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ECBA Carpet Bowls Festival 2019
Monday 13th to Friday 17th May

200 people joined us this year, with over 180 competing in the various disciplines.


There were 9 groups of Rinks with the winners and 7 best runners-up going through to the knockout stages.

Quarter Finals
Neil Jolly, Ally Hobbs and Sally & Jim Goodrich (Suffolk) v Stephen, Carrie-Anne, Caitlin & Conor Weeks (Cambridgeshire)
The Suffolk team went behind early, 4-0 down after 3 ends, but clawed clawed their way back in to tie the game on the last end. However the Weeks’ did not succumb to the pressure, they held shot on the extra end and kept hold of it for a 6-5 win.

Bill & Christine Dickinson and Doris & Peter Frost (Northumberland/Norfolk) v Janice Miller, Blanche & Rene Barnett and Stephen Wilson (Durham/Sunderland)
After a close start, 2-2 after the first 4 ends the Dickson-Frost team picked up 4 shots over the next 2 ends and could afford to drop one on the last, taking the game 6-3.

Peter & Kay Masters and David & Julie Hurr (Suffolk) v Ann Hathaway, Susan Hurley and Carol & Neil West (Suffolk/Norfolk)
Another close game, all square at 2-2 after 4 ends. But the 6th end saw the Hathaway-Hurley-West team take 2 and lead for the first time. It was still all to play for as they went in to the final end but having gained the lead the Suffolk/Norfolk team took another one on the last, winning 5-3.

Gill Barraclough, Audrey Joy and Margaret & Jim Forrest (Hertfordshire) v Steve & Sue Isles and Gerald & Phyllis Sutton (Suffolk/Norfolk)
The Isles/Sutton team were off to a flier picking up 3 on the first end, but 2 ends later they were behind. The Hertfordshire team picked up 2 on the second, 3 on the third and another 2 on the fourth to lead 7-3. And they still had a 3 shot advantage going into the last where they dropped 2, hanging on for an 8-7 win.

Gill Barraclough, Audrey Joy and Margaret & Jim Forrest (Hertfordshire) v Ann Hathaway, Susan Hurley and Carol & Neil West (Suffolk/Norfolk)
Having held on for a narrow win the previous round it was much the same story for them here, close all the way they held out for victory by just a single shot, this time 6-5

Bill & Christine Dickinson and Doris & Peter Frost (Northumberland/Norfolk) v Stephen, Carrie-Anne, Caitlin & Conor Weeks (Cambridgeshire)
Having played their hearts out so far and having disposed of the reigning champions in the previous round, the Weeks’ finally met their match. Having said that they came from 5-1 down to within a shot with one end to go but couldn’t quite make it in the end, finally losing the game 8-4.

Gill Barraclough, Audrey Joy and Margaret & Jim Forrest (Hertfordshire) v Bill & Christine Dickinson and Doris & Peter Frost (Northumberland/Norfolk)
End 1
– After the other two finals this one gets off to a rather scrappy start but in the end the Hertfordshire team are first off the mark. 1-0.
End 2 - Peter is down and manages to move the jack out of the head, but not to his advantage, 3 down. 4-0.
End 3 – A well placed blocker from Margaret stops Peter getting in with his last and it’s another 3. 7-0 and already it’s looking like a one horse race.
End 4 – The early woods for the Herts team are making life very difficult for the opposition. Yet another 3 and this game is all but over. 10-0.
End 5 – Finally Peter catches a break and grabs a shot. 10-1.
End 6 – They’ll need something special to get back into this game, but it’s not happening. Another one to the Herts team and it’s mathematically over at 11-1, but they play on perhaps for a bit of pride.
End 7 – No such luck, Margaret’s team pick up another one to round off the match for an emphatic 12-1 win.


There were 86 teams playing across 18 groups with the winners and 14 best runners-up advancing to the knockouts.

Quarter Finals
Jim Goodrich & Neil Jolly (Suffolk) v Adam & Karen Hubbard (Suffolk)
Picking up all 4 on the 6th end propelled the Hubbards back into the game from being 6-1 down, but that was as close as they got as Neil & Jim took the game 10-5

Jackie & Roy Harden (Herts) v Gerald & Phyllis Sutton (Norfolk)
This was a close one with Gerald & Phyllis 5-3 up with 2 ends to go only for Jakie & Roy to nip past them for a 6-5 win.

Bob Usher & Stephen Wilson (Sunderland) v Audrey Joy & Gill Barraclough (Herts)
6-0 down after 3 ends the Sunderland pair were never able to get back on terms with their opposition as the Hertfordshire ladies finished 9-7 winners.

Ally Hobbs & Sally Goodrich (Suffolk) v Angela Newling & Jane Evans (Suffolk/Cambs)
This is a game which swung back and forth several times with Ally & Sally taking 3 on the first end but with one to go Angela & Jane were two ahead and in a strong position. But not an impregnable one, or so it turned out, as Ally produced the goods to pick up a 3 and take the game 8-7.

Jackie & Roy Harden (Herts) v Jim Goodrich & Neil Jolly (Suffolk)
A good start for the Suffolk pair saw them 4-0 three ends in but with 2 to go it was back to a 5-4
lead, however they held their nerves, winning the last 2 ends to take the game 7-4.

