This was our second visit
to Gunton, albeit a return that was five years in the making,
just to make a change from our regular routine of making Hemsby
the venue for our pre-Christmas event.
Friday and Saturday evenings were set aside for our Fours tournament.
Each team plays twice on each
night and following Friday's games it was the Kitchen/Meek team
who were the surprise, albeit narrow, leaders. Five other teams
had also recorded 2 wins and were all going to be in contention.
But everything changed overnight.
While Jim & Margaret
Southgate and David & Linda Williams were undefeated,
they dropped one point and that was only good enough for second
In the end only one team were
able to record 4 wins out of 4, and that was Laurence &
Sarah Pullar and Dot & Syd Tanner.
Saturday's morning session saw 12 teams winning both of their
games to lead the way.
Barry Richell & Colin
Spriggs were top of
the heap having compiled an impressive 27 shots in their pair
of wins. Sylvia Vaughan & Chris Tilbrook were not
far behind, on 22 shots, while Richard & Linda Cornell
were third as the only other team to have broken the 20 shot
Mike & Judy Easy and Gordon Bloomfield & Rita
Daniels rounded out the top 5, while there were plenty of
other familiar names still unbeaten. And with 4 games still to
go there was plenty of time for those teams that had lost, to
still catch up.
We were down to 9 teams on
maximum points after 3 games and at the close of play it was
a mere 3 teams.
The overnight leaders were
Richard & Linda Cornell, followed by Robin &
Heather Brown and finally David & Linda Williams.
In all probability they had now done enough to make it through
to the last 16 on Sunday afternoon.
Peter & Kay Masters were the only other unbeaten team,
having dropped just one point.
And behind them were 15 teams
who were all on 6 points, having won three times and lost once.
Sunday's first set of games
saw yet more upheaval as only Richard & Linda Cornell
managed to maintain their unbeaten record and making them the
first and only team so far to qualify. For everyone else everything
was going to hinge on the final set of games and while under
normal circumstances 4 wins out of 6 would be enough to see a
team through to the next round, it was already clear that that
would not be the case this weekend.
In the end 7 teams finished
on 10 points, as even the Cornells were beaten, one team finished
on 9 points and only 8 of the 13 teams to reach 8 points got
through, a big surprise and disappointment for those teams who
missed out, but then the competition had been so strong at the
top of the standings.
For the record the top qualifiers
were Gordon Bloomfield and Rita Daniels, followed by Richard
& Linda Cornell and Jim & Jan Squares.
Those final finishing positions
were really only of interest because they determine the First
Round draw with, in theory the strongest teams playing the weaker
teams, although given that in the end the top 21 teams were covered
by just 2 points, it could hardly be said that the last 16 contained
any weak teams.
The initial round went much the same way as the Round Robin stage
had and for the most part the top teams made their way through.
And although the Semi-Finalists weren't actually the final top
four, all of them were part of the pack that had lost just one
game across the entire weekend.
Gordon Bloomfield &
Rita Daniels (who was
standing in as Gordon's playing partner) had finished top, but
could not expect any easy games from now on. Their First Round
victory over Robin & Heather Brown was fairly clearcut
at 10-4, but victory in the Quarter Final against Lin Cooke
& Shirley Tilbrook (standing in for a sick Tony Cooke)
had come on the last end, having been 3 shots down with 2 ends
And it was another close one
in the Semi-Final, losing their early advantage only to come
back and sneak a 6-5 win on the final end.
For David & Linda Williams
it had been only slightly easier, 9-4 over Sylvia Vaughan
& Chris Tilbrook, coming from behind for a 6-4 win over
Peter & Kay Masters and then a controlled 7-3 win
over an on-form Richard & Linda Cornell to secure
a place in the final.
The final itself was, as might
have been expected, a close affair all the way through with no
one managing to get a decisive hold on the game at any time.
As it was an extra end was
required as Rita drew her final wood for shot on the last regular
end to bring the scores level. And they carried their momentum
to take the win, with no last wood heroics required as Rita was
able to forfeit her final wood as she and Gordon held shot giving
them the one shot required to take the win.
As well as another weekend of good bowls and good spirit we would
like to thank everyone who helped us to raise another £230
from our raffle in aid of East Anglia