The week of 23rd to 27th
June 2014 saw us making our eighth visit to Hayling Island.
Once again we were incredibly
lucky with the weather, it was sunshine all the way until the
very moment the final was over on Thursday afternoon, at which
point the heavens opened!
Monday night's first pair of games saw the Masters/Wellington/Banthorp
and Hume/Staines as the only teams win both matches.
Tuesday night's games would
determine the top 4 for Wednesday's final session and with plenty
of quality teams lagging behind there was still time for them
to catch up.
But of course there is no danger
of being caught up if you win all your games. And so it was that
the Masters/Wellington/Banthorp team made it 4 wins out of 4
and since they were playing their closest opposition, they managed
to take out at least one team who had been in contention.
They were the only team to
win all their games. The next best were the Game/Drane/Tilbrook/Vaughan
team who had been mid-table overnight with just one win and whose
two wins on Tuesday had rocketed them up to second place.
The Gypps/Sainsbury team also
had just 2 points overnight and might not have thought that a
win a draw on Tuesday would be enough, but it was, as others
fell away. And luckier still were the Humes/Staines team who
only managed one point on Tuesday, but again that was enough
to make it through to the last four.
The Hume/Staines team started well and with 2 ends to go were
5-3 ahead of the Masters/Wellington/Banthorp team. But four shots
on the penultimate end saw the score swing in the opposite direction.
However, having got in front the team who had won all their Round
Robin games suffered a 3 shot loss on the last end and it was
Hume/Staines who took the win.
The Gypps/Sainsbury team never
had a look-in as the Game/Drane/Tilbrook/Vaughan raced away to
an 8-1 lead after 4 ends. After that it was just a matter of
managing the game and limiting any losses. By the end the result
was back to 8-5, making it look more respectable.
Once again the Game/Drane/Tilbrook/Vaughan team took control
fairly early on, although they were 2-1 down after 2 ends, it
was only that second end which they lost.
They were ahead on the third
end and crept away bit by bit. By the sixth end they were 9-2
in front and the Hume/Staines team had an impossible task on
With a tied last end the game
finished 9-2, it was a convincing and well-deserved win for Ken
Drane, Valerie Game, Shirley Tilbrook and Sylvia Vaughan.
This year saw a small change in format, with everyone getting
3 games a day instead on just 2. That would mean 9 round robin
games, so plenty of time to recover from a slow start, and just
as much time to muck up after a good one.
In any case with nearly half
the field qualifying for Thursday afternoon's knockout stages
the high fliers were going to be jockeying for position. The
round robin games would serve as a method of seeding the teams
a la Wimbledon, so the higher the finish the better.
Round 2 (Tuesday)
As might be expected, just under half the field won their first
games (there was one drawn match), but only eight of those were
able to repeat their success in Round 2. And just for the record
they were Joyce Dodge & Sylvia Vaughan, Margaret & Jim
Southgate, Colin Lord & Rita Daniels, Betty Johnson &
Paul Daniels, Patricia & Harold Ball, Maxine Poulter &
Chris Clark, David & Linda Williams and Valerie Game &
Round 3 (Tuesday)
Tuesday's closing games showed that it was going to be quite
a feat to get through the week's games undefeated, let alone
taking a clean sweep.
Only 3 teams could make it
3 wins out of 3 and they were Valerie Game & Ken Drane, Maxine
Poulter & Chris Clark and Colin Lord & Rita Daniels.
Also undefeated, but having dropped a point each were Keith &
Prim Hume and Betty Johnson & Paul Daniels.
Round 4 (Wednesday)
Maxine Poulter & Chris Clark and Valerie Game & Ken Drane
both registered their fourth wins on Wednesday morning, but other
than Keith & Prim Hume who had dropped just a single point,
everyone else had lost at least once.
Anyone who finished the week
with an average of more than one point per game was going to
be in with a chance of qualifying, so the real interest would
be down in the midfield, with 23 teams now on 4 points or better.
Round 5 (Wednesday)
Just crossing the halfway point of the round robin games and
the top two still had their 100% records intact. However with
Keith & Prim Hume having recorded their first loss, there
was now a 2 point gap to the next best teams.
Sylvia Cox & Annette Iskett,
Colin Lord & Rita Daniels and Margaret & Jim Southgate
all had 8 points and were themselves a point better than anyone
Most importantly for Maxine
& Chris and Val & Ken, up at the top, they had now broken
the double figure points mark and as a result there was a good
chance that they had already done enough to be playing on Thursday
Round 6 (Wednesday)
As Wednesday came to a close so it was that everyone in one way
or another made some kind of slip-up. Maxine & Chris lost
and if it had not been for a miraculous 5 shot haul on the last
end Ken & Val they would have suffered the same fate. As
it was they scrambled a draw to at least stay unbeaten.
So Ken and Val stayed top but
were now just a point ahead of Margaret & Jim Southgate,
Max and Chris and Colin Lord & Rita Daniels. All four of
these teams were on ten points or better.
Only 13 teams were doing better
than a point a game so it was still looking like 10 points across
9 games would do the job.
Round 7 (Thursday)
And so on to the final morning session. Three more games to play
and a lot to play for, and every chance that there would be a
lot which would not be settled until the very end.
The leaders recorded their
first loss which meant that Maxine Poulter & Chris Clark
were back at the top, having taken their sixth win.