Ally Hobbs & Sally Goodrich (Suffolk) v Audrey Joy & Gill Barraclough (Herts)
After 4 ends were the two teams traded one shot per end Ally and Sally edged away over the next 3 ends to lead 6-2, Audrey & Gill did manage to get one back but sadly time ran out with one end to go as the Suffolk ladies took the win 6-3.

Jim Goodrich & Neil Jolly (Suffolk) v Ally Hobbs & Sally Goodrich (Suffolk)
Almost entirely a family affair with mother and daughter on one side and father on the other.
End 1 – Ally makes both of her woods count to lead 2-0
End 2 – It’s a fight between the skips, first one then the other holds, but Ally holds on for one. 3-0.
End 3 – Sitting one down Neil’s last wood is vital and he really makes it count, going from one down to 3 up. 3-3.
End 4 – A great start from Jim which Neil builds on with his first. Ally is unlucky with her first, Neil tries to block but it’s too wide and Ally hits her target to move the jack and take 2. 5-3.
End 5 – A slightly lucky graze gets Neil one with his last. 5-4.
End 6 – Ally takes a gamble and it pays off, rolling a front wood in for shot. 6-4.
End 7 – Again Ally makes weight count to move the jack, all Neil can do is cut it down to 1. 7-4.
End 8 – This time it doesn’t work, the jack moves out, still one down and Neil draws a second. 7-6.
End 9 – Sally is first to the jack while Jim is short and Neil needs a miracle. He doesn’t get it and Ally virtually seals the match with a draw and Neil can’t crack the head. 9-6.


We started out with 113 competitors who were whittled down to a last eight on Wednesday afternoon.

Quarter Finals
Paul Cousins (Suffolk) v Marion Bull (Norfolk)
After dropping just the one shot on the first end Marion came back with 3 on the second. However the next 4 ends went to Paul as he first levelled and then took the lead. Going into the last end he led 6-3 so the loss of one on the last did matter as Paul went through 6-4.

Michael Laydon (Sunderland) v John Joy (Norfolk)
Michael was off to a strong start and it was one which would carry him to an eventual win. He took two shots on each of the first 3 ends and although John won the next two Michael still held a 3 shot lead. The last 2 ends went to Michael, winning 8-3.

Laurence Pullar (Cambridgeshire) v Stephen Weeks (Cambridgeshire)
After dropping the first end Laurence took first one, then two, then three shots in the following ends, Stephen clawed 2 back but Laurence had 3 shots in hand on the last end which in any case he won to finish 8-3 up.

Mick Watkins (Suffolk) v Gill Barraclough (Hertfordshire)
This turned out to be a rather unusual end to the day as, having played out of her skin all day, Gill won her previous game and then, thinking that that was it for the day, left the hall before anyone realised she had gone. With no spare time in the schedule and having waited 10 minutes the game was awarded to Mick. Gill, it has to be said, took it in great spirit when she found out what she had done.

Laurence Pullar (Cambridgeshire) v Michael Laydon (Sunderland)
If the quarter finals had rolled straight into the semis it might have been a different story for Laurence, but there was a break of half a day between rounds and that may have made all the difference. As it was Michael took charge of the game from the start and never let up. By the 5th end he was 9-0 up which was game over, they played on to a 6th which also went to Michael as he finished an 11-0 winner.

Mick Watkins (Suffolk) v Paul Cousins (Suffolk)
This game, on contrast, went all the way to the end. Paul picked up 2 on the first which Mick forst matched and then bettered on the 3rd end with 3 to lead 5-2. Paul rallied and levelled the game over the next 2 ends. 5-5 after 5 ends. Mick edged one shot ahead on the next to lead again. The final end was close with Paul possibly just holding one as Mick bowled his last. And he made it count, running out Paul’s best wood to hold 2 which Paul was unable to beat. Mick winning 8-5.

Michael Laydon (Sunderland) v Mick Watkins (Suffolk)
End 1 – Mick draws the jack with his last wood only for Michael to outdraw him for 1.
End 2 – Mick has the better start but Michael holds to him to just one. 1-1.
End 3 – Both start a little short, Mike is holding but Michael is in with his last, moving the jack back to steal 3 and go 4-1 up.
End 4 – Mick’s third wood is the winner, neither make best use of their last. 4-2.
End 5 – The shot wood goes back and forth between the two of them and it’s Michael’s last wood that does the job with a nudge in for shot. 5-2.
End 6 – Michael’s first wood is on the jack and the pressure is on but Mick gets in and just about holds on to one to keep the game alive. 5-3.
End 7 – It’s to and fro stuff but needing 2 Mick pushes his opponent’s wood in to lose the end and the game 6-3.

The player of the tournament must surely go to Gill Barraclough, part of the winning Rinks team, making the semi-finals in the Pairs and whose only mistake all week was not turning up for her quarter final game in the Singles. If she had who know what else she might have achieved.

Another very enjoyable week and and we hope to see everyone back again in 2020.

You can view the entire week's results here and find photos of the winners, runner-up and semi-finalists here.