This year's event,
the first to be held at the Stanley Indoor Bowls Club, saw, for
the first time ever, the five trophies being won by five different
Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire began with wins, but
as the day drew on, the key result turned out to be the draw
in that session between Durham and Sunderland.
By the time the second
games had been played, those two had gone to the top, as they
won while the others either lost or missed a session.
And it was wins for those
two again in the third session. The two of them still shared
the top spot on 5 points, while Suffolk and Essex were a point
behind, each having won two and lost one.
Sunderland won again as
Durham sat out the next session. That put Sunderland top on with
7 points, Suffolk one point behind and Durham one point further
back but with a game in hand.
The final session on Saturday
saw wins for the leading contenders which meant that Sunderland
led with 9 points from 5 games Durham were on 7 points and Suffolk
and Cambridgeshire were both one point further back, but the
three chasers all had a game in hand over the leader.
Sunday began with a big
change as Sunderland recorded a first loss, to Suffolk. Durham
and Cambridgeshire also won which meant that all four were covered
by just one point.
And while Sunderland sat
out the next session Durham, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire all took
wins, so that with each of them having played the same number
of games Durham held a one point advantage over Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,
with Sunderland a point further back.
However the penultimate
session saw Durham edged out by Northumberland to record a first
loss of the weekend. Meanwhile Cambridgeshire beat Suffolk, putting
them top on 12 points. And with Sunderland winning they and Durham
were one point behind with one game to go.
The final games of the
weekend fittingly saw the top 4 playing one another. Durham beat
Suffolk and with Durham holding a big shot advantage Cambridgeshire
would need a win over Sunderland to take the title. The game
was as close as you might imagine with Cambridgeshire holding
a one shot lead going into the last end, but that end was taken
by Sunderland, by just one shot to draw the game and hand the
title to Durham.
The top two finished on
13 points, with Durham 12 shots better than Cambridgeshire, Sunderland
were one point behind and Suffolk two points further back in
Winner: Ian Clark (Durham)
With two games played it
was Northumberland and Durham who were on top having won both
their games. But it all looked much closer after the third session.
Essex, Durham, Cambridgeshire and Northumberland had each won
twice, but crucially the later two teams had only played twice
so far, while the other two had won twice and lost once.
Essex won again in the
enxt session to lead with 6 points, with Suffolk a point behind.
But behind them Cambridgeshire, Northumberland and Durham were
all on 4 points with a game in hand over the top two.
Saturday closed out with
Essex winning again. They now had 8 points and a clear lead.
Their nearest contenders were Suffolk who were three points adrift
but had a game in hand, so Essex looked to be very much in the
While Essex sat out Sunday's
first session, Suffolk lost, so Sunderland were now Essex's nearest
challengers, one point behind having played a game extra.
Things became clearer after
the next session as the games played evened out. Essex won to
go to 10 points, while Cambridgeshire and Durham also won to
stay 2 points behind.
The penultimate session
saw a huge 20-2 win for Essex, that kept them 2 points clear
of Cambridgeshire and Durham and giving them a very handy 9 shot
And it was just as well
as they fell to a narrow 7-6 loss. Meantime Durham won, but only
6-4 and Cambridgeshire lost to rule them out.
So after leading the whole
way Essex finally took the win, but only by 14 shots over Durham,
both teams finishing on 12 points. Sunderland finished in third
on 11 points and Cambridgeshire 4th on 10 points.
Winners: Don & Maxine Poulter (Essex)
After two sessions it was Durham and Bedfordshire who led the
way with two wins out of two. And one game later it was the still
the much same, although each team had now lost once and had now
been joined by Suffolk who had won both the games they had played
The third session saw Bedfordshire
take a clear lead as they took a third win. They were now 2 points
clear of Cambridgeshire, Northumberland, Durham and Suffolk.
The final session of Saturday
saw wins for Northumberland and Suffolk while Bedfordshire sat
out. Those three teams were now all on 6 points, although Northumberland
had played one game more. And one point further back Hertfordshire
were still very much in with a shout.