After them, 1 point behind,
there was a pack of 6 teams, all on 11 points. And then 3 more
teams who were on 10. In all that made 10 teams with 10 points
or better, all of whom might have done enough, but none of whom
who definitely had.
Round 8 (Thursday)
The penultimate round finally gave us the first teams to secure
their top 16 spots.
Max and Chris stayed top with
another win, taking them on to 14 points and confirming their
Joan Clark & Don Poulter,
Sylvia Cox & Annette Iskett, Ken Drane & Valerie Game
and Betty Johnson & Paul Daniels were through having moved
on to 13 points. Colin Lord & Rita Daniels and Kay and Peter
Masters were all through with 12 points.
The 9 remaining spots would
be taken from the 12 teams that were left in contention.
Round 9 (Thursday)
With the final set of games completed top of the standings were
the teams of Joan Clark & Don Poulter and Betty Johnson &
Paul Daniels, both of whom finished on 15 points.
The final qualifiers were Keith
& Prim Hume, Margaret & Jim Southgate, Patricia &
Harold Ball, Barbara Head & Rosemary Coe, Preston & Jo
Gypps, Robin & Heather Brown, David & Linda Williams,
Peter & Doris Frost and Jane Evans & Mike Walker.
Knockout Round 1
There were comfortable wins for Betty Johnson & Paul Daniels
over Peter & Doris Frost, Joan Clark & Don Poulter over
Jane Evans & Mike Walker and Keith & Prim Hume over Barbara
Head & Rosemary Coe.
Maxine Poulter & Chris
Clark cruised home against David & Linda Williams, largely
due to a six on the second end. Margaret & Jim Southgate
came home 8-5 winners over Val Game & Ken Drane, after gaining
a decent foothold halfway through the game.
Robin & Heather Brown came
back from being three down with 2 ends to go, to beat Colin Lord
& Rita Daniels 7-6 and it was a similar story as Peter &
Kay Masters recovered to beat Preston & Jo Gypps 5-4 on the
But the closest and most topsy-turvey
game was between Patricia & Harold Ball and Sylvia Cox &
Annette Iskett. The Balls looked good with 4 on the first end,
but 3 ends later they were trailing 8-4. Three ends later, at
the end of full time it was all even and an extra end was required,
which, carrying their momentum through went to the Balls.
Joan Clark & Don Poulter took a comfortable win over Margaret
& Jim Southgate. And Peter & Kay Masters and Maxine Poulter
& Chris Clark both had 9-3 wins over Robin & Heather
Brown and Keith & Prim Hume respectively.
Closest of the games was a
mostly Bedfordshire affair between Betty Johnson & Paul Daniels
and Patricia & Harold Ball. There was never much in it and
it took two flukey wicks from the skip on each of the last two
ends to rob Pat and Harold and send Betty and Paul through.
After losing the first two ends Betty & Paul drew level with
Maxine & Chris 2 ends later to make it 3-3. In a tightly
fought game on a mat on which there was little draw on either
hand, the most important thing was to get those early woods in
and it was Maxine who was just edging Betty out. Her woods were
the ones that counted as the game wound down. She and Chris took
the next two ends, taking a 6-3 advantage into the final end.
And while Betty & Paul won that end they were restricted
to just the single shot, taking Maxine & Chris through.
Joan & Don were off to
a slow start as Peter & Kay took 3 on the first end and were
4-2 up after 3 ends. But it was the fourth end which was the
turning point and which in hindsight settled the game. Joan &
Don took full advantage of some wayward bowls to take 5 shots
and turn the game on it's head. They edged a further shot ahead
to lead 8-4 with 2 ends to go. The next end saw Joan & Don
holding the advantage and the jack pushed to the back of the
mat we saw a great interchange between Peter and Don. It was
an end on which the whole game would hinge and it went to Don,
as did the final end as Joan & Don came home 10-4 winners.
The seedings from the Round Robin stages had proved to be fairly
accurate as the final came down to a match between the wife/husband
swapping quartet usually known as MADJAC.
The first and third seeded
teams of Maxine Poulter & Chris Clark and Joan Clark &
Don Poulter, would play one another. Four very good players,
two evenly matched teams and one very good final in prospect.
The opening fray made it look
like the game was going very much in one direction. Joan &
Don took a single on the first end, two on the second and another
single on the third. Nearly at the halfway point and a 4-0 lead.
But the fightback wasn't far away. Three to Maxine & Chris
had them back to within a shat, although Joan & Don won the
next and were now 5-3 up with two ends to go.
Not all over yet, and so it
proved. Maxine & Chris took a single to bring the gap down
to just one and then the epic last end.
This one swung back and forth,
match winning advantages were held at one time or another by
both sides, blocks were tried and gaps were found. Some great
shots on both sides had the win going first one way then the
With the final wood to be played
it looked as if Maxine & Chris had it, but somehow Don found
a way in to move the jack just enough to reduce the count against
to just one, tying the game and sending it into an extra end,
and fittingly so.
This time the advantage went
with Maxine and Chris and despite the best efforts of their respective
spouses they couldn't get it back.
Maxine & Chris took the
win, denying Joan & Don a repeat of their 2012 win. A terrific
end to the week and a fittingly close affair from the two best
teams of the week.
You can find all the week's
Our final note is one of thanks
to all who helped us to add another £176 to our tally of
funds raised for the East Anglia