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ESMBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2006

Total entry = 85  :  12 Singles ;  10 Pairs ;  5 Triples ;  6 Fours ;  2 Mixed Fours ; 6 U18s

THE HEATS

The SINGLES Heats - November 12th 2005 - (All games played were of 10 ends duration.) 

The increased entry of 12 was organised into 4 round robin groups of 3 with the top 2 in each group going forward into a Quarter-Final. One of the groups actually had only 2 players as the third entrant turned out to have been entered in error so was not present.

In the Q Finals, Ann Whitehead beat Gareth Townend 10-4; Roger Green beat Ralph Parsons 15-6; Arthur Jackson beat Joseph Newsome 14-6; David Newsome beat Geoff Whitehead 9-3. In the Semis, David went down 6-8 to Ann whilst Arthur put out Roger by a decisive 12-1. The Final saw both Ann and Arthur drawing well with very little recourse to weight but Arthur was just the more consistent of the two eventually qualifying by 9-6. Arthur was pleased to have booked his place at the Finals in April having not made the trip last year in any discipline. The day was run by Reg Tilley and Eileen Bunting with Derek Williams fulfilling the Umpires duties. All went to schedule with a 10am start and a 2.30pm finish. 

 

The PAIRS Heats - November 19th 2005 - (All games played were of 9 ends duration.) The entries were organised in two groups of five for the Round Robin stage giving everyone a guaranteed four games. In Group 1 only Roger Green/Noel Herbert  remained undefeated with three wins and a draw whilst Geoff/Ann Whitehead headed Group 2 after winning all four of their games. The group runners up were Arthur Jackson/John Bunting and David Randon/Bruce Fryer both pairs winning three of their four games. These eight then played in the Semi-Finals in which Roger/Noel overcame David/Bruce 9-5 whilst Geoff/Ann won 8-7 after Arthur's well played final wood did not push the jack in quite the right direction. In the Final, both Noel and Ann continued to draw steadily whilst Geoff was unlucky that a well weighted running shot resulted in the jack just leaving the mat. Had it stayed on, he would have picked up 3/4 shots and swung the game in his favour. However with the final score lying at 7-5, it will be Roger and Noel who will represent us in the Pairs Finals next April . The day was again run by Reg Tilley and Eileen Bunting with Derek Williams fulfilling the Umpires duties. Once again, all went to schedule after a 10am start and a 2.30pm finish.   

 

The TRIPLES Heats - December 3rd 2005 - (All games played were of 8 ends duration.) With only 5 entries this year the qualifiers were decided on the result of a simple round robin in which all competitors played one game against all others. None of the entries was able to win all four of their games but both Colin Raper and Geoff Whitehead did win three games each to tie on 6 points. Colin, playing with Janet and Nobby Clark had narrow wins against David Newsome (8-6). Danny Brown (11-9) and Geoff Whitehead (7-5) but suffered a 2-12 defeat against Arthur Jackson. Geoff, wife Ann and Geoff Dye got off to a great start by soundly beating (thrashing?) Arthur (13-0) but was brought down to earth with a single shot win over David Newsome (9-8). He then defeated Danny Brown (9-6) before suffering his only defeat against Colin (5-7). With a shot difference of +15 it was therefore Geoffs trio who will go on to the Finals in April (for the second successive year) whilst Colins team on -4 had to settle for second place.    

 

The FOURS Heats - December 10th 2005 - (All games played were of 7 ends duration.) The six entries were organised in two round robin groups (2x3) with the top two from each group playing in a Semi-Final. In Group 1, Geoff Whiteheads four won both games whilst David Randons four went through on the strength of their single win. In Group 2 all three teams had one win each but on shot difference it was the rinks skipped by Colin Raper and Gareth Townend that went on into the Semis. In these Gareth with sister Jacinta Townend and brothers David & Joseph Newsome overcame Davids four (11-6) whilst Geoff, wife Anne Whitehead, Geoff Dye and Roger Green clocked up a 10-3 victory over Colin. The Final was a close and well contested game in which Gareths young team could not quite get the better of Geoff and Co. who won 7-6. However, this years increased entry meant that two places had been allocated to us so both the youngsters and the oldies will go to Kettering in April - (a good present for Joseph who was celebrating his 17th birthday today).

The UNDER 18s Heats - December 17th 2005 - (All games played were of 9 ends duration.) As with the Fours, there were only 6 entries and so these were grouped in two round robins of three. Gareth Townend and David Newsome won both their games to top their respective groups whilst Richard Powell and Jacinta Townend won a single game to come second. Joseph Newsome and 10 year old Edward Townend went down in both their games but not without a struggle. This was Josephs last U18 Nationals but we will no doubt see a lot more of Edward over the next few years. In the Semis, David overcame Jacinta 11-5 whilst Gareth just pipped Richard 9-8 thanks to a very fine last wood (to go from 2 down to 2 up). In the Final, David stormed into an 8-0 lead after three ends. Gareth could find no answer to Davids consistent play although he did limit him to a single shot over the next 3 ends before picking up his only shot of the match on the seventh end. He finally conceded 1-13 with an end to play. However, as we had once again been allocated two places in the Finals, both these players will travel to Daventry in April to try their luck for the second year running.

