ECBA Carpet Bowls
Monday 8th to Friday 12th May 2017
Following on from last year's success there
was a big jump in the entry for this year's event with more than
220 people playing across the 3 different disciplines including
another large contingent from Norway and one brave soul who made
it all the way back here again from New Zealand.
We started off with 131 players in the Singles who were whittled
down to the last 8 for the final session of a very long day on
Paul Cousins (Suffolk) v Michael Laydon (Sunderland)
The game started well but slowly for Paul as he picked up a couple
of singles on the first 2 ends, he then stretched his lead with
a two and then another two to look relatively comfortable at
6-0 up after 4 ends. However Michael stopped the rot with one
on the fifth and then began to chip away at the lead. There was
another one on the next end and then 2 on the 7th to bring him
to within 2. The 8th end would have been the penultimate one
but the whistle was blown as it proceeded to cut the game short.
Michael would need 2 to take it to an extra end, but although
he had one Paul did enough to keep it to that and held on for
a 6-5 win.
Colin Yarham (Norfolk) v Colin Knox
The first 3 ends saw the lead go back and forth as first Mr Yarham
picked up 2, Mr Knox came back with 3 only for Mr Yarham to gain
another 2 to go back into a 4-3 lead. But after that it was all
one way traffic. Former winner Mr Knox took another three and
then a 1, and led 7-4, but the 6th end pretty much put the seal
on the game as he added another 4. The game ended at 8 ends with
an emphatic 13-4 win for Colin Knox.
Neil Jolly (Suffolk) v Sue Gilder (Suffolk)
Having already had to battle his way past two of his Suffolk
teammates Neil now found himself up against another one. It was
honours even after 2 ends with both having picked up a single,
but the 3rd end saw Sue add 3 to her tally and after that it
was all one way traffic, a couple of singles over the next 2
ends took her out to a 6-1 lead, but another 3 one the next sounded
the death knell for Neil and with 2 ends still to go Sue had
an unbeatable 10-1 lead to see her through to the Semis.
Rita Daniels (Suffolk) v Phyllis Sutton
After Phyllis opened with a single Rita hit back over the next
2 ends to lead 3-1. However Phyllis was even on the next end
and another 2 on the 5th gave her the lead. The 6th was however
the decisive end, Phyllis took a full house to lead 9-3 and having
to force the issue Rita dropped another 3 on the 7th and the
game was over, Phyllis winning 12-3.
Just before the lunch break on Thursday the Quarter Finals winners
were back again to decide who would be competing for the trophy
later in the day.
Phyllis Sutton (Norfolk) v Paul Cousins
In a game where neither player managed to establish much of a
lead it was all going to come down to the very last end. It was
1-1 after 2 ends and Paul took the lead on the next with a 2
only for Phyllis to draw level and then take a 4-3 lead. Paul
levelled but Phyllis took a couple of singles. It was only a
2 shot lead but already the game was down to the last end. Paul
needed more than one but that was all Phyllis allowed him as
she just edged the game 6-5.
Sue Gilder (Suffolk) v Colin Knox (Norfolk)
Although Sue opened with one on the first end it was Colin who
took the next 3, only a shot apiece but he had the lead and the
momentum. However that was arrested as Sue drew level on the
next, but Colin was 4-3 up after 6 ends. Again Sue levelled and
then hit Colin with a 3 just as the whistle was blown, hitting
the front for the first time since the first end and winning
Phyllis Sutton (Norfolk) v Sue Gilder (Suffolk)
For the first time in the history of the Festival it was going
to be a lady who would take the trophy home.
End 1 Phyllis goes from 3 down to 1 up with her final
wood, moving the jack into the open, but Sue simply draws shot
with her last to lead 1-0.
End 2 Sue snatches shot with her final wood but Phyllis
can't quite get it back. 2-0
End 3 Phyllis pushes the jack back and Sue immediately
drops in behind, then in front, her last wood is a good 18 inches
short and not counting until Phyllis pushes it up for a third.
