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The weekend of 5th to 8th December saw us back at Hemsby again, this time for our second annual Christmas Break.

A total of 52 pairs entered the event. The numbers were a little down on the same time last year, although this was down to our weekend at Gunton Hall back in October. The close proximity of the two events meant that the majority of people chose to do either one event or the other.

Indeed there were several new faces at Hemsby which meant that instead of the 70 pairs that we had for one event at the end of last year, we had 100 pairs over 2 events this year.

Round Robin - Game 1
24 pairs were off to a winning start with their first game.

John Whiting & Gordon Bloomfield led the way with 18 shots, followed by Ken Drane & Mike Daniels on 15 shots. Third place was held by Alan & Josie Long who had 13 shots and they were followed by Iris Allen & Joyce Wilson and Peter & Jean Blackley, each of whom had 12 shots to their name.

Round Robin - Game 2
The second round of games saw no change in the top 3 positions. John Whiting & Gordon Bloomfield continued with their impressive start, now having accumulated all of 32 shots on their way to their pair of wins. Ken Drane & Mike Daniels had moved on to 20 shots while Alan & Josie Long and Roy & Kath Howe were both hot on their heels with 19 shots. Meanwhile Gloria Bloom & Pauline Collins were now in 5th, heading a host of teams on 4 points and 17 shots.

In total 13 teams where left on the maximum 4 points, all of whom were going to qualify for the knockout stages if they could manage to win all their remaining games.

Round Robin - Game 3
Yet again there was very little change at the top, following the third round of games as the top 3 continued with their very fine starts.

John Whiting & Gordon Bloomfield had now moved on to 51 shots from their 3 wins and inevitably continued to lead the way. Ken Drane & Mike Daniels followed just behind as they all the way, so far, now with 34 shots to their name and Alan & Josie Long were still lying in the third spot which they held from the first game, now on 31 shots.

Gloria Bloom & Pauline Collins continued their gradual climb up the standings, now moving into fourth on 25 shots, just ahead of David & Julie Hurr, on 24 shots.

Just 7 teams were now left with perfect records, followed by a further 3 who had dropped just a single point, meaning that the whole host of teams that had already lost one game had quickly come back into contention for a spot in the final 16.

Round Robin - Game 4
Saturday's last set of games finally brought about some change in the standings, and what a change it was. The top 3 teams all suffered losses, as 5 of the 7 teams with previously perfect records, dropped points.

It was Gloria Bloom & Pauline Collins who ended the day on top with 4 wins out of 4, followed closely, as ever, by David & Julie Hurr, just 3 shots behind.

The only other remaining team who had yet to be beaten were 3rd placed Sylvia & John Disley who stood alone on 7 points.

Following the top 3 were a huge cluster of 15 teams, all on 6 points. In fact at this stage it was so close that despite losing their last games, the teams that had previously held the top 2 spots, John Whiting & Gordon Bloomfield and Ken Drane & Mike Daniels had only fallen to 4th and 5th places respectively.

Round Robin - Game 5
While a sound night's sleep may have been a tonic to some of the teams, it clearly wasn't so for the overnight leaders as it was all change once again first thing on Sunday morning.

The two remaining perfect records went south and the team left at the top of the pile were the only ones not to have lost a game. Sylvia & John Disley won their penultimate game of the weekend, taking them on to 9 points, first place and into the next round, the only team to have guaranteed a place in the knockout rounds at this stage.

In total there were now 9 teams on 8 points, headed by Ken Drane & Mike Daniels who had risen back up to their familiar second place, with 46 shots. Alan & Josie Long were once again back up to 3rd place, with 43 shots, the same as 4th placed John & June Elliott. And 5th place was now held by Iris Allen & Joyce Wilson who had 42 shots.

Round Robin - Final Game
Sylvia & John Disley
won their final game to retain their record as the weekend's only unbeaten team and finish as the top qualifiers.

The remainder of the top 5 were made up of the only other teams to have dropped no more than 2 points over the course of their 6 games. Ken Drane & Mike Daniels ended up where they had started, in second place, while third went to David & Julie Hurr.

