The seventh running of the
Hemsby Pairs produced new winners once again this year.
Friday and Saturday evenings were taken up with a short Fours
tournament. Each team had two games per night.
Following Friday's games there
were 3 teams who were unbeaten, and two of those went on to make
it 4 wins out of four, leaving it down to the shots to decide
Lin & Tony Cooke and
Jim & Janet Squares
completed their 4 wins with 30 shots to their names, but Brian
& Grace Crump and Carol & Richard Phillips pipped
them to the post by scoring 38 shots to crown them the winners.
As usual the event was run on a group basis, although this year
the groups were larger than usual, with 8 teams in each, giving
everyone 7 games in which to qualify for the knockout stages.
The top four teams from each
group would go through, although finishing higher would give
teams the advantage of a better seeding in the rounds that were
This was the closest of the groups in the early stages. With
each team having played 3 games there was still no clear leader
as 5 teams had won 2 and lost one. They were, in order, Eileen
& Doug Adamson, Peter & Diane Orrin, Ron Dean & Paul
Daniels, Brenda Reed & Sylvie Vaughan and Alan & Ann
However with 4 games played
things changed. Although there was still no clear leader, the
pack at the top of the group was down to just 3 teams, Eileen
& Doug Adamson, Ron Dean & Paul Daniels and Alan &
Ron & Paul were the only
ones of the leading group to win their fifth game, putting them
into a 2 point lead. And with their fifth win they secured the
group win with a game still to go. Behind them the Orrins, Adamsons
and Blundells were all tied on 7 points.
Ron & Paul finished their
games with another win to take them to 12 points. The Adamsons
and Blundells finished 3 points back in second and third places
respectively, while the Orrins finished fourth on 7 points.
The clear leaders with 3 games played were Neil Tuckey &
Michael Cooper, having won all 3. Sheila & Brian Foreman
were also undefeated, but had drawn one of their games and were
therefore a point adrift of the leaders, while Martin & Marilyn
Bennet and Marjorie Bilton & Rita Daniels had both won 2
and lost 1.
Neil & Michael and the
Foreman's continued their unbeaten runs with 4 games played and
were on 8 and 7 points respectively, while Marjorie Bilton &
Rita Daniels were clear in 3rd on 6 points.
Neil & Michael won their
fifth game and went into a 2 point lead as the Foremans recorded
their first loss.
However the next game had the
top 2 teams playing one another and it saw the Foremans take
a surprise win, although Neil and Michael stayed top.
Neil & Michael pulled themselves
back together again for their final game, winning it to finish
top on 12 points. The Foremans were a point behind in second,
third place went to the Bennets who had finished strongly and
the final qualifiers were Marjorie & Rita.
Keith Cockings & Mick Rogers had won each of their first
3 games, putting themselves 2 points clear of their nearest opposition,
who were Chris Nunn & Shirley Tilbrook, Valerie Game &
Ken Drane and Margaret & Geoff Holland.
However the leaders recorded
their first loss of the weekend in their next game while the
other 3 leading teams won, pulling them back into what was now
a group of 4 teams, all on 6 points.
Keith & Mick were back
on the winning trail while Chris & Shirley were the only
other team in the group to collect their fourth win, leaving
those two teams clear at the top.
For their sixth games the top
2 teams played one another and it was Keith and Mick that came
out on top, pushing Chris and Shirley back into a 3 way fight
for the runner-up spot with Val & Ken and a fast rising Mike
& Judy Easy.
Keith & Mick finally finished
top on 12 points, Val & Ken were second with 10 points and
Chris & Shirley and the Easys both finished on 8 points.
Lin & Tony Cooke made the best start with 3 wins out of 3.
One point behind them were Ernie & Sheila Bullock who were
still unbeaten, while Mark Levell & Mike Daniels and Peter
& Kay Masters were all a further point back, having both
won 2 and lost 1.
The next round of games saw
the Cookes knocked off their perch as the lost, although they
were still in a clear second place. The Bullocks, however, continued
their unbeaten run and were now a point clear at the top.
