The 8th edition of the Hemsby
Pairs took place over the weekend of 4th to 7th April 2014.
The regular Friday and Saturday evening Fours warm-up saw only
the Holland/Blundell and the Causton/Day/Agnew
teams emerge unscathed from Friday night's games, although 2
other teams dropped only one point apiece and were more than
in with a chance of taking the win.
team won their first Saturday game, while Holland/Blundell
lost, and coming up on the outside were the Squares &
Gunnells who won to go on to 5 points and in to second place.
A win in the final game would
see Causton/Day Agnew win, but as it was they lost. And
the same was true for the Squares/Gunnell team, except
that they could only manage a draw. Both teams finished on 6
points, both teams had scored 26 shots and both teams had conceded
21 shots. So what of the Hollands & Blundells? They
won to also finish on 6 points. And what of their shots? In the
end all they needed were just 4 to win it and they got..... 13
to finish on top.
The 39 competing Pairs
were divided up into 6 groups, 3 of 6 and 3 of 7. To ensure that
everyone got to play the same number of games during the group
stages, the teams in the groups of 6 played a 6th game against
a team from another group.
Lin & Tony Cooke won their first 2 games to lead the
group, but they were being matched by the surprise package of
Sheila & Aubrey Mann who had done the same.
The two teams continued their
winning ways into Saturday afternoon, both making it 3 wins out
of 3 and taking them 3 points clear of the next best team.
Heading into the last games
of the day the leaders looked well set, but there was still time
for that to change and sure enough it did, for both teams, as
they both recorded losses. Although they were still out in front
they were now just 1 point clear of Bryn & Margaret Bowyer.
The two leaders met one another
first thing on Sunday in what was bound to be a crunch game,
whoever won would probably secure their progress into the Knockout
Rounds. It was close early on, but the Cookes eventually took
the win to give them a 2 point lead in the group and see them
Meanwhile, after a dodgy start
to the weekend Jane Evans & Mike Walker took 2 big
wins on Sunday to secure third place and a qualifying spot. Meanwhile
Lin & Tony lost their final game, but had already done enough
to qualify, which left the Bowyers to come through and win the
group at the very last.
Tony & Fay Turner
and Richard & Linda Cornell were quick out of the
blocks, starting their weekend off with 2 wins a piece to make
the early running. But while the Cornells took a third win, the
Turners lost, leaving them tied for second with Dot &
The Cornells finished Saturday
with a fourth win, one of only two teams to have done so, and
led by 2 points from the Tanners who went into a clear second
place by beating the Turners.
Having looked comfortable on
Saturday the Cornells started Sunday with a loss and with the
Tanners winning the two of them were now tied for the lead. Another
win for the Tanners saw them win the group with the Cornells
in second and the Turners sneaking through as the final qualifiers
despite gaining just 6 points from their 6 games.
Reigning champions Ron Dean & Paul Daniels and Trish
& Sam Agnew both took a pair of wins on Saturday morning
to share the early lead of the group. And the two teams then
squared off against one another for their respective third games.
The match ended in a draw to maintain the status quo in the group.
However the two teams were
finally split in the fouth round. While Ron & Paul took another
win to move on to 7 points, the Agnews lost to Ann & Alan
Blundell, a result which left both pairs on 5 points and
tied for second.
Ron & Paul had a poor start
to Sunday by losing and with the Agnews and Blundells both winning
there was now a 3-way tie for the lead.
The final set of games saw
wins for all top 3 teams and with 9 points a piece they all qualified
Dougie Wright & Beryl Rogers were
off to a flying start with 2 wins to give them sole lead of the
group. But their first game of Saturday afternoon saw them face
their closest rivals Geoff & Margaret Holland who
were sitting a point behind.
And it was the Hollands that
won, leapfrogging Dougie & Beryl to take the lead of the
group, while Ken Drane & Valerie Game won their second
game to now tie for second place.
By the end of Saturday this
was the only group without a clear leader and was by far the
closest fought. Dougie & Beryl and Ken and Val were leading
with 6 points, but just a point behind them were the Hollands
and Alan & Josie Long.
Ken & Val started Sunday
off with a win which, along with the other results, was enough
to guarantee them qualification and a win in their final game
which saw them winning the group by a clear 3 points from the
Owen Alcock & Daphne Leggett were
the only team to win their first 2 games and as a consequence
were the early leaders.
And they carried that good
form into their third game, registering another win, however
they were only one point ahead of both Peter & Kay Masters
and Harold & Patricia Ball, who so far had dropped
just a point each.
However Saturday ended with
the Masters' beating Owen & Daphne and taking the top spot,
while the Balls lost to drop them into third, 2 points off the
Peter and Kay first game on
Sunday was another win which took them on to 9 points and was
sufficient to see them qualify with a game still to play.
A final win for Peter &
Kay saw them secure the group win as the only team in all the
groups not to have lost a group game. Harold & Patricia took
one more win to come in as runners-up and Owen & Daphne came
though in third.
