Eastern Counties Carpet Bowls Association

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On Sunday 12th April, Cambridgeshire hosted the 2015 Six Counties Championship, at Braintree Leisure Centre.

As is so often the case at this event it all came down to the final session and like last year it could have gone any one of three ways all the way up to the last set of games, with Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk all in the running.

After a very good season in the League Hertfordshire might have been expecting to challenge for the title, but it was not to be. A poor opening session against Suffolk left them at the bottom of the standings, a position which they never relinquished. By the middle of the day they were 6 points behind 5the place and that was they way it stayed until the end.

For Bedfordshire it was a big improvement on last year's showing. Their 26 point tally was fully 10 points up on 2014 and it might even have been better. After the 5th of the 8 sessions they were lying in 3rd, only 4 points off the lead. But a tough final two sessions against Suffolk and Cambridgeshire meant that they finished 5th, although sharing the points against Cambridgeshire will have been a highlight.

Essex started well and after 2 sessions were second, just one point behind the leaders. And halfway through the day, although they were sitting in fourth place they were still only one point behind first place. However the next session saw them produce only one point, leaving them firmly ensconsed in fourth until the end of the day.

Although Suffolk either held or shared the lead all day they never managed the break away from the rest of the field. Indeed, at the halfway point Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex were covered by a single point. However the following session saw both Norfolk and Essex managing to gain only a single point each, which seemed to leave the field open for a fight between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire were were now 4 points clear of the field.

The sixth session saw Suffolk gain 6 points while Cambridgeshire could only manage 4, giving Suffolk a 2 point lead, the biggest of the day so far. The following, penultimate session saw no change in the gap at the top as both teams took 4 points, however Norfolk, who had drifted 6 points off the lead came roaring back into the reckoning with a maximum 8 points, bringing them level with Cambridgeshire and only 2 points behind Suffolk who would be their opponents in the final session.

With first and third facing one another Cambridgeshire might reasonably have expected the two of them to share the points, allowing them to come through and retain the title, especially given that their final opposition would be Bedfordshire. However today Beds were made of sterner stuff, winning two of the four games to share the points with Cambs, leaving the fight for the win to Norfolk and Suffolk, a decisive win for either of whom would see the title secured.

And it was a decisive result as Suffolk took 3 wins and a draw from the four games to give them the title, with Cambridgeshire in the runner-up spot and Norfolk in third. The final standings saw Suffolk finish 5 points clear, the biggest gap of the day, but hardly reflective of how close it had been all the way up to that final session.

That win now means that Suffolk hold all Eastern Counties and National titles concurrently for the first time.






















A copy of all the day's results can be downloaded here.