End 4 Phyllis is not bowling badly by any means but Sue
is finding the jack wherever it's moved to and takes another
End 5 This time Phyllis punches the jack through to the
back to hold 3, but Sue draws shot once again. 8-0
End 6 Two relatively wayward woods from Sue are made up
for with her third, Phyllis has to try and force the situation
but ends up dropping all 4. 12-0
End 7 Sue's second wood drops onto the front of the jack
and again Phyllis has to try something and almost inevitably
takes the jack off and the game is over. 14-0
With 2 ends still to go the game was over.
Phyllis had not bowled badly but it had been a superb display
by Sue who took a well deserved win.
A total of 104 Pairs started out playing in 21 groups with the
group winners and 11 best runners-up making it through to Thursday
afternoon's Knockout Stages.
Kathy Shepherd & Jenny Parnell (Norfolk) v Mick & Shirley
The Norfolk pair were off to a great start, winning the first
three ends with 1, 3 and 1 to lead 5-0. However the Watkins gritted
their teeth and inched their way back with a 1, a 2, another
2 to draw level and then 1 more to lead. But with 2 ends to go
their progress was arrested and the game was all square at 6-6.
Whoever held their nerve would progress and it was Mick &
Shirley, taking a single to win the game 7-6.
Peter & Doris Frost (Norfolk) v
Joe & Jane Debattista (Norfolk)
Another game where an early lead was quashed and it all came
down to the last end. After dropping one on the first Joe &
Jane pulled out a 5-1 lead over the next 3 ends. The it was the
Frost's turn, a 3 and a 1 brought the game level and one more
put Peter & Doris in the lead but the Debattista's made it
6-6 on the penultimate end and hung on to a single on the 9th
to win 7-6.
Michael Laydon & Martin Campbell
(Sunderland) v Ann Denton & Cherry Brock (Bedfordshire)
Despite the fact the the game would be played out over 9 ends
with only one end down it looked very much as if the writing
was already on the wall as Mikey & Martin took a full house.
They added one on the next before the Bedfordshire ladies got
on the board with a 2. But the Sunderland lads added 4 more over
the next 2 ends to lead 9-2 after 5. Ann & Cherry took one
back but 3 on the 7th taking them to an unassailable 12-3 lead
gave Michael & Martin the game. The match was played out
and the ladies took the final 2 ends as it finished 12-6.
Harold & Patricia Ball (Bedfordshire)
v Neil Jolly & Jim Goodrich (Suffolk)
The first 5 ends saw the lead seesaw as Harold & Patricia
led by 2, then Neil & Jim took that same lead themselves
before it was all level. However it was the next 2 ends which
pretty much settled things. A 3 followed by another 2 for the
Suffolk pair propelled them into a 9-4 lead with 2 to go. They
kept the Balls down to just a single to carry a comfortable 4
shot lead into the last end. All Neil & Jim needed was to
control the end, but the actually took another 2 to come home
Michael Laydon & Martin Campbell (Sunderland) v Joe &
Jane Debattista (Norfolk)
Joe & Jane made the most their local support as they took
a run of 4 ends won to lead 5-1 after 5. However the Sunderland
pair weren't about to lie down and were immediately back to 4-5.
But that lead was back out to 3 again as Joe & Jane took
2 and despite losing 1 were 7-5 up with just an end to play.
However the were on the back foot all the way through that last
end and right the way down to the last wood. It needed something
special from Joe as he swapped his hand for the last shot of
the game after an unsuccessful first attempt and somehow turned
the oppositions best wood out to hold and pick up what had looked
like an unlikely win only seconds before, 8-5.