Right from the start it looked as if the fight for the group
win was going to come down to a tussle between John Whiting
& Gordon Bloomfield and Neil Tuckey & Michael
Cooper. Both teams had maximum points after their first pair
of games and were already 2 points clear of the rest.
And it was the same story in
the next set of games, as the two teams headed for a showdown
in Saturday's final game still tied for the lead.
A win for one or the other
of them would set them up well for the Sunday and it was Neil
& Michael who took a decisive 12-6 win to see them finish
the day unbeaten. Despite the loss John & Gordon were still
in a clear second place.
Neil & Michael began Sunday
with another win which gave them automatic qualification, but
stumbled in their last, although they had done enough to win
the group ahead of John & Gordon, by just 3 shots.
Ann & Alan Blundell's win over Alan & Josie Long had
it's basis in a 6 shot haul early on in the game, they went on
to a 12-2 win.
Neil Tuckey & Michael Cooper
were 3 all with 2 ends to go against Jane Evans & Mike Walker,
but the final ends very very stong for Neil & Michael who
took the win 10-3.
The only team not to lose a
game took on the team that came in as the final qualifiers in
the game between Peter & Kay Masters and Tony & Fay Turner
and as might have been predicted it went against form. It had
to go down to the final end and indeed the final wood but the
Turners took the game 6-5.
Richard & Linda Cornell
were have the best of their game against Bryn & Margaret
Bowyer, but sealed victory with a 5 on the penultimate end, winning
Reigning champions Ron Dean
& Paul Daniels were outplayed by Harold & Patricia Ball,
despite taking the first end they lost 10-3.
A 4 on the 4th end for Lin
& Tony Cooke put them in good stead against Gordon Bloomfield
& John Whiting, but the next end saw that advantage more
than wiped out as Gordon & John took a 5, holding on to win
Ken Drane & Val Game and
Owen Alcock & Daphne Leggett had to go in to extra time to
settle their game. The early woods in that end were telling and
Owen was not able to break into the head. Ken & Val won 8-5.
The advantage in the game between
Syd & Dot Tanner and Sam & Trish Agnew switched back
and forth between the 2 teams and it was all square at 6-6 with
an end to go at which point victory was sealed by the Agnews
with 2 shots which sealed the win.
Gordon Bloomfield & John Whiting put up a good fight against
Neil Tuckey & Michael Cooper, but their opposition were just
too strong for them. Although they ran them closer than in their
previous encounter Tuckey & Cooper had an answer for everything
that their opposition had to offer and were able to take a controlled
As if doing it once wasn't
enough Tony & Fay Turner upset the form book once more. This
time their victims were Harold & Patricia Ball who hardly
got a look in after the first couple of ends. The Turners won
Ken Drane & Val Game were
once again in convincing form as they pushed aside Richard &
Linda Cornell 7-2. And it was much the same for Ann & Alan
Blundell as they ran out 11-3 winners over Sam & Trish Agnew.
The jack going off on the first end of the game between Ken Drane
& Val Game and Neil Tuckey & Michael Cooper set the tone
for the rest of the game. That gave Neil & Michael the early
advantage and they didn't look back. On the second end Ken could
do no better than cut the count down to 3 and at that point the
writing was on the wall. For Neil & Michael it was just a
matter of covering off the big counts after than and in doing
so they were still able to extend the lead, finally taking a
convincing 9-1 victory.
And the story was much the
same in the other match. After a good run the wheels finally
came off the Turner bus as Tony & Fay fell victim to Ann
& Alan Blundell. Too many wasted woods early on in the game
was their downfall. Once Ann & Alan were out in front they
just kept extending their lead, wrapping the game up with an
end to go and finishing impressive 13-1 winners.
There would be no new name on the winners trophy this year as
either the 2011 or 2012 champions were going to be the first
repeat winners of the Hemsby Pairs.
But first things first, Ann
& Alan did not bowl badly by any means, in fact they bowled
very well, but Michael and particularly Neil were in superb form
once again. A terrific last wood on the first end to play the
shot wood off and leave himself with 3 was the first indication
that Neil was not going to let this one go.
A small error of judgement
meant that a big count was lost on the second end but Neil &
Michael still took one.
A great last wood on the third
finally got the Blundells on the scoreboard. And the same thing
happened on the fourth but this time it was Neil who took the
The fifth end also went the
way of Tuckey & Cooper, this time for 2 and by now they were
The penultimate end was a win
for the Blundells, but it was just by a single shot and going
into the last end with a 5 shot defecit and with the opposition
having final wood it was an almost impossible ask.
And so it proved to be. Neil
and Michael took a single to come home 8-2 winners.
On any other day against any
other opposition Ann & Alan who in all probability would
have been good enough to take the title, as evidenced by the
way they swept through the preceeding rounds, but not today and
not against two very deserving winners.
full results can be found here.
As usual many thanks to everyone
who was involved over the weekend and for helping us to raise
another £256 via the raffle to add to the tally already
donated to the East Anglia Air Ambualance.