Finishing in fourth place were Marjorie Brennan & Valerie Game, albeit that a last minute replacement was needed for Marjorie, in the shape of Chris Tilbrook, after she injured her leg overnight. The 5th place finishers were Ruth Bird & Janet Shinn who quite remarkably managed the feat of winning 5 out of 6 games and yet ended up with the exact same number of shots for and against, having won 3 games by a single shot and 2 games by just 2.

The remaining qualifiers were made up of 3 teams on 9 points and 8 who had finished on 8 points, including Ray & Jennie Collins who had managed to drag themselves up from 37th place and only 1 win after their first 3 games and the overnight leaders, Gloria Bloom & Pauline Collins who made their way through, despite losing both of their games on Sunday.

Knockout Stages
As usual the draw for the knockout stage of the event is based on the results of the Round Robin stage, with the top qualifiers taking on the bottom qualifiers, ie 1st plays 16th, 2nd plays 15th, etc.

The biggest surprise of the First Round was the 7-4 defeat of Ken Drane & Mike Daniels, who had finished 2nd, by 15th placed Gloria Bloom & Pauline Collins. The only other result which went against form was 11th placed Harold & Patricia Ball's 7-4 defeat of 6th placed John & June Elliott.

Long time leaders John Whiting & Gordon Bloomfield made their way through 7-6 by virtue of 2 shots scored on the final end of their game with Joe & Irene Woodward. Chris Tilbrook (standing in for Marjorie Brennan) & Val Game had a comfortable 8-3 win over Iris Allen & Joyce Wilson who by simply qualifying had managed by far their best performance in one of our events.

Ruth Bird & Janet Shinn took a close fought 6-4 win over Margaret & Leslie Hurrell, while Sylvia & John Disley, the top qualifiers, took a comfortable 13-2 win over Richard & Helen Cook.

Alan & Josie Long took control of their game against Jane Evans & Joan Fairs early on and finished 9-4 ahead. And finally David & Julie Hurr finished 14-4 up over Ray & Jennie Collins, having taken 8 shots over the last 2 ends.

Quarter Finals
With the exception of the very comfortable 14-1 win by Chris Tilbrook & Val Game over Ruth Bird & Janet Shinn, the Quarter Finals were all about comebacks.

Harold & Patricia Ball took 4 shots on the first end of their game against David & Julie Hurr, but the game was back to 4-4 by the next end, after which David & Julie went on to take the game 8-5.

Gloria Bloom & Pauline Collins were 4-1 up 4 ends into their tie with Alan & Josie Long but lost the lead and then the game as the Long's took the match 6-4.

But the biggest comeback was in the game between John Whiting & Gordon Bloomfield and Sylvia & John Disley. Four ends in and it was just 3-2 in favour of John & Gordon, but by the 6th they were 6-2 up and only one end to go, but remarkably Sylvia & John had the game tied with their final wood still to come and scored with that last one to take 5 on the end and the game 7-6.

Semi Finals
Although both matches were won by what looked like comfortable margins the final scores certainly bely what were in reality much closer games.

Alan & Josie Long had control of their game with David & Julie Hurr from the very first and after that the Hurrs were forced to chase the game with the Longs able to take a more defensive approach which in the end saw them to a 13-1 win.

The other game was somewhat closer with Sylvia & John Disley all square with Chris Tilbrook & Val Game at 3-3 after 4 ends, but the next 2 ends were decisive as the Disley's swept out to an 8-3 lead with just one end to go, as they finally came home winners 8-4.

Judging from the previous rounds and indeed the first couple of ends of the final it looked as if we were headed for a close affair. But a run of 5 straight winning ends for Alan & Josie Long saw them edge further and further ahead of Sylvia & John Disley to the point where the game was technically over before the last end was played. The final score was 8-3 as the Disley's fell to their first defeat of the weekend and the Longs became the 7th different winner in 7 events.

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

We would once again like to thank everyone for another great weekend and for helping us to raise another
£200 in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and of course we would also like to give special thanks to all those who kindly gave up their time over the weekend to help sell draw tickets.

8th December 2008

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

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