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The weekend of 7th to 10th December 2007 saw the return of the traditional Christmas Bowls Break at Hemsby in Norfolk.

This event marked our return to Hemsby, following our first holiday there in April of this year.

This was still only the third holiday which we have organised and as such we are still relatively new to the game. That being the case we still do not quite know what kind of response we will get each time we announce a holiday. But once again we need not have worried and indeed this turned out to be our most popular event to date.

In the event there were 74 pairs in competition. Inevitably at this time of year there was some illness amongst those due to join us, but fortunately only one pair were unable to make it to Hemsby for the weekend. This led to some last minute changes to the schedule which we were able to accommodate without too much difficulty, meaning that everyone was still able to get their full number of games.

The first round of games, on Saturday morning, failed to produce any draws which meant that there were 37 teams on 2 points following their first game.

The early leaders were Ron Dean & Laurie Rooke (22 shots), followed by Ken Drane & Rita Daniels (18 shots), Roy & Kathy Howe (16 shots), Betty & Lewis Claxton (16 shots) and Malcolm & Jenny Briggs and Roy & Viola Thorpe tied for 5th place with 14 shots.

Moving through into the afternoon and two games in, the teams with a perfect record had already been reduced to just 20.

Ron Deane and Laurie Rooke (34 shots) continued to lead the way with Ken Drane and Rita Daniels (30 shots) still following close behind. Roy & Kathy Howe (27 shots) were still in 3rd while Roy & Viola Thorpe (26 shots) had moved up to 4th and Peter & Kay Masters (23 shots) had taken a leap up from 14th to 5th spot.

The final round of Saturday games saw a further 7 teams losing there previously perfect records, including the former leaders, leaving 13 teams with 6 points.

Ken Drane & Rita Daniels (44 shots) moved to the top of the leaderboard, followed by Peter & Kay Masters (35 shots). David & Jennie Hambling (31 shots) moved up from 10th to 3rd place, Les & Kay Buckton (29 shots) inproved to 4th place from 15th while Tom & Marlene Hale (29 shots) rounded out the top 5.

Moving into Sunday and the 4th round of games saw loses for nearly half of those teams with hitherto perfect records, leaving only 7 on the maximum 8 points, guaranteeing that anyone who could manage to win all of their games would be certain to make it into the knockout rounds.

Ken Drane & Rita Daniels (51 shots) retained the top spot, still followed by Peter & Kay Masters (43 shots). But it was all change behind as Janet & Peter Shinn (42 shots) moved into the top 3. The four other teams who had yet to drop a point were Les & Kay Buckton, Tom & Marlene Hale, Mike & Di Rogers and Harold & Patricia Ball.

Meanwhile, just behind on 7 points were Roy & Kathy Howe, Marion Brown & Mike Daniels and Betty & Lewis Claxton, all of whom were going to be in with a chance of qualifying.

The final set of Round Robin matches saw yet more previously invincible teams, fall by the wayside, leaving all those who had dropped no more than 1 point a guaranteed spot in the top 8 and opening up the way for those who had lost a game to climb their way back up into contention.

Leading the way on 10 points were Ken Drane & Rita Daniels, Tom & Marlene Hale, Harold & Patricia Ball and Les & Kay Buckton. These were followed by wo teams who had ended up on 9 points, Roy & Kathy Howe and Marion Brown & Mike Daniels. The remaining 2 qualifiers came from a group of 8 teams who had finished on 8 points, in the end it was David & Jennie Hambling and Peter & Kay Masters who made their way through by virtue of their superior shots.

Quarter Finals
Ken Drane & Rita Daniels
beat Peter & Kay Masters 10-2 in a match that was closer than the final result shows.

Les & Kay Buckton needed an extra end to beat Roy & Kathy Howe 8-6 in a match in which they had been trailing 3-6 with just 2 ends to go.

Harold & Patricia Ball ended up 7-3 winners against Marion Brown & Mike Daniels in another match which was closer than it looked.

And finally David & Jennie Hambling had a convincing 10-1 win over Tom & Marlene Hale, who had previously won all of their games.

Semi Finals
Ken Drane & Rita Daniels
went 1-5 behind early on in their game against Les & Kay Buckton, but a good 4th end drew them level and they went on to win the rest of the ends to finish victors by a 9-5 margin.

While in the second game David & Jennie Hambling took 4 on the first end, but let Harold & Patricia Ball back into the game and were all square after 3 ends, but they refused to allow themselves to be fazed and went on to win the rest of the ends to take a 10-4 victory.

This was another example of a game that was closer, at least for most of the game, than it would appear to have been from the final result.

David & Jennie Hambling took the lead early on, going out to a 3-0 lead after 2 ends, against Ken Drane & Rita Daniels who then won the next to ends to bring the game back to 3-2 with 3 ends to go, but the Hamblings then took 4 shots on the 5th end, to take a commanding 7-2 lead which they were further able to extend, running out as worthy 9-2 winners.

The full results of the weekend's bowling can be found here.

And Finally
We are very grateful for everyone who helped to raise a magnificent £300 for Macmillan Cancer Support through our Prize Draw.

And of course we would just like to extend our gratitude to everyone who joined us and for all the very kind comments which we received. We hope that everyone enjoyed themselves and we hope to see you all again very soon.

10th December 2007

Seacroft Holiday Village in winter
(very poor artist's impression)

or telephone
- 01728 602189
- 01728 830001

Our next event will be Hemsby Pairs II at Seacroft, 18th - 21st April 2008