Eastern Counties Carpet Bowls Association


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The 2014 Eastern Counties Champions of Champions event was hosted by Norfolk on Sunday 11th May.

With Neil Tuckey of Bedfordshire and Craig Hearn of Hertfordshire both having won their opening pair of games it looked as if the two of them would be fighting it out for the title.

The crunch match came in the third round of games as leading pair came up against one another. Craig started well and led 8-3 after 5 ends, but Neil fought back and finally took 2 on the last end to win 10-9, taking him 2 points clear at the top of group.

Neil's fourth consecutive win, coupled with another loss for Craig, left him 3 points clear of the rest with just one game to go, which meant that the title was his, despite narrowly losing his final game.

Winner: Neil Tuckey (Bedfordshire)

Bedfordshire had a great start while others stumbled. They won their first 3 games to lead by 2 points over the Essex team who they had beaten, but who in turn had beaten both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire who had looked like the pre-event favourites.

However a loss for Bedfordshire in the fourth round of games left them on 6 points, along with Essex, while both Cambridgeshire and Suffolk were on 5 points, meaning that anyone of them could take the title.

Such was their shot advantage Bedfordshire needed simply to win. Essex needed a win and for Bedfordshire to lose. Suffolk needed to win and for Bedfordshire and Essex to both lose and with their shot defecit Cambridgeshire needed not only to win, but for Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk to all lose.

As the games drew to their close it was clear that both Bedfordshire and Essex were not going to win. Cambridgeshire were winning heavily against Bedfordshire, but they still didn't have enough shots to leap ahead of Suffolk who only needed to beat a Norfolk team who had lost all of their games so far. But they couldn't do it.

Norfolk found the kind of form which one might normally expect of them, beating Suffolk and somehow everything fell into place for Cambridgeshire who went from 4th to 1st in the space of a single game to retain the title in remarkable fashion.

Winners: Simon Missing & Jamie Smith (Cambridgeshire)

In the early stages this was the closest fought of all the disciplines. With 3 games played Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk had each won two and lost one game.

But the penultimate round of games saw Suffolk drop out of the running. That left Cambridgeshire and Norfolk at the top of the standings with three wins each. And with the two teams playing one another in the final round of games whoever won that final game would take home the title, although with a slender but vital 2 shot advantage Cambridgeshire knew that a draw would be enough.

And the early part of the game saw it edging Cambridgeshire's way. Although the scoring was low Cambridgeshire had a 6-2 advantage with just 2 ends to go. However it wasn't all over yet. The 8th end saw Norfolk hit back with 3 shots to trail by a single shot going into the final end, giving them a glimmer of hope. And as the game drew to it's close it became more than just a glimmer. With just the final Cambridgeshire wood left to play Norfolk were holding five. If things didn't change the title would be theirs.

But the Cambridgeshire skip made his final wood count, hitting his target and taking the jack through to the back of the carpet to take 3 shots, the game and the title.

Norfolk's loss dropped them to second as Bedfordshire snuck past them, but it was a good effort for a scratch team who had been thrown together at a few minute's notice when the team who were due to represent them failed to turn up.

Winners: Ivan Perry, Colin Dalton & David Folkes (Cambridgeshire)

Early on it was clear that this was going to be a two horse race between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. With three games played neither team had dropped a point and they were separated by just a single shot, while none of the other teams had managed more that a single win.

And so the fate of the title would all depend upon the result of the next game as the two teams took one another on. One might have expected a close game and the final score might have made it look like it was, but in truth the game was over before it had even barely begun.

It was more or less all settled on the first end as Suffolk suffered a devastating 7 shot loss from the had little hope of recovering. They chipped away at the lead bit by bit and were 7-4 down after 5 ends, but the next 2 ends were won by Cambridgeshire to restore themselves to a 5 shot advantage with just 2 ends to go.

And while Suffolk took both of those ends, again it was only with one shot on each as Cambridgeshire were able to control proceedings and limit any damage each step of the way, finally winning 9-6 and taking a 2 point lead.

The final round saw Suffolk take their fourth win, but it wasn't enough as Cambridgeshire took a clean sweep of their games to take the title.

Winners: Beryl & Colin Wicks and Barry & Maureen Giddens (Cambridgeshire)

Halfway through proceedings this was a three-way fight between Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Bedfordshire, led by strong showings from their Single and Pair.

Against expectations though it was Suffolk who were first to fade, a dissapointing end to the day seeing them fall away to a third place finish.

Cambridgeshire's all round strength saw them go into the final round of games with a 4 point advantage over Bedfordshire, but with the teams playing one another in the final Singles and Pairs games and with a comfortable shot advantage Bedfordshire could still take the title with two wins.

Sadly for them it was not to be, but their efforts had been good enough to secure a valiant second place overall thanks to a 1st, two seconds and a third place.

For Cambridgeshire it was a dominant and well deserved win, taking the Pairs, Triples and Fours and only falling just short with second place in the Singles, finishing on 32 points, 8 clear of second placed Bedfordshire.

You can find a list of recent winners here.