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Hertfordshire hosted the 2018 Triples at Needham Market with a full entry of 40 teams which included, for the first time in many years, teams from each of the member counties, with half a dozen teams travelling from the North to complete.

The teams played in 8 groups of 5 with the top two from each group qualifying for the knockout rounds.

Group1 was won by Barking/Claydon, just 3 shots ahead of Sunderland, both teams having won 3 of their 4 games.

Brockley won Group 2 comfortably, winning all 4 games with Stanstead Abbotts just making it through in second with 4 points and 24 shots.

It was also a comfortable win for Knodishall in Group 3, again they won all their games and were 4 points ahead of runners-up Barrow who made it through by a single shot.

And it was the same story for Group 4, Symonds Green dominated the group and finished on maximum points with Over making it through on two wins and superior shots.

Kelsale dropped just one point in winning Group 5, runners-up Stanstead Abbotts won three games and lost one to finish a point behind.

Wimbish also dropped just a single point on their way to winning Group 6 with Durham in second on 6 points.

Knodishall won all 4 of their games to finish top of Group 7 while 2 wins and a draw was good enough for Brockdish to qualify as runners-up.

And finally Lakeside secured 4 wins to top Group 8, ahead of Claydon who lost just once as they comfortably qualified.

First Round
Barking/Claydon just edged out Claydon with a 5-4 win, Brockley eased past Brockdish 9-3, Knodishall took a resounding 9-0 win over Durham, Stanstead Abbotts got the best of Symonds Green/Stanstead Abbotts in another local derby 7-2, Over held on to beat Kelsale 9-7, Wishbish were comfortable winners over Barrow 11-3, Stanstead Abbotts romped home to a 14-1 win over Knodishall and Lakeside just held on to beat Sunderland 5-4.

Quarter Finals
Over finished with a little bit in hand against Wimbish, winning 6-4, Stanstead Abbotts took an early lead over Knodishall and were never in danger as they won 8-5, Barking/Claydon were always ahead of Brockley, finishing 6-5 winners and Lakeside eased their way to a 9-3 victory over Stanstead Abbotts.

The Semis saw a nice mix of teams with 4 different counties, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Sunderland all represented.

Stanstead Abbotts (Herts) v Barking/Claydon (Suffolk)
The final score of 8-7 to Stanstead Abbotts may look like it was a tight game, but the scorecard tells a different story. The eventual winners had edged their wa into the lead in the first half of the game with Barking/Claydon taking until the 4th end to open their account, making the score 4-1, but the 5th end saw Stanstead Abbotts taking 4 and giving themselves a 7 shot lead with 2 ends to go. Three shots were taken back on the penultimate end and although Barking/Claydon got another 3 back on the last to give the result an air of respectability, that extra shot to take the game to another end was never really on the cards.

Over (Cambs) v Lakeside (Sunderland)
This game too saw one team pretty much dominate, Over were 3-0 up after 2 ends, although Lakeside pulled one back on the third. That, however, was it for the Sunderland team, Over ticked off the next 3 ends to take themselves into an unassailable 9-1 lead after 6 ends at which time an end was called to proceedings.

Stanstead Abbotts
(Paul Harris, Marilyn Cook & Ben Summerfield) v Over (Paul Graham, Jamie Smith & Gary Blunsten)
Sadly for the very impressive crowd who stayed on to watch the final, it was a game that in reality was pretty much over as soon as it began as Over had a dream start, picking up 4 shots on the very first end. Stanton Abbotts did manage to pull 2 shots back on the next end, but hopes of a comeback were slowly crushed as Over took one shot on each of the next 4 ends.

That left the Hertfordshire team needing an all but impossible 6 on the final end just to take the game into overtime, but it was never going to happen. They did take the end, but Over kept them down to just two to win the game 8-4.

Many thanks to Hertforshire for all their efforts, for so many of the competitors who had travelled so far and for all those who stayed on to witness the final.

You can find all of the day's results here.

And photographs here.

updated 17/09/18