The 6th annual Hemsby Pairs
event was held over the weekend of 27th to 30th April 2012.
As an aside to the main event
there was a short Fours tournament played over Friday and Saturday
evenings with each team playing 4 games.
The winners were the only team
to make it through with 4 wins out of 4, Martin & Marilyn
Bennet and Peter & Diane Orrin, while second place went
to Alan & Josie Long, John Farrington & Mike Daniels
who finished with 3 wins and a draw.
This year's event attracted
47 pairs. Five groups of seven teams and two groups of six played
one another to determine the 7 group winners, 7 runners -up and
best 2 3rd placed pairs that would go forward to the Knockout
With 2 games played 2 clear leaders had already emerged. Bill
& Carole Reeve and Alan & Josie Long had won both of
their games and were 2 points clear of 3 teams who had all won
one and lost one.
The next round of games had
the top 2 teams playing one another and it saw the Reeves beat
the Longs to take them clear at the top of the group, while the
other 5 teams were all on 2 points.
Bill & Carole took their
4th win to remain out in front by 4 points. They would only need
1 point from their final 2 games to secure the group. Behind
them there was going to be an almighty struggle for the runner-up
spot which was currently shared by all of 4 teams, Margaret Turner
& Rita Daniels, Alan & Josie Long, Mike Daniels &
Joe Mew and Ann Van Woerden & Kathy Richardson.
The Reeves run continued into
Sunday as they recorded their 5th win and duly won the group.
Behind them, a long way behind them, the struggle for the runner-up
spot continued, with 2 teams on 5 points and 3 teams on 4 points,
and all with a game still to go.
With the group win already
in the hands of the Reeves it was all about who was going to
be the runner-up. The Longs put themselves in pole position with
a win that took them up into second place, but Mike & Joe
could still overtake them if they won their last game with at
least 12 shots, the only problem was that it was against the
Reeves. But they did it, on the last end, sneaking a couple of
shots ahead of Alan & Josie in the final standings.
The teams of Sheila Cocksedge & Marie Bluett and Neil Tuckey
& Michael Cooper won both of their first 2 games and were
2 points clear of the pack at that stage.
However it was only Neil &
Michael that were able to keep their winning run going and with
3 games played they were 2 points clear of both Sheila &
Marie and Chris & Joy Blythe.
Neil & Michael's 4th win
kept them at the top, 2 points clear of the Blythes who were
themselves 2 points clear of the rest of the group.
Sunday's opening games saw
wins for the top 2 once again, maintaining the gaps from the
previous round of games.
The group finished as anticipated
as both the top 2 teams won again. Neil & Michael were one
of only 2 teams to win all of their games, while Chris &
Joy finished on 10 points, fully 4 points clear of the next best
Three teams won their first 2 games, Peter & Diane Orrin,
Brian & Sheila Foreman and Jane Evans & Mike Walker had
all gone undefeated.
The leading group was cut to
just 2 teams as the Foremans lost to Jane & Mike, while the
Orrins continued to be unbeaten.
Jane & Mike and the Orrins
duly won their 4th games and it looked like the group was only
going to be settled once the 2 pairs played one another. Meanwhile,
lurking just 2 points behind and waiting to pounce were Brian
& Sheila Foreman and Eugene & Gillian King.
The first game on Sunday saw
the top 2 teams playing one another and the game went the way
of Peter & Diane, making them the clear leaders of the group
for the first time. Meanwhile the Kings now joined Jane &
Mike on 8 points in a tie for second place.
The Orrins finished with another
win to top the group with maximum points, while Jane & Mike
played the Kings to decide who would be runners-up. And it was
the Kings that won to finish second, although Jane & Mike's
8 points and 53 shots were enough for them to make it through
as one of the two 3rd placed teams to qualify.
Gordon Bloomfield & John Whiting and Janet Squares &
Linda Cornell won both of their 2 opening games to hold the joint
lead. Meanwhile Tony & Lin Cooke had one one and drawn one
and were just one point behind the joint leaders.
Whilst Gordon & John made
it 3 wins out of 3 both the previous joint leaders and 3rd placed
teams proceeded to lose. This left Gordon & John 2 points
clear at the top while Marjorie Bilton & Peter Masters came
up to share second with Janet & Linda.