The MIXED FOURS Heats - With only two entries it was not permissible to hold any Heats (four entries minimum is required) - the entry fees were returned by the ESMBA.

 

THE FINALS

MIXED FOURS FINALS - Saturday 1st April 2006 Bletchley: With only 2 entries from our county we were not awarded any places in the Finals this year. Therefore, no Heats were held.

U18 SINGLES FINALS - Sunday 2nd April 2006 Bletchley: (11 ends) This was David Newsomes second trip to the U18 Finals and Gareth Townends fifth. Although David did not worry Andrew Beard from East Sussex (finalist for the last 2 years) too much, losing 5-16, his other two round robin games were much closer. In these he just lost out 7-9 to Shropshires Jim Whitehouse but he secured an 8-8 draw against the Lancashire reserve L. Smith (standing in for the Humberside entry who failed to show). Gareth was hoping to better his Semi-Final place in 2005 and started well being undefeated in the round robin. Convincing wins in two of these - 15-4 over Hampshires Paul England and 16-7 against Lancashires Tom Deen was followed by a 9-9 draw against Daniel Windmill from Somerset. He continued to play well in the next round but was just squeezed out 7-9 by Joshua Higginbotham from Lancashire. A very good effort although I know they are both disappointed not to have progressed further. 2007 beckons already!!

SINGLES FINALS - Thursday 6th April 2006 - Kettering: (11 ends) Arthur Jackson was hoping that he could do better than in 2003 when he took some good scalps in the round-robin to get through to the last 32. However, although he put up a good fight in his group losing 6-9 and 7-13 in two of his games but winning the other by 10-7, this was not good enough for him to go any further this time.

PAIRS FINALS - Friday 7th April 2006 - Kettering. (10 ends) Roger Green & Noel Herbert (on his first trip to Kettering), started badly with a 3-14 defeat at the hands of Chris Williams (last years finalist) & Paul Davies, a Shropshire Pair who, as it turned out were eventually to make it through to the Final. However, they had a good 12-7 win against Surreys top pair followed with their final game against Oxfordshire ending 7-6 in their favour. In the last 32, Roger/Noel felt unfortunate to be drawn against Chris Hopkins & Leigh Hall from Northants, both members of the current England squad. However they continued to play steadily, limiting shots to mainly singles, but were brought down to earth with an eventual 1-10 defeat.        

FOURS FINALS - Saturday 8th April 2006 - Kettering. (8 ends) Wins against Humberside (12-9) and West Midlands (13-4) and a defeat by Worcestershire (6-13) were good enough to take the Townend twins and Newsome brothers into the last 32. However, they could not maintain their combined form and were then somewhat deflated after going out 0-12 against Hampshire.

Our other four, Geoff & Anne Whitehead with Geoff Dye and Roger Green fared much better, kicking off with three straight wins in the round robin. These included a 12-6 defeat of the England team managers rink (which included world pairs No. 3 Gary Best), an 8-3 win over the rink skipped by ESMBA President, George Clarke and a very convincing 15-3 victory against Surrey. In their first KO game they dispatched Humberside (which included current NESMBA Singles champion Steve Danby and former National Singles Champion Dave Coultas) by 12-4 before taking on Staffordshire in the last 16. Their four are all in the current England squad having won last years England Rink Trials. After initially gaining a 6-0 lead, our team found themselves tied at 6-6 and lying shot down in the last end. Geoff maintained his composure to play a superb running wood to take out the shot and send his team into the Quarter Finals by 7-6. Here they met Essex - another team from the England squad but our four were still not being put off by reputations and stayed focussed and relaxed gaining another great victory this time by 11-8. In the Semi-Final they again met England players this time in the Oxfordshire rink and it seemed for a while as if the magic would continue with our four going into an early 3-0 lead. The opposition then proved their worth taking a 3, 5 and 2 off the next three ends to leap ahead 10-3. Winning the next two ends, our valiant four put themselves back in with a chance, entering the final end 7-10 down. However, with too many of the oppositions woods around the jack Geoff had no option but to fire and hope. But it was not to be and a great run was finally ended by 7-12. (The Oxfordshire team went on to beat Devon in the Final).

The two Geoffs, Anne and Roger were all elated to have gone so far against such tough opposition and to know that this was the best ever result in the National Championships by our county.             

TRIPLES FINALS - Sunday 9th April 2006 - Kettering: (9 ends) After their busy and successful day in the Fours, Geoff & Anne Whitehead with Geoff Dye then returned the next day to have a crack at the Triples. Here they again got through the round robin with two wins (12-6 against East Sussex and 11-5 against Devon) and one defeat (6-8 against Shropshire). Their bid then ended with a 6-12 defeat in their first KO games and they were finally able to travel home for a well earned rest.