However the next round of games
saw the positions reversed as the Cookes won and the Bullocks
The Cookes next win saw them
secure the group victory with a game in hand, while the Bullocks
were now tied with Sam & Trish Agnew who were catching up
after a slow start.
Lin & Tony finished with
another win to make it 6 out of 7, well ahead of the rest, any
of whom could have qualified going into the final round of games.
As it was the rest of the qualifiers all finished on 7 points,
the Masters made it with 45 shots, the Agnews on 40 shots and
Jane Evans & Mike Walker, who had come from being nowhere
overnight also had 40 shots to their name, just edging out the
Bullocks by a couple of shots.
Even though the first part of the First Round featured all the
group winners playing all the teams that had finished fourth,
there were no run away victories, even though all those who had
won their groups made it through.
Ron Dean & Paul Daniels came from 5-0 down to edge their game
against Marjorie Bilton & Rita Daniels 7-6, by getting
3 on the last end. Neil Tuckey & Michael Cooper took
until the third end to get into the lead against Peter &
Diane Orrin, but controlled the game after that to win 8-3.
Keith Cockings & Mick Rogers were always in control
of their game against Jane Evans & Mike Walker as
they eased their way to an 8-1 win, while Lin & Tony Cooke
had the best of a close game with Mike & Judy Easy,
taking the win 6-2.
And it was much the same story
in the second part of the First Round. Val Game & Ken
Drane had a close game against Sam & Trish Agnew,
just edging it 5-3. Peter & Kay Masters match with
Chris Nunn & Shirley Tilbrook went down to the last
end with the Masters edging the game 7-6. Martin & Marilyn
Bennet took an 8-4 win over Eileen & Doug Adamson,
while the most clear cut result was Alan & Ann Blundell's
10-2 victory over Sheila & Brian Foreman.
After a couple of close ends Martin & Marilyn Bennet
stretched their legs in the middle of their game against Keith
Cockings & Mick Rogers, taking a 10-1 win.
Lin & Tony Cooke took the first end of their game against
Alan & Ann Blundell, but the Blundells won the next
4 ends and took the game 10-6.
Neil Tuckey & Michael
Cooper edged into an
early lead against Peter & Kay Masters, then piled
on the shots in the middle of the game and brought it home for
an 11-2 win.
Without a 6 shot count on the
second end for Ron Dean & Paul Daniels the result
of their game against Val Game & Ken Drane would have
been very different, as it was those shots held them in good
stead, enabling them to hold on to win 10-5.
Alan & Ann Blundell
led Martin & Marilyn Bennet up to the 5th end, but
not by much and the Bennets came on strong at the end, levelling
the score on the 6th end and taking victory over the reigning
Former champions Neil Tuckey
& Michael Cooper were already 5-0 up after 2 ends against
Ron Dean & Paul Daniels, but Ron & Paul dragged
their way back up and into the lead with 4 consecutive winning
ends (and some heroics from Ron), enabling them to defend on
the last end and take a surprising 8-6 victory.
Despite winning the first 3 ends and having 4 shots in hand at
that early stage Ron & Paul were never comfortably ahead
of Martin & Marilyn. It was only a matter of time before
the Bennets, who were the more consistent of the two pairs got
themselves on the scoreboard.
And so it proved as the Bennets
edged their way back into contention by winning each of the next
3 ends, to go into the last end just one shot in arrears.
And it looked like, at the
very least, they were going to be taking the game into an extra
end until Ron's penultimate wood which somehow got into the head
and dropped itself safely in front of the jack with blocking
woods on both hands. Martin was left with little but a miracle
to hope for but sadly it wasn't forthcoming and Ron & Paul
were able to forego their final wood and take the title with
a 5-3 win.
Although Martin & Marilyn
had on balance played the better bowls it was Ron and Paul who,
not for the first time during the weekend, had had pretty much
any good fortune that was going, and that was what made the difference
in the end.
You can find all the results
Although the numbers here this year were a little lower than
before, it had no impact on the quality of the bowls which happily
was probably as good as we have ever seen.
The draw made £265,
another remarkable effort on behalf of the East
Anglia Air Ambulance.
All of which made for another