While the start of Sunday
saw Northumberland and Suffolk win to share the top spot, things
changed hugely with the next session which saw both those two
lose, allowing Sunderland to go top on shots as they won. The
three teams were all on 8 points, with Northumberland having
played one game more.
Hertfordshire vs Sunderland
was the big game of the penultimate session. It eventually went
the way of Herts and with the way the other results panned out
that took them to the top on 9 points, but behind them there
were five teams on 8 points all, theoretically, still in with
Herts needed a win and
that was what they got, an emphatic 16-5 victory meant that they
finished on 11 points and even though Cambridgeshire, Sunderland
and Northumberland all won, they could accumulate no more than
10 points and finished in second, third and fourth places respectively.
Winners: Peter, Mick & Marilyn Cook
The Norfolk team already had a clear lead after just two games,
having won twice. Their closest competitors were Sunderland who
had taken one win and one draw.
Norfolk made it three out
of three in the next session to further extend their lead, while
Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire shared second having registered
two wins and a draw.
However Norfolk's unbeaten
streak was not to last as they recorded a loss, and with Suffolk
and Sunderland winning again those two moved to within a point
of the leaders, with a game in hand.
Saturday's final session
saw another loss for Norfolk, while wins for Suffolk and Sunderland
lifted them to the top with 7 points each. Hertfordshire also
won, moving them on to six points. Those three teams had each
played one game fewer than Norfolk who looked to have slipped
out of contention.
Suffolk and Sunderland
kept up the pace on Sunday, each winning their opening two games.
And with 6 games played by each they were now on 11 points and
three clear of Hertfordshire.
Then all of a sudden a
slip. Defeats for Suffolk at the hands of Norfolk and Sunderland
to Hertfordshire. They had enough of a margin over the rest that
they maintained their top spots, although they still held the
top two spots, but now Hertfordshire were just a point adrift,
had a shot advantage and were suddenly in with a chance.
However Hertfordshire dropped
out of the running as they lost their final game to Bedfordshire
and Sunderland fell to a resurgent Norfolk, leaving Suffolk to
pick up a comfortable win and take the title.
They finished on 13 points,
Sunderland stayed second on 11 while Herfordshire, Cambridgeshire
and Norfolk finished in that order, all on 10 points.
Winners: Andy & Sue Gilder and Mick
& Shirley Watkins (Suffolk)
Durham began well with a good first session, dropping just one
point from their first 4 games. And they held that lead as the
day went on, although things closed up considerably. By the early
afternoon Durham led the way but Suffolk, Sunderland and Cambridgeshire
were all within 3 points of them.
The next session saw the
number of games played evening out to give a truer picture of
where eveyone stood. And it was Suffolk who took the lead from
Durham for the first time. Nevertheless there was still only
6 points from first to sixth placed Essex.
As the day finished it
was Sunderland who hit the top, they finished on 25 points, one
point ahead of Suffolk, but crucially Suffolk had two games in
hand. Those two had established a small lead over the rest, but
behind them it was still very close. Third were Hertfordshire
(20 points), fourth were Durham (19 pts) and fifth and sixth
were Durham and Cambridgeshire (18 pts).
It was still nip and tuck
between Sunderland and Suffolk with the first few sessions played
on Sunday and they were starting to slowly edge away from the
rest. However a disasterous session for Suffolk saw them slip
away, while Cambridgeshire won all theirs to move within a point
of leaders Sunderland.
The final set of games
saw Sunderland scored 5 out of a possible 8 points to finish
on 44, Cambridgeshire, however, could do no better than match
that and finished on 43.
Although neither Sunderland
nor Cambridgeshire took and of the individual titles they both
produced extremely consistent performances, with Sunderland's
one second and 3 third placed finishes just beating Cambridgeshire's
2 seconds and 2 fourths and saw them pick up the title for the
5th time in 8 years.
You can find all the weekend's results here and a list of the previous winners
Special thanks go to
Robert MacDonald for his photographs which can be found here.