Gordon & John continued
with their winning ways, maintaining their 2 point gap. Marjorie
& Peter were now in a clear 2nd place, while a further point
back the Cookes had risen back up the standings to third.
The next round of games brought
a showdown between the top 2 teams. A win for John & Gordon
would have won them the group, but as it was Marjorie & Peter
came through for a convincing win that brought them into a tie
for first place, with the Cookes just 1 point further back in
Marjorie & Peter won again
to secure first place in the group, but the crunch game was between
Gordon & John and the Cookes, whoever won would be runners-up,
while the others would be eliminated. And it was Gordon &
John who came through for a convincing win to secure second place.
Martin & Marilyn Bennet were the clear leaders after 2 games,
albeit by just 1 point, having won both games. Close behind them
were Ann & Alan Blundell and John & Jean Farrington who
had dropped just 1 point each.
The Bennets made it 3 wins
out of 3 while the Blundells remained the only other unbeaten
team in the group, albeit 2 points behind the leaders, but now
2 points clear of 3rd place.
With the 4th games played it
was status quo as the leading two teams both won, while the next
best team was on just 4 points.
It was another win for Martin
& Marilyn in their 5th game, keeping them out in front and
guaranteeing them qualification, while the Blundells were in
second, 2 points clear of the next best team.
With the Bennets and Blundells
drawing against one another then final positions were set, the
Bennets finished on 11 points, while the Blundells lost their
last game, finishing on just 7 points, albeit still enough to
Ken Drane & Val Game were out on their own after the first
couple of games, as the only pair not to have lost a game at
this early stage.
Ken and Val continued their
run of wins into their 3rd game and remained 2 points clear.
The next best teams were now beginning to emerge as Geoff &
Margaret Holland and Harold & Patricia Ball were the only
teams to take their second wins.
The 4th game saw Ken &
Val take their 4th win. This kept them 2 points out in front
of the Hollands and the Balls who recorded their 3rd wins.
Val & Ken took their 5th
win to guarantee themselves a place in the top 2 while Harold
& Patricia also won to take themselves clear of the Hollands
Before they even played their
last game Val & Ken had won the group, which was just as
well as they lost their final game. The Balls finished with their
5th win to end up just a few shots behind the group winners.
Although the Hollands finished 3rd, their 8 points, along with
their shot tally, was enough to see them through as the final
After only 2 games Graham & Gay Swan were the only undefeated
team in the group. They had won both games where everyone else
had lost at least 1 game and were consequently 2 points clear.
However the leaders lost their
next game, dragging them back into a 4-way tie for the lead,
along with Mike & Judy Easy, Sybil Baldwin & Brenda Reed
and Keith Cockings & Mike Rogers.
The leaders thinned a little
with the final Saturday games as the Swans lost again. However
the other 3 pairs continued their winning ways to each finish
the day on 6 points in what at this stage looked as if it was
going to be the closest contested group of the event.
The fight for the group win
looked as if it was going to be between Keith & Mike and
the Easys, both teams were on 8 points with one game to go, while
the Swans and Sybil & Brenda were only 2 points behind and
waiting to swoop in if the top 2 slipped in their final games.
And in that final set of games
the leaders did indeed manage to trip over themselves, both of
them recorded losses, but although Sybil & Brenda were able
to win, they did not have enough shots to overhaul the other
The 16 qualifiers were seeded according to how well they had
done in the Round Robin stages. On the face of it this rewards
those who did best by pitting them against the ostensibly weakest
teams. But it also provides greater opportunity for upsets.
Keith Cockings & Mike
Rogers got off to a
great start against Bill & Carole Reeve. They were
7-0 up after only 2 ends and it was a lead which would hold them
in good stead. In then end Keith & Mike finished 13-4 up.
Jane Evans & Mike Walker won the first end against Ken Drane
& Val Game, but they were behind after 3 ends and Ken
& Val were in the lead all the way to the end, winning 8-5
in the end.
Marjorie Bilton & Peter
Masters started well
against Gordon Bloomfield & John Whiting. They were
3-0 up 2 ends in, although it was level next end. They restored
their 3 shot lead next end and promptly lost it on the next.
