"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Mann made success at Hevingham

Chris Mann of East Tuddenham is the Bure Singles champion for 2019 after a 12-7 win against Halvergate’s David Lamb at Hevingham. It was, incredibly, the fourth year in a row that Chris Mann and David Lamb had contested the final with Lamb winning in 2017 & 2018 and Mann winning in 2016 and now 2019. It was always a good bet that both players, two of Norfolk’s finest, would successfully come through the qualifying heats. But both players being drawn in opposite halves of the draw on final’s night, and then both winning their way through to face each other in the final for four successive years, borders on the incredible. The draw for the quarter-finals produced an all East Tuddenham showdown between John Turner, who has won this title more times than anyone, and Chris Mann. It proved to be the end of the road for Turner as Chris Mann powered his way to the semi-finals with an 11-4 win. David Lamb was slow out of the blocks in his quarter-final game against Robin Amos of East Tuddenham while Amos peppered the jack on the first end and led 4-0 after two ends. But Lamb’s sheer determination won the day as he hit back strongly to win 13-6. The other quarter-finals saw Melly Woods of East Tuddenham beat Thorpe Marriott’s Tony Turner 9-5 and Woodbastwick’s Margaret Harman beat Halvergate’s Robbie Lamb 9-4. The semi-finals saw Chris Mann lead Melly Woods 3-0 after two ends but Woods fought Mann every inch of the way and a single by Woods on the tenth end left the game level at 6-6 and an extra end was needed to decide the issue on which Mann scored one shot to win 7-6. In the other semi-final David Lamb again started slowly and found himself put under intense pressure by former Norfolk Premier and England bowler Margaret Harman. The Woodbastwick player, who rarely plays singles, led David Lamb by 5-1 after four ends but Lamb came from behind to lead 7-6 with one end to play. Margaret Harman was forced to play an attacking forehand shot with her last wood which looked on target to split Lamb’s holding bowls, but to Lamb’s relief the shot failed to achieve its objective and Lamb scored two shots to win 9-6. This left just the final to play which seems to have become an annual event between David Lamb and Chris Mann. The first end saw Mann take an advantage by drawing his final bowl in perfectly behind the jack with his last bowl to hold two. This forced Lamb to attack with his final wood but he failed to stop Mann taking a 2-0 lead. An excellent second end of bowls saw Mann again holding two shots with just Lamb’s last wood to come. Lamb again played a forcing shot but missed and Chris Mann was 4-0 up. A great battle of wits on the third end seemed to be going Lamb’s way but to Lamb’s frustration the East Tuddenham player again played a perfect bowl into the head and sat right behind the jack. Lamb again attacked but missed and Mann was 5-0 up. After ditching the jack on the fourth end Chris Mann drew in two perfect bowls to the ditch line to hold three. With his last bowl David Lamb drew in but could only cut the count down to two and now trailed by 7-0. Lamb again found himself in trouble on the fifth end but saved the day by drawing in two great woods, after losing his first two into the ditch, and he cut the deficit to 7-2. David Lamb then pulled another shot back on the sixth end with a good backhand draw. But his good work was all undone on the next end as a subtle end of drawing by both bowlers ended with Mann taking three shots to restore his seven shot lead. Mann opened the eighth end with a toucher, and was looking like a man with the title now in his sights, but Lamb refused to give up. He drew shot and then covered Mann’s back woods and the end finished with Lamb taking two shots to trail 10-5 with two ends to go. David Lamb knew he needed a good penultimate end if he was to stand a chance of stopping Mann’s march to the title. Lamb took early control of the ninth end with three great bowls but with his third bowl Chris Mann pushed one of his own earlier bowls into the tight head that Lamb had constructed. But this did not stop Lamb from scoring two shots to cut the deficit to 10-7 going into the last end. A good first bowl by Lamb sat a little way behind the jack but Mann countered with an inch perfect toucher sitting immediately behind the jack. Lamb went a little long with his second bowl and it was already difficult to see what he could do to get the three shots he needed to force an extra end. By the time David Lamb stepped up to play his last bowl Chris Mann had put in a short blocker on his forehand so Lamb was forced to attack the head on the backhand. He did well to spring the jack sideways but without the power needed to kill the end Mann was left holding two shots for a 12-7 win. Bure League chairman Selwyn Goldsmith thanked Hevingham SMBC for hosting the final before presenting the players with their trophies while Teresa Goldsmith conducted the photo-call.

chris mann 2019 RS15

Bure Singles Champion Chris Mann of East Tuddenham

david lamb 2019 RS15

Bure Singles runner-up David Lamb of Halvergate