although they beat Humberside 9-5, they lost out to Dorset 6-9 and Worcestershire - the eventual losing finalists, 4-12.

U18 SINGLES FINALS - Sunday 3rd April 2005 Daventry: (11 ends) David Newsome, on his first trip to the Finals was disappointed not to win any of his three rounds robin games although he tried very hard and lost two of them very narrowly (9-11 and 8-9). However he was pleased to see his club colleague, Gareth Townend  have a great day and go all the way to the Semi-Finals. This was Gareth's fourth appearance at the Finals and he started off by winning all three of his round-robin games and topping his group. He then went on to beat Hampshires Ross Dabrowski 15-7 and then Karen Watson from Cornwall 10-5 in the Quarter Finals. In his Semi-Final he came up against Dominic Reed from Essex (who was also a semi-finalist in 2003). Dominic, was on top form and after beating Gareth 15-5 (with an end to go) went on to win the Final (in his last year as a Junior). Well done Gareth - with several junior years ahead of you - the Championship is still within your grasp.     

SINGLES FINALS - Thursday 7th April 2005 - Kettering: (11 ends) Geoff Whitehead was unlucky not to make it through to the knockout stage on this, his first trip to Kettering. In his first game he was one shot up and lying two when his opponent from Suffolk played a weighty wood to take two shots and win 12-11. In his second game he went down 7-13 to Jason McLean, Hampshires Number 1 entry but came back in his final game to win 9-7 against West Sussex. Geoff reported his first National Finals experience to be very enjoyable and worthwhile and looks forward to playing again on Sunday.....this time as one of our two Triples (see below).  

PAIRS FINALS - Friday 8th April 2005 - Kettering. (10 ends) Our primary Pairs, Audrey Wood and Barbara Topping, started well with an 8-4 win over the ESMBA Secretary, Herbie Bowden but were brought down to earth with a 4-14 defeat against Derbyshires top Pair skipped by current NESMBA Singles Champion Ivan Lunn. In their final game they were narrowly defeated by Warwickshire 7-9 so came close to qualifying for the KO.  Our second Pairs, under 18 twins Gareth and Jacinta Townend were paying the first visit to the main Finals in Kettering. and were unlucky to be drawn in a Group containing two times National Singles Champions Dave Coultas from Humberside and also Buckinghamshires Steve McAllister - a past National Champion in Singles, Pairs and Triples. They put up a good fight however and in spite of three defeats, 4-14, 4-13 and 7-15 gained some great experience for the future.     

FOURS FINALS - Saturday 9th April 2005 - Kettering. (8 ends) North Duffields Colin Raper, Jill Newsome and Noel Clark were paying their second successive trip to the Fours Finals, this time with Ron Watson from Escrick. Although they lost 7-12 against Northants and 5-9 against Surrey a "Hot Shot" 8 helped give them a victory over East Sussex by 13-9. Such an achievement, especially after doing the same in 2004, took away some of the disappointment of not making it into the knockout round. (see PhotoGallery)

TRIPLES FINALS - Sunday 10th April 2005 - Kettering: (9 ends) Our top Triple, Rose Haynes, Roger Green and Ken Calvert made a poor start against Norfolk, losing 4-11. They then met Essex, a team which included Thursdays losing Singles Finalist, Barry Hedges, and were disappointed not to maintain a good start in which they took a 4 on the first end, eventually losing 7-12. In their final game they salvaged a little self respect by beating Suffolk 9-7 - a good result after they had conceded a 5 on the second end to go 1-6 down. Our second Triple - Geoff & Anne Whitehead with Geoff Dye, fared a lot better, beating Suffolk 16-6 and Humberside 12-6. After a tough third game against  three England players which they lost 4-11 they then went on to the knockout phase in which they were drawn against a Worcestershire side which was skipped by two times National Pairs Champion, Craig Hall. They played well in this match and Geoff W was unlucky in his attempt with his final wood to dislodge the shot which would have left 4 on for a win. They thus ended our counties best Finals run this year, with a 4-8 defeat. (see PhotoGallery)