After that Gordon & John took the last 2 ends to finish 8-6
Martin & Marilyn Bennet started slowly against Geoff &
Margaret Holland, losing each of the first 3 ends, but it
was only by a shot on each. They won the fourth end but lost
the fifth and were 4-2 down with 2 ends to go. But the penultimate
end was decisive, the Bennets took 4 shots and followed it up
with 1 on the last to win 7-4.
The game between Eugene
& Gill King and Harold & Patricia Ball swung
back and forth all the way through. Whatever the Kings got on
one end the Balls matched it on the next. They went into the
last end dead level, but it was the Kings who took the end to
Chris & Joy Blythe against Mike & Judy Easy
was another close one which could have gone either way, but Mike
& Judy were the ones to come through at the end, taking 5
shots in the last 2 ends to seal the victory 10-6.
The reigning champions and
second seeds, having won all of their games so far, were Neil
Tuckey & Michael Cooper. They were up against Alan
& Ann Blundell and finally met their match. They led
after 2 ends, but were level on the next and 4 ends in the Blundells
were ahead and never lost the lead, finally winning 6-3.
Top seeds were Peter &
Diane Orrin, and just to prove, as if we didn't already know
it, that once you start the Knockout Rounds, what has gone before
counts for nothing, they went 6 down after 3 ends, against Mike
Daniels & Joe Mew. But showing their class they pulled
back level 2 ends later. However Mike & Joe didn't let this
get them down and they came back to win the last 2 ends to finish
The top 2 seeds and 5 of the
top 7 qualifiers were gone, so it was all bets off and anybody's
title for the taking now.
Clubmates Mike & Judy Easy and Ken Drane &
Val Game came up against one another in a game where neither
team held much of an advantage at any stage of the game. Mike
& Judy were 2 up after 4 ends, but Ken & Val leveled
it on the next end and followed that up with another 2 on the
penultimate end. That was enough as Mike & Judy could only
get one shot on the last end, losing 6-7.
Eugene & Gill King were only behind to Mike Daniels
& Joe Mew after the first end, after that they got up
to a 7-4 lead with 2 ends left and whilst Mike & Joe won
those last 2 ends, it was only by a shot apeice as Eugene &
Gill hung on to win 7-6.
Ann & Alan Blundell were never behind to Gordon Bloomfield
& John Whiting. A couple of 3 shot ends saw them out
to an eventual 9-3 win.
And it was the same for Keith
Cockings & Mike Rogers against Martin & Marilyn
Bennet. Keith & Mike were never headed and edged out
an advantage which on a lightning fast carpet never really felt
safe, although they did enough to take the game 7-3.
As anticipated we were treated to a couple of cracking games,
Alan & Ann Blundell
started off behind
Keith Cockings & Mike Rogers after the first end,
but had the lead an end later and only lost it again when they
took the jack off on the 5th end, which left them trailing 5-4.
Luckily for them their opponents reciprocated on the next end
to give them back the lead. However the result was sealed with
3 excellent woods from Alan on the last to leave Keith &
Mike with no alternative but to tray and move the jack which
they failed to do. Ann & Alan took 2 shots to win the game
Eugene & Gill King had the lead early on against Ken
Drane & Val Game, but they were never far ahead and Ken
& Val brought it back to all square on the 6th end. Heartbreakingly
though, having done all the hard work to draw level the Kings
came back at them and took the one shot on the last end to win
the game 5-4.
The quality of the bowls thus far gave us every reason to believe
we were going to be in for a real treat and so it proved to be
as time and time again greatwoods were matched and indeed bettered
all the way through the game.
But it was Ann & Alan
Blundell who gained the initial advantage, taking the first
3 ends to go 5-0 up. Last year's runners-up Eugene & Gill
King came back into the game with 3 on the next end to reduce
the deficit to just 2 shots, but that was the one and only end
which they won.
The Blundells took each of
the last 3 ends to take the game 10-3, leaving the Kings as runners-up
once again. But it was not for the want of trying, they had bowled
well but the Blundells, and in particular Ann, were outstanding.
She said after the game that she had been determined to win,
but it takes more than determination, it some great bowling and
that was exactly what they produced to win the title.
for the full results.
On a final note we are pleased
to say that we raised another £340
for the East Anglia Air Ambulance. A huge thank you to everyone
who bought and sold tickets and donated prizes.