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

High hopes shattered in Aberdeen

Despite Norfolk’s “Magnificent Seven” heading to Scotland with high hopes to represent England in the British Isles Championships it proved to be a weekend of disappointment despite a great effort all round. In the Premier Individual event current National Triples Champions Jack Marshall & Chris Mann of Wymondham and Neil Davidson of Hempnall, had their eyes on adding a British Isles Triples title to their National one but endured a poor start. Their first opponents were Scotland’s A Higgins, S Anderson & D Kelly and this was generally viewed as the easiest game of the three the Norfolk triple would face. Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way as the triple from the host nation cheered up their supporters with an impressive and unexpected 13-11 win. In the other opening triples match the favourites from Ireland, G McCabe, K Trainor & J Murnaghan, were held to a 12-12 draw by A Hudson, J Gladstone & P Hudson of Wales. This piled pressure on to the Norfolk triple who now knew a good result against the Welsh in their second triples game was essential to keep their hopes alive. Davidson, Marshall & Mann delivered in style as they swept to a 16-7 win. This set up a crucial last match against the Irish triple who had beaten Scotland 21-4 while the Welsh triple would face Scotland. As seen so often in the past it was the Irish who conjured up the magic when needed and they beat the Norfolk triple by a convincing 18-7 margin. In the other game D Kelly’s triple produced another good result for Scotland beating Wales 19-8 to claim the runners-up position behind the Irish triple leaving Norfolk in third place and the Welsh fourth. Norfolk’s other four bowlers were all playing in the “A” section of the event. Halvergate’s Ryan Fox & his father David Lamb were representing England “A” in the pairs event.  In their opening game they faced Scotland’s R Gillies & D McHutchinson and enjoyed a brilliant start winning by 21-10 while the Welsh pair of D Howell & A Edwards beat Ireland’s D Witherspoon & N Todd by 16-13. The two winning pairs faced each other in the second round and despite a solid performance by Ryan Fox & David Lamb they went down by just 16-14 leaving the Welsh in the driving seat. In the other second round match the Irish beat the Scots 23-8. The third and final round of the pairs saw Fox & Lamb play the Irish pairing and they produced another great performance before going down by just 13-12 while the Welsh produced their third straight win beating Scotland 16-13 to lift the title with six points. Ireland finished in second place with four points with the Norfolk pair in third place for England with two points. Scotland were fourth with no points. With their two defeats by such narrow margins the Norfolk pair will be disappointed that they came so close to collecting silverware. Norfolk’s other two players Jason Woods of Bob Carter and Simon Willies of East Tuddenham were playing in the “A” Team International event along with David Lamb who was doubling up for England “A”. The Irish “A” side proved to be unstoppable as they won all their six matches to finish with a maximum 12 points. England had to be content with second place having beaten Wales and Scotland twice each but losing both games against Ireland. Jason Woods, playing with John Mills, Nathan Bailey & Eric Pavey, beat Scottish rinks by 9-8 & 8-7, won their first game against Wales by 17-2 and drew their second against Wales 9-9. They lost their two games against Irish rinks by 13-6 & 18-11. David Lamb & Simon Willies played with Nicky Tresadern & Emily Thomas. They lost their first game against a Scottish rink by 10-5 but won their other game against Scotland by 15-5. They also won one and lost one against Wales by 10-9 and 10-11 respectively. They lost both their games against the Irish, the first by 12-2 and the second by 17-5. In the Premier events England collected the runners-up places in the Singles where Bronagh Toleman of North Yorks finished behind the Irish, the runner-up spot in the Pairs where M Worden & P Clegg finished second behind Wales and West Mids R Dunkley, C Strong, A Williams & A Easthope were runners-up in the Fours behind Ireland. In the Premier International event it was a straight battle between the mighty Ireland and Wales with England finishing in a disappointing third place.  In the “A” Team events England’s M Tandy, M Hall, J Knight & T Perris won all their three games to win the Fours Title ahead of Ireland. The England triple of F Ray, N Bailey & E Weaver finished as runners-up behind Ireland who won all their three games. Wales won the Pairs ahead of Ireland. 

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Left to right Ryan Fox, Chris Mann, Jack Marshall, Neil Davidson, Jason Woods, Simon Willies, David Lamb