For 2014 the annual Champion
of Champions event moved to Wolsingham,
County Durham and was
played over the weekend of 7th & 8th June.
Representatives from Bedfordshire,
Cambridgeshire, Durham, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northumberland,
South Tyneside, Suffolk and Sunderland all competed in the Singles,
Pairs, Triples and Fours disciplines.
There was a familiar ring
to the results as the Pairs, Triples and Rinks were all retained
by the counties who won last year's competitions, albeit with
Saturday began well for Sunderland, Essex and Bedfordshire who
all won their opening pair of games. However that didn't last
long and surprisingly it was regining champion who was the first
drop out of the race for the lead as the remaining 3 games of
the day yeilded just a single point for Sunderland.
For Essex it became 3 wins from the first
3 games to secure an early overall lead, but the day's final
two games were both lost and that meant a two point deficit to
the joint leaders going into day 2.
For Bedfordshire the day finished undefeated,
however points were lost after twice been held to a draw which
meant that Durham who had been beaten by Bedfordshire, but had
won their other four games, had a share of the lead at Saturday's
Sunday began with the two leaders recording
a couple of wins each, allowing them to draw away from the field
as others faded and ensuring that as they went into the final
two sessions that either Bedfordshire or Durham would be taking
home the winning trophy.
It looked as if there was every chance
that the two of them would go through Sunday undefeated and that
the title would be decided on shots, but a break came in the
penultimate round as Durham lost to Sunderland and with Bedfordshire
winning the title was all but sealed.
The final games of the day saw wins for
both contenders which meant that Bedfordshire secured the win
by a margin of 2 points. And the record of 7 wins, 2 draws and
no losses over the weekend finished with the only unbeaten record
in any of the disciplines.
Winner: Neil Tuckey (Bedfordshire)
A closely fought competition was signalled early on as no one
managed to make it through their second games without having
dropped at least one point.
At that stage there were three joint leaders,
but game later there were 4 of them, with Suffolk, Sunderland,
Hertfordshire and Essex all on 4 points and with another 4 teams
on 3 points there were fully 8 teams were covered by a single
But the fourth round of games saw a split
beginning to emerge and by the end of play it was clear that
Sunday was going to be a four horse race. Suffolk and Sunderland
led the way with 8 points, while just a single point behind were
Durham and Cambridgeshire.
With Suffolk having to play all of their
closest opposition on Sunday they would have not only the toughest
job, but also the greatest opportunity to knock their rivals
out of contention.
But things did not begin well for Suffolk
as they lost their first game on Sunday, dropping them down the
standings, however the next session saw both Sunderland and Cambridgeshire
do the same thing. All of this which left Durham in the lead
by one point with two games to go, having started Sunday off
with a pair of victories.
Durham won their penultimate game, as did
Suffolk which left the two of them fighting it out for the title
in the final game which saw the two teams pitted against one
With a one point lead Durham knew they
could settle for a draw, but before long they had Suffolk on
the ropes. Durham took each of the first 6 ends, edging their
way to an 8-0 lead and leaving Suffolk with little hope. The
final 3 ends went Suffolk's way to make the score more respectable,
but the title was Durham's.
They came home with a 3 point advantage,
ahead of Suffolk, Sunderland and Hertfordshire who were all tied
on 12 points.
Winners: John Leonard & John Leonard
With 3 of Saturday's games played it looked as if two teams had
made the break from the field. Suffolk and Essex both had maximum
points and as a result were 2 points clear of the result of the
However that didn't last for long as both
teams proceeded to lose their next games, while three teams behind
them won to make it a 5-way tie for the lead.
And the slide continued for the same two
former leaders as they also lost their final Saturday games,
while in the meantime Sunderland and Bedfordshire, who just a
couple of games previously had been trailing the leaders were
now themselves out in front by two points.
Sunday started with the top two winning,
but it was all change in their next games as Sunderland and Bedfordshire
both lost, while Suffolk won, meaning that with just two games
to go all three teams were now tied on 10 points.
The penultimate round once again saw mixed
fortunes for the contenders. This time it was Bedfordshire who
won while Sunderland and Suffolk lost. And just to add some spice
to the proceedings Essex, Northumberland and Cambridgeshire also
won, bringing them up to a five-way tie for second, all two points
adrift of Bedfordshire.
A single point against Sunderland was all
that Bedfordshire would need, but as one might have predicted,
given the way the competition had gone so far, they fell short.
An 8-7 loss left them on 12 points, while the win brought Sunderland
up to the same tally.
And extraordinarily Suffolk, Essex and
Cambridgeshire also recorded wins to make it a grand total of
5 teams finishing on 12 points to be seperated by shots, the
best of which was Suffolk, taking the title by 13 shots over
Winners: Clint Watling, Sam Runnacles
& Tom Runnacles (Suffolk)
Despite a Saturday during which Cambridgeshire were never out
of the lead, even if it was shared for much of the time, the
Rinks looked as if was going to be the closest fought of the
disciplines. The day ended with the 10 teams covered by just
5 points, although the leaders did have a 2 point advantage at
the close of the first day's play.
And while there was no realistic chance
that anyone from the bottom half of the field would come through
to win the event, there was nonetheless plenty of scope for the
order to be severely shuffled before the weekend was over.
Cambridgeshire, having already drawn clear
of the field, only to lose and fall back into the pack, finished
the day 2 points clear of Bedfordshire, Sunderland and Norfolk.
And given that they had to face two of those teams on Sunday,
this was where any challenge was likely to come from.
Cambridgeshire, though, continued their
good form into Sunday, recording wins in their first two games,
while their nearest rivals lost. With two games to go they had
increased their lead to 3 points from Suffolk who were now their
nearest rivals, and had the chance to wrap the title up with
a win in their penultimate game.
And that they duly did, while the rest
of the teams continued to do what they had done for most of the
weekend and that was to beat one another. The title was already
secured and with an 8th and final win the trophy, far from being
closely fought, was subject to the most resounding victory of
the weekend as Cambridgeshire came home winners by fully 5 points
ahead of Suffolk and Sunderland.
Winners: Beryl Wicks, Barry Giddens,
Maureen Giddens & Colin Wicks (Cambridgeshire)
Essex were off to a flying start
with everyone contributing. With three sessions complete they
had dropped just 4 points from a possible maximum of 24 and had
a lead of 4 points. But all that good work was completely undone
as they failed to score a single point in the in the day's final
Cambridgeshire were off to a slow start,
but as the day wore on and quicker starters faded, they came
through to finish the first day in third place, only a couple
of points off the lead.
Bedfordshire were perhaps the surprise
package of Saturday, always there or there abouts, they finished
the day just a point off the leaders and reigning champions Sunderland.
With just a couple of points covering these
teams and a gap to the rest of the field beginning to emerge,
it was hard to see the eventual winners coming from outside Saturday's
And though it hardly seemed possible things
got even closer on Sunday. With three sessions still to go the
top three were all level on 37 points, while an improved Suffolk
performance meant that they were closing in and were just 2 points
behind the leaders.
But the final few sessions saw Cambridgeshire
continue the momentum which had seen them moving step by step
up the leaderboard since halfway through Saturday.
By the end of proceedings they were 3 points
clear of Sunderland with Bedfordshire having stuck in there to
come home a very creditable third place.
A full copy of the results can be found