Eastern Counties Carpet Bowls Association

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The 2022 Eastern Counties Champions of Champions event were hosted by Essex at Littleport, on Sunday 26th June.

After a long break the Champion of Champions returned, although with the counties returning to full competition at various speeds, some of the representatives were from this year, some from the last time county championships were last run, or, as in the case of Bedfordshire, who we were very happy to see, players who had come forward in order to ensure that their county was represented.

The first round of games saw Suffolk win handsomely over Norfolk, while Bedfordshire took a narrow win over Cambridgeshire, and Essex and Hertfordshire drew.

Suffolk were held to a draw by Herts in their second game, but still led the way as Beds lost very narrowly to Norfolk, while Cambs beat Essex.

Suffolk beat Cambridgeshire to stay top, a point ahead of Norfolk who beat Herts. Again Beds lost out by a single shot, this time to Essex.

While Suffolk won again, over Essex, closest challengers Norfolk lost to Cambridgeshire, and with Herts beating Beds. That set of results put Suffolk 3 points clear of Herts, Cambs, and Norfolk, and with only one game to go, it meant that Suffolk had already secured the title.

Suffolk finished with a convincing win over Bedfordshire, to end up on 9 points, while Cambridgeshire took a big win over Hertfordshire, putting them on 6 points, securing the runner-up spot.

Winners: Suffolk (Neil Jolly, Sue Gilder, Andy Gilder & Keith Jolly)

Suffolk and Cambridgeshire won both their opening games, to set up a day-long fight. Hertfordshire and Norfolk both won one and lost one, and Bedfordshire and Essex both suffered two losses.

The top two teams played one another, with Cambridgeshire taking a comfortable win, taking them 2 points clear of both Suffolk and Herts, who had beaten Norfolk by just a shot, while Essex had opened their account with a win over Beds.

Cambridgeshire were beaten by Norfolk, to drop their first points, while Suffolk took a big win over Essex, and Herts beat Beds. There was now a 3-way tie for the lead, with Suffolk, Herts and Cambs all on 6 points.

While Hertfordshire beat Cambridgeshire, to remove one of their rivals, they could do nothing about Suffolk, who were already well ahead on shots, and finished the day with a win over Bedfordshire. Suffolk and Herts both finished on 8 points, but Suffolk took the title thanks to an extra 14 shots.

Winners: Suffolk (Andy Pooley, Jim Goodrich & Sally Goodrich)

Cambridgeshire opened with a pair of wins, against Norfolk and Suffolk, and led the way from Hertfordshire who had dropped a point against Norfolk.

In the clash of the top two, it was Cambridgeshire who came out on top, with a 7-5 win over Hertfordshire, while Suffolk and Essex both won, to put themselves in closest contention, 2 points back.

Cambridgeshire continued their winning ways, but only just managed to edge out Bedfordshire, but with Suffolk and Essex both losing, it was Herts who were back up to second, albeit 3 points adrift, which meant that Cambridgeshire were already champions with a game to play.

Cambridgeshire rounded off their day with a fifth win, and were the only team in any discipline to go through the day without dropping a point, taking the title with some ease. While they had led all day, second place could have gone a number of ways, but in the end it was the match between Herts and Suffolk which settled it. Suffolk took the win, and second place, on 6 points.

Winners: Cambridgeshire (Emma Thurley & Simon Missing)

Norfolk began with two comfortable wins, over Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, with everyone else having already dropped at least two points.

Norfolk dropped their first point, and now only led by one point from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire who both won.

Norfolk were back to their winning ways, with a 7-6 win over Suffolk, and now had a 2 point lead over Herts, who drew with Essex, Beds having lost to Cambs.

Only one point was needed by Norfolk to make sure of the title, and it came close to that, but they took a single shot victory over Bedfordshire, to finish on 9 points. Behind them Herts lost to Suffolk, which meant that an 8-7 win for Essex over Cambridgeshire saw them snag second place.

Winner: Matt Frost (Norfolk)

There was never very much in it between the teams, all day long.

With 2 rounds played Cambs were on 11 points, 1 ahead of Suffolk, and 2 ahead of Herts and Norfolk.

After 3 rounds it was still Cambs were on 15, Suffolk 14, Hertz 13, and Essex & Norfolk 12.

4 rounds in Cambridgeshire remained top, still leading by one point, but this time from Hertfordshire, with Suffolk and Norfolk now 3 points off the lead, and perhaps out of it.

And with the Fours and Triples out of the way it was still much the same, Cambs led by a point, now from Suffolk and Herts. Only the Pairs and Singles to go.

Herts lost both those games to Suffolk, while Cambridgeshire could only win one game against Essex, which meant that Cambridgeshire lost the top spot for the first time, as Suffolk leapt over them to take the title.

Suffolk finished on 26 points, Cambridgeshire 25 points, and Hertfordshire 22 points.

Winners: Suffolk

A full copy of the day's results are available here.

List of previous winners here.