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Our 6th visit to Hayling Island was over the week of 25th to 29th June 2012.

This year saw 41 pairs joining us, a little lower than anticipated as a result of illness late in the day which cause a couple of pairs to call off.

As usual we opened proceedings with our Fours tournament. The teams had 2 games each on Monday and Tuesday nights.

And with the top 4 going through it would be reasonable to expect that the only 4 teams who managed to win both of their games on Tuesday night would happily sail through Wednesday's games and on to qualifiaction.

But that turned out not to be the case.

Two teams who had only managed one win on Tuesday came through with two wins to take the third and fourth spots. They were the Iskett/Easey/Game/Drane and Coe/Head/Jones/Pryke teams.

However two blocks were able to maintain their top 4 spots and indeed finished first and second, they were the Bennet/Orrin and MADJAC teams. Although only MADJAC managed 4 wins out of 4.

As the top team MADJAC would take on the fourth placed Coe/Head/Jones/Pryke team.

It had been a great effort on the part of the Coe/Head/Jones/Pryke team to get this far and they would certainly start the game as underdogs. But they did not disappoint, although it required some heroic efforts on the part of skip Bob Jones. MADJAC had the early advantage, winning the first 2 ends, but only by a shot each, but it was all level 2 ends later as the game ran much closer than anticipated.

However eventually MADJAC began to stretch their legs, taking 3 shots on the 5th end to take a decisive lead, following that up with another shot on the 6th end and a further 2 on the last, peppering the jack all the way as they went along, giving the opposition no chance to get back into the game and winning 8-3 in the process.

The second semi-final also looked like a foregone conclusion with the ever strong Orrin/Bennet team taking on the Iskett/Easey/Game/Drane team.

But it was the Iskett/Easey/Game/Drane team that held the early advantage, taking the first 2 ends to lead 3-0, but the opposition came back with a shot on the next end and a what looked to be decisive 4 on the next to lead 5-3.

It looked as if the Orrin/Bennet team had the momentum to carry on to victory, but the opposition refused to crumble, they were back level on the next end and went on to take a shot each on the last 2 ends, to take a surprise 7-5 win.

Despite an impressive win from the Iskett/Easey/Game/Drane team, MADJAC seemed to be the clear favourites for the final, but it didn't all go there way and in actual fact the game hinged on 2 ends.

The second end saw the Iskett/Easey/Game/Drane team take 3 shots and move into a 3-1 lead. MADJAC clawed back to regain their lead, 4-3 ahead after 4 ends. But another big end for Iskett team swung them back into a 7-4 lead with 2 ends to go.

MADJAC managed to get one shot back on the penultimate end, to reduce the defecit to 2 shots, but the Iskett team were able to defend and with MADJAC needing 2 shots for force an extra end, they missed out all together, and finished with a surprise 8-5 loss, a great team effort on the part of the Iskett/Easey/Game/Drane team to take a memorable win.

Winners - Annette Iskett, Bill Easey, Valerie Game and Ken Drane
Runners-up - Chris & Joan Clark and Don & Maxine Poulter


There were not many surprises once everyone had their first games under their belts.

Indeed the usual suspects were mostly there or there abouts, Ken Drane & Val Game along with Martin & Marilyn Bennet were leading the way having got 15 shots in their respective first games.

While Margaret & Jim Southgate, Peter & Diane Orrin, Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton and Brian Archer & Patricia Phillips had all reached 10 shots in their first games.

But sneaking into 3rd place with 11 shots, themselves as much surprised as anyone else, were Colin & Janet Burrows. They had no expectations of being able to maintain that lofty position, but only time would tell.

The second and final games of Tuesday's play gave us just 9 teams finishing with 2 wins.

Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton and Ken Drane & Val Game were level pegging on 23 shots and just one behind were Martin & Marilyn Bennet.

The top 5 were rounded out by Peter & Diane Orrin and Harold & Patricia Ball.

Plenty of surprises first thing on Wednesday as the number of teams with perfect records was reduced to just 5.

Those teams were headed by Mike Walker & Rita Daniels, who were 4 shots better off than Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton, who themselves were a shot better than Ken Drane & Val Game.

The top 5 was rounded out by Peter & Diane Orrin and Rob & Jean Cook, again on maximum points.

And by the time Wednesday's games were completed the ranks of those with perfect records were further depleted.

Only 2 teams had made it this far with 8 points to their names, Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton and Peter & Diane Orrin were the ones leading the way.

Behind them were 3 teams who had dropped just a single point, Peter & Kay Masters, Ken Drane & Val Game and Joan Clark & Don Poulter.

A half dozen teams were a further point back and another 5 teams were on 5 points.

All of these made up the top 16 and if they stayed there they would make it through to the Knockout Stages if they didn't slip up, but with 11 teams sitting on 4 points any mistake could see them fall out of the running.

Everyone's final pair of round robin games were played out on Thursday morning. Unusually the playing order was somewhat muddled as a result of having to accomodated a odd number of teams.

This meant that some teams would have their games completed before others had played any of their Thursday games. This was going to leave some with a nervous wait while others would have the pressure of knowing exactly what they had to aim for.

What everyone did know was that 9 points was the target to ensure qualification.

The first to make the mark were Peter & Diane Orrin who took their fifth win, and Ken Drane & Val Game who had still dropped just a single point.