Mick & Shirley Watkins (Suffolk)
v Neil Jolly & Jim Goodrich (Suffolk)
The two Suffolk teams took this one all the way down to the wire
and beyond. The Watkins had the best of the first few ends, winning
4 out of 5 but only holding a 5-3 lead. Neil & Jim weren't
winning many but they made it count when they did and the 6th
end gave them another 3 to take the lead. After that it was back
and forth, Mick & Shirley levelled, Neil & Jim went 1
ahead and on the 9th end the Watkins' tied the game up again.
Time for sudden death and it was Neil & Jim who did it, they'd
only won 3 out of 9 ends in regular play but got it when it really
mattered to win 9-7.
Joe & Jane Debattista (Norfolk) v Neil Jolly & Jim
Another Norfolk/Suffolk final.
End 1 Neil drops onto the front of the jack and then blocks
to keep it. 1-0
End 2 Jane's shot wood is tipped over by Neil and it's
close. He drops in for shot with his second but Joe moves it
out for 2. 2-1 to Joe & Jane.
End 3 Jim's first is spot on, Joe plays it out to hold
and Neil dead draws to level the game 2-2.
End 4 Jane is close in and Neil joins her with his two,
Joe misses the head and although it's close, Neil & Jim take
2 to regain the lead. 4-2.
End 5 A slightly loose end sees Neil holding one. He drops
in a second and Joe removes one. 5-2
End 6 Jim is close but Jane beats him. Neil takes that
on out, but Joe gets the jack free to hold 2 and makes it 3 with
his last to get level again. 5-5
End 7 Jim in on the jack and Joe takes that one off, then
moves it. It needs a measure but Joe & Jane take the lead
End 8 Neil holds, Joe hits the jack but it rebounds back
and he's still one down. 6-6
End 9 Jane has one just on front and one just behind but
somehow Neil finds a way in. Joe misses and Neil blocks. Joe's
last wood needs to hit something, but he's just too wide. 7-6
to Jim & Neil.
55 Rinks started out on Tuesday morning, playing in 11 groups
with the winners and 5 runners-up going into Thursday's knockout
Bill & Christine Dickenson and Peter & Doris Frost (Northumberland/Norfolk)
v Michael Laydon, Martin Campbell, Colin Young and Lavinia McGahan
The Sunderland team started well by picking up a couple on each
of the first 2 ends. They were pegged back with a 3 on the next
but that was as close as the Dickenson/Frost team got. Mickey's
team pushed the lead back up to 6-3 over 2 more ends and were
still 6-4 ahead going into the last with the luxury of last wood,
picking up 1 more to win 7-4
Sue & Andy Gilder and Mick &
Shirley Watkins (Suffolk) v Sue & Peter Jones and Laurence
& Sarah Pullar (Cambridgeshire)
The game started very nicely for the Suffolk team and a 3 on
the 4th end saw them 5-1 ahead with 3 to go. Even dropping 1
each on the next two gave them the comfort of a 2 shot lead going
into the last. But it wouldn't be enough. Sue Gilder bowled her
last wood 3 down but couldn't improve the situation and from
an unlikely position the Cambridgeshire team pulled off a huge
comeback to win 6-5.
George & Susan Savage and Sue &
Tony Meredith (Bedfordshire) v Gerald & Phyllis Sutton and
Colin & Rosemary Knox (Norfolk)
The first 6 ends were all close with the Norfolk team having
just edged themselves out to the narrowest of leads at 4-3 with
one end to go. The Savage/Meredith team had been right there
up to this point but suffered a disaster at the worst possible
moment. The situation got worse as the final end progressed and
they could do nothing to prevent the Sutton/Knox team picking
up 5 shots to finish with what looked like a comfortable 9-3
win but which was far from that.
Paul & Sue Cousins, Ken Drane &
Sylvia Vaughan (Suffolk) v Paul, Rita & Mike Daniels and
Avon Compton (Suffolk/New Zealand)
Unsurprisingly at this stage of the proceedings it was another
close game and with 2 ends to go it was all square at 3-3, but
the next was decisive. With the jack driven back the combination
Suffolk/New Zealand team had the jack surrounded, nothing very
close but everything was positioned in such a way that it was
hard for the opposition to get in and they couldn't. They picked
up a 4 to suddenly leap ahead and were able to control the final
end, picking up another 2 to make it a 9-3 win, but nowhere near
as decisive as it looked according to the final scoreboard.
