The 2017 ECBA Champion of Champions
was held at Stanley, County Durham over 3rd-4th June.
Mick strolled to a very comfortable 15-4 win over Norfolk in
his first game and was off to a good start against Northumberland,
a 6-0 lead was reduced to 6-4 but he won the next couple of ends
and finished with a 9-5 win to lead the way overall.
With Mick and Sunderland leading
the way the game between the two of them would be crucial, unfortunately
for Mick his opposition had the better of the game and he lost
Saturday's last game against
Bedfordshire turned out to be another struggle, Mick was always
behind and though he came back towards the end he finished with
an 11-10 loss and some way adrift of leaders Sunderland who had
not yet dropped a point.
Unfortunately Sunday started
with another loss, against Cambridgeshire (6-11), dropping him
down to 6th.
He finally picked up another
win, with victory over last year's champion from Durham (10-6),
bringing him to the top of the mid-field struggle.
This was followed by another,
this time against Essex (8-6) who was vying for the lead of the
competition and finished by comfortably defeating Hertfordshire
But for the poor run of games
at the end of Saturday it might have been a different story,
in the end Mick finished on 10 points, only points behind the
top 2 and only just missing out on 3rd place on shots against.
The winner was Don Poulter
Weekend record: W-W-L-L-L-W-W-W
Steven Cain and David Ford
It was a late start as Suffolk's first scheduled game was against
the Norfolk pair who had moved over to make up the team in the
Rinks which was short owing to illness.
Their first game then was against
Northumberland. They were behind early on but took the lead back
halfway through, however they fell behind again immediately and
although they won the last end they lost the game 8-7.
Suffolk picked up their first
points with a 9-4 win over Sunderland and beat Bedfordshire 9-6
to finish Saturday on 4 points from 3 games. Cambridgeshire were
leading the way on 8 points having played one game more but despite
their deficit Suffolk stood the best chance of catching the leaders.
Sunday's first game was against
Cambs. If Suffolk didn't win their opponents would have one hand
on the trophy. It was a tense start, but 4 ends in Suffolk started
to edge ahead and ended up running away with the game, winning
14-1. That meant that they were now 2 points behind Cambs with
a game in hand.
Durham were up next and although
it was close halfway through Suffolk picked up a 4 which helped
them to an 11-6 win. That brought them a shot closer to Cambridgeshire
who also won.
Next up was Essex and at 5-1
with 4 ends to go down it was not looking good for Steven and
David, but they finished very strongly, picking up 9 shots over
the last 4 ends to win 10-6, what's more Cambridgeshire lost
in what was their final game. All of that meant that Suffolk
had won the title with a game to go. The two teams were equal
on points, but Suffolk had one extra shot to their name and no
one else could catch them.
They finished off with a 9-3
win of Hertfordshire, ending up with 12 points.
Weekend record: L-W-W-W-W-W-W
Tom Runnacles, Clint Watling & Sam Runnacles
Suffolk were behind for most of their opening game against Bedfordshire
and were a shot behind going into the last end, however they
managed to snatch an 8-7 win with 2 on the last.
And it was another game which
had to be rescued as they faced Cambridgeshire. They picked up
a 4 on the first end then lost 3 ends, 2 on the fifth put them
ahead again then lost the next 3 with left them 10-6 down going
into the last. But somehow they picked up a 4 to snatch a draw
and remain undefeated.
It was a much more clear cut
result in their third game, this time against Durham. The swept
out to an 11-0 lead after 6 ends, and limited the damage over
the last 3 to win 11-4. That left them a point behind leaders
Northumberland, although Hertfordshire were lurking close behind
with a game in hand.
As Northumberland lost Suffolk
made the most of it and took a big 16-3 win over Essex to go
top, although Herts had a game in hand and were just a point
Saturday ended badly though,
not only did they lose (6-7) but it was to their closest rivals.
Herts were now a point ahead and had a game in hand. They would
need to slip up for anyone else to stand a chance.
It was a good start on Sunday
with a 12-2 win over Norfolk, maintaining their second place,
followed by an even better 14-3 beating of Northumberland, but
still Hertfordshire hadn't dropped a point.
However as Suffolk sat out
a session Herts finally cracked, losing to Cambridgeshire, but
they were still a point ahead of Suffolk with one game to play.
Suffolk did all they could
in the final session by beating Sunderland 10-5 but had to watch
as Herts came from behind to beat Durham and take the title by
Weekend record: W-D-W-W-L-W-W-W
Jim & Sally Goodrich and Sue & Steve Isles
Suffolk opened with a comfortable 14-3 win over Bedfordshire.
However Cambridgeshire looked
as if they were going to be stiffer opposition, particularly
when they picked up 4 on the first end. But Suffolk fought back
and were level after 6 ends after which they ran away with it,
finishing 14-6 winners to lead the competition.
With one of the Durham players
unable to play due to a back problem Suffolk's third game was
a 9-0 walkover, keeping them at the top.
It was another win for Suffolk,
11-7 against Essex that saw them keep their position at the top
although Hertfordshire had won all 3 of their games, the next
match would be a crucial play-off between the two.
It was a suitably close game
against Herts but Suffolk were able to pick up a shot on the
last end to rescue a draw. They would head into Sunday 2 points
ahead of Herts who had played a game less.
Durham did not rejoin on Sunday
so their results from Saturday were cancelled which made things
much clearer. Hertfordshire and Suffolk were both tied for the
lead on 7 points.
Sunday did not start well as
they lost to Norfolk 9-6 but Herts also lost and that was now
bringing Cambridgeshire into the frame.
And things got worse as they
lost 11-5 to Northumberland while both Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire
won, removing any chance of an overall win for Suffolk.
The final session though was
much better as they took a 10-5 win over Sunderland, securing
3rd place while the title finally went to Hertfordshire.
Weekend record: W-W-W-D-L-L-W
With two full sessions played Suffolk were 2 points clear, although
other teams had games in hand over them. The third session saw
Suffolk fall behind Cambridgeshire as the Pair and Single had
to sit out a session, but they were only a couple of points behind
with games in hand.
Things remained much the same
through the next session, Suffolk just 2 points behind with games
As Saturday finished Cambridgeshire
were still ahead, now by only one point, but crucially Suffolk
no longer had any games in hand. Hertfordshire and Sunderland
were both in contention as well but the situation was complicated
by sessions which had to sat out and games involving missing
teams, so it wouldn't all play out until the end of Sunday.
Cambridgeshire started well
on day 2 and extended their lead to 3 points. Suffolk kept pace
with them in the next session and again in the following one
but crucially Suffolk had been sitting out games while Cambs
had been losing theirs.
So going into the final set
of games Suffolk were 3 points behind but had 2 games in hand.
Now it was Cambridgeshire who sat out while Suffolk's Pair and
Single both won to take the team into the lead and with both
the Triple and the Rink winning the in day's final set of games
Suffolk had won the team title for the first time since 2002.
You can find a full copy of
the weekend's results here
and photos here.