They were followed in the next round of games by Peter & Kay Masters and Joan Clark & Don Poulter who had both reached 9 points with a game still to go.

Ron & Lesley Melrose were the first pair to complete their games, winning for the fifth time, to move on to 10 points and secure their place in the last 16.

Having already made it through Peter & Diane Orrin duly completed their 6th win to finish top as the only team not to have dropped a point. Ken Drane & Val Game also had a win to secure second place, having won five and drawn one they were one of only 2 undefeated teams. Meanwhile Margaret & Jim Southgate completed their games to finish on 9 points and go through.

The penultimate round saw 5 more teams do enough to make their way through to the next stage of the proceedings. Joan Clark & Don Poulter and Mike Walker & Rita Daniels were assured of top 16 places without even playing. Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton lost but had already done enough on the previous 2 days. And finally Marjorie Frost & Paul Daniels and Dot & Syd Tanner won to move on to 8 points, which was now the cut-off point.

The final set of games saw 5 teams in a position to finish on 8 points or better and thereby go through.

Marilyn & Martin Bennet won to finish on 9 points, as did Peter & Doris Frost, but none of the teams who only needed to win to get through could manage to do so.

That left the final 3 qualifiers as Dorothy Kent & June Harrison and Margaret & Jim Forrest to go through on 7 points and finally, having only won 3 and lost 3, were George & Joy Kitchen, won qualified by virtue of their superior shots.

First Round
Sadly Dorothy Kent & June Harrison had no idea that they had qualifed and so missed their game, allowing their opponents a walkover.

Having just beaten them in their last round robin game Max Poulter & Chris Clark proceeded to lose to Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton on the last end of their game.

Peter & Kay Masters had drawn with Joan Clark & Don Poulter earlier in the week, but this time they were no match for Joan & Don who took an easy 13-2 win.

Much as expected, not having lost a game so far, Ken Drane & Val Game continued their winning ways, this time against Margaret & Jim Forrest.

First timers Ron & Lesley Melrose continued their good form, beating Dot & Syd Tanner, previous winners with us, quite comfortably, 9-3.

Martin & Marilyn Bennet took an early 5-0 lead in their game and although Marjorie Frost & Paul Daniels clawed their way back to within a shot, the Bennets took the last end to win 6-4.

Margaret & Jim Southgate were nicely ahead 5-3 going into the last end of their game against Peter & Doris Frost, but the Frosts came back with 3 on that last end to win the game.

The final shock, though, was reserved for the game between the top and bottom qualifiers. Peter & Diane Orrin had won every game so far, but they finally met their match in George & Joy Kitchen who took 6 shots over the last 3 ends to run out 9-3 winners and upset the form book in a major way.

Quarter Finals
Ken Drane & Val Game
lost a 5-0 lead to Joan Clark & Don Poulter who took 6 ends to get into the lead and finally took the win 9-5.

Peter & Doris Frost were 7-0 up after only 2 ends of their game against George & Joy Kitchen, after which they were able to hang on, finishing 9-5 up.

Mike Walker & Rita Daniels took the lead from the first against Eva Rolfe & Marjorie Bilton, after which they were able to control the game, finally winning 7-2.

Ron & Lesley Melrose looked to keep their good run going against Martin & Marilyn Bennet and with 2 ends to go led 5-3, but the Bennets made their greater experience pay, taking 7 shots over the closing two ends to run out 10-5 winners.

Semi Finals
Having beaten them once already today Mike Walker & Rita Daniels once again found themselves paired with Joan Clark & Don Poulter. This time, though, they were no match form them. Joan & Don even picked up a 6 on their way to a 14-1 victory that was completed with an end still to go.

Peter & Doris Frost moved into a very comfortable lead over Martin & Marilyn Bennet. With a lead of 8-1 after 5 ends they looked to have the game in the bag. But the Bennets staged a remarkable comback, taking 3 on the 6th end and an unlikely looking 4 on the last end to draw level and force an extra end.

Having been so far ahead one might have thought that the Frosts would crumble, but they pulled themselves together, put the opposition under pressure early and in the end forced the Bennets into a running shot which took the jack off and sent the Frosts through after a rollercoaster ride.

Joan Clark & Don Poulter
made the early running against Peter & Doris Frost. They took the first two ends, taking a 3-0 lead. But the Frosts drew level with 3 shots on the next end.

And it looked as if they were going to continue that momentum, with the jack driven to the back of the mat, the Frosts were holding 4 with just one opposition wood still to come. It looked unlikely that Don would be able to even reduce the shot count. But he came through onto the shot wood and rescue the end, losing just a single shot. It was a pivotal moment.

After that Joan & Don took control, they took 4 shots on the next end to take a 3 shot lead, another 2 on the penultimate end and forcing the Frosts into a desperate, and ultimately fruitless, chase for shots, ended up taking another 4 on the last end to finally run out 13-4 winners, which made it look easier than it actually had been.

You can find all the week's results here.

As usual we would like to thank everyone for another excellent week of bowls and from the feedback we received everyone enjoyed themselves (see below), whether or not they won.

Finally many thanks to everyone for supporting the draw which raised another £200 for the East Anglia Air Ambulance and takes us past £5000 raised in total.

30th June 2012

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Our next event will be Isle of Wight, October 2012