Michael Laydon, Martin Campbell, Colin Young and Lavinia McGahan
(Sunderland) v Sue & Peter Jones and Laurence & Sarah
After a single for the Cambridgeshire team on the first their
opposition took control. A 1, a 3 and another 1 gave the Sunderland
teams a nice 5-1 lead. The Jones/Pullar team got 1 back on the
next but 2 for Michael's team on the 6th sealed it. they added
another 3 on the last to take a 10-2 win.
Gerald & Phyllis Sutton and Colin
& Rosemary Knox (Norfolk) v Paul, Rita & Mike Daniels
and Avon Compton (Suffolk/New Zealand)
A nice little 3-0 lead 2 ends in for Avon's team was washed away
over the next 2 ends and with 4 ends down it was all square at
3-3. However the 5th end would prove to be the crucial one as
the Daniels/Compton team restored that 3 shot lead in one fell
swoop. They added one more on the next to hold a 4 shot advantage
going into the last. They knew what they had to do and did just
that, dropping the end, but only by a single shot to win 7-4.
Michael Laydon, Martin Campbell, Colin Young and Lavinia McGahan
(Sunderland) v Paul, Rita & Mike Daniels and Avon Compton
From the first end it was clear that this was going to be a fight
that would go all the way. The first end saw the shot wood swapping
back and forth as Avon took it, Mickey played that one away and
Avon came back with his last to win the end. The second end saw
the Suffolk/NZ team take another single, with neither skip able
to improve their situation, to lead 2-0.
The third end might have seen the game
get away from the Sunderland rink as the jack was driven back
close to the edge of the mat and Avon's team were holding two
or three. However it was still open and Paul did what was needed
in getting up to the jack, but just brushed it. For a moment
it looked like it would hang on and if it had it would have been
extremely difficult for the opposition to get the end back, but
it just fell off and instead of extending the lead suddenly the
game was all square again.
The fourth end again saw the jack moved
back, It sat in the box with a barrier of woods in front and
one of each colour about a foot distant. Paul and Mickey were
both a touch too heavy with woods which would have taken shot
if they hadn't only just teetered off the end, so it came down
to a measure which just went to Avon's team, putting them back
ahead by a shot.
The fifth end had the jack around the edge
of the box hidden behind a Sunderland wood and no one able to
get close enough to change the one shot which they took to once
again level the game.
The penultimate end again saw the jack
on the move, just around the long spot with Suffolk/NZ holding.
Two woods dropped in on the line prevented a drawing shot and
with so many woods in the way Mickey was unable to get through
and the one shot was retained to put Avon's rink back ahead by
The seventh end saw Suffolk/NZ push one
of their woods up just in front of the jack which was already
deep, Sunderland had a trio of woods up against the opposition
wood. It would need something special to get shot, but with the
situation as it was there was no option but to try. As it was
Mickey caught a little too much of his own wood up in the head
and there was nothing to stop the jack from running off the end
to give Avon's team the game 6-3.
It had been another highly competitive but equally friendly event
with, it should go without saying, some top class bowling. And
it's most gratifying to note that by the end of the week there
were already more than 180 places booked for next year's event
when we are very pleased to say that we are anticipating that
we will be joined by yet more competitors from both the Scandinavian
countries as well as the return of a team from New Zealand and
one from Australia.
All of that means that this international
representation will add an extra element to the week's bowling,
more about which we will be announcing as the time gets nearer.
In the meantime many thanks to everyone
who joined us and we look forward to seeing you there next year.
of the prize winners can be found here.
Our thanks go to Greg Harlow for presenting
the prizes which were kindly donated by Potters.
of previous winners.