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ESMBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008

 

Total ESMBA National entry = 102 : 17 Singles ; 9 Pairs ;  9 Triples ; 5 Fours ; 4 Mixed Fours ; 4 U18 Singles

 

THE HEATS

The SINGLES Heats - January 5th 2008 - See County Singles Championships

The PAIRS Heats - December 1st 2007 - See County Pairs Championships    

The TRIPLES Heats - January 6th 2008 - See County Triples Championships

The FOURS Heats - December 2nd 2007 - See County Fours Championship

The UNDER 18s Heats - December 8th 2007 - See County Junior Championships

The MIXED FOURS Heats - January 19th 2008 - See County Mixed Fours Championships

 

 

THE FINALS

SUMMARY

We were represented by 2 Singles, 2 Pairs, 2 Triples, 2 Fours, 2 U18 Singles and 1 Mixed Four - a total squad of 26. Our U18s and Mixed Fours fared best, winning 7 of their 9 round robin games to all reach the first KO round (where they all went out). However between them all, the Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours could only manage to win 8 of their 24 round robin games with no-one progressing into any of the KO rounds.

This was a disappointing year for our County, especially in view of previous years results, but nevertheless, for all those attending, valuable experience was gained of playing at the top national level.

(Please page down for full reports on each discipline)

MIXED FOURS Saturday 15th March 2008 - Wooton (8 ends) These were once again held at the Caroline Chisholm School (Wooton, Northants) where the 32 finalists were as usual organised in 8 groups of 4 for the initial round robin stage. Our finalists,  Roger Green, Rose Haynes and Gareth & Jacinta Townend had high hopes of going one better than last years Semi Final place. However it was not to be and in spite of three good wins in the initial round robin stage (13-3 vs Oxfordshire, 16-3 vs West Midlands and 9-5 vs West Sussex) they did not put it together well enough in their first KO game against Essex who beat them by 15-7.

U18 SINGLES Sunday 16th March 2008 - Wooton (11 ends) These followed on from the Mixed Fours and for our two finalists, Gareth Townend and Ben Render, it was to be their last chance of securing the Under 18's crown. Ben had two good wins in his round robin group, 11-5 against West Midlands and 16-4 against Suffolk although he lost 10-12 to Hampshire. He then got knocked out by 6-8 to Michael Ivings of Devon. Details of Gareth's round robin games are not available but he also reached the final 16 only to go out by 7-12 to Chris Page of West Sussex.

SINGLES Thursday 3rd April 2008 - Kettering - (11 ends) Gareth Townend was making his second successive appearance as our Singles qualifier and was hoping to do as well if not better than last year when he reached the Quarter Finals. However things started badly with a 4-15 defeat against Avon. Gareth recovered to beat Gloucestershire in his next game by 9-7 but in his third found the experience of England's Trevor Brown too much, eventually going down 5-12. David Newsome, on his first trip to the Singles, also started badly suffering a 4-13 defeat against Cornwall. He recovered well however to beat Suffolk by 13-6 and also won his last game against Wiltshire by 13-4. Normally this would have been good enough to take him on to the KO stage but with three of the group having 2 wins it came down to shot difference and very unfortunately it was David who failed by a single shot to make progress.

With many years bowling ahead, these two fine young players will undoubtedly have many more opportunities for National glory and it is my prediction that one of them will be a National Champion in the not too distant future. 

PAIRS Friday 4th April 2008 - Kettering - (10 ends) Derek & Pat Beardsley were making their first trip to Kettering as our prime Pairs qualifiers and were soon struggling in their first game against Surrey which they lost 4-12 and Norfolk then added to their problems by beating them 14-2. However bowls is all about perseverance and never giving up and in their last game against Gloucestershire, they clocked up a convincing win by 13-4. Roger Green & Rose Haynes (as our second highest placed qualifiers). had been offered a last minute opportunity to attend due to a team from Oxfordshire dropping out. Their first game was lost 4-10 at the hands of West Sussex but in their second game, facing up to England's Gareth Stanway and Nick Tideswell from Staffordshire, they played much better but still lost 4-8. However, like the Beardsley's, they managed to salvage a little pride by beating Norfolk 10-6 in their final game.

FOURS Saturday 5th April 2008 - Kettering - (8 ends) In the Fours, Derek & Pat Beardsley were joined by Bryan and Pat Jones but the day did not get off to a good start as Pat Beardsley had suffered a fall the night before and badly twisted her ankle. However, with no possibility of a substitute, Pat bravely decided take part in spite of undoubted pain. Their first game was against a team of young England players from West Sussex which they inevitably lost by 3-14. However, a good second game against Hampshire resulted in a 16-5 win but in their last game, against more youngsters from the West Midlands, they were brought right down to earth with a 0-14 whitewash.

Our other Four was Geoff & Anne Whitehead, Geoff Dye and Roger Green who were attending for the 3rd successive year and hopeful of a good run to equal their Semi-Final place in 2006. Things started well with a 17-4 win over Suffolk (who were, admittedly, playing one player short). The next game, against Worcestershire, should also have gone their way after they were 4-1 up and lying 4. But bowls being bowls, the unexpected always happens and after the opposing skips final wood our team actually dropped a 4! This game was eventually lost 5-8. To progress further, Geoff & Co. now needed to win their final game against Essex, an eager side containing an England and Scottish national player who had already won both their previous games. This proved to be a tense and well fought contest with our side always having the edge and going into a 6-1 lead after five ends. The next two ends saw Essex pick up a three and our team a single to go into the final end 3 shots up. By the time the Essex skip came to bowl his final wood, his situation looked hopeless with Geoff Dye having bowled in two excellent woods to lie two shots and Geoff Whitehead having placed two excellent blockers to protect the head. However, somehow, and after much thought, one of the front woods was driven into the head causing the jack to roll back closely followed by THREE Essex woods......quite incredible! This game was thus a 7-7 draw, bringing the day to a disappointing early end for our players.      

TRIPLES Sunday 6th April 2008 - Kettering - (9 ends) Geoff & Anne Whitehead and Geoff Dye returned on the final day hoping for better things but it was not to be and they lost all three games - 4-11 against Norfolk; 3-16 against Northants, a team containing two England players, and 8-10 against Gloucestershire. Richard Lochman, Ben Render and Jayne Rudd, our other Triple, started well with a 12-6 win over Surrey but they then faced up to Warwickshire whose team also contained two England players and who won 19-3. Our trio did well in their final game against Shropshire but lost narrowly by 6-8. This was an excellent result against a team that contained previous World Singles Champion Chris Grocott.