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'Great day' for Hampshire bowls
7:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
HAMPSHIRE are the double-rink kings of England after capturing the Balcomb Trophy with a runaway 52-34 triumph against Essex.
Team manager Derek Collins said of his Worthing Wonders: “We were devastating in the quarter-final against Kent last month – and we were just as devastating in the finals. I am so proud of the side – it was a great day for Hampshire bowls.
“It was a tremendous team effort because we were the underdogs for both the semi-final against Devon and the final against Essex.”
Devon were clear favourites to lift the title – but if the West Countrymen, led by internationals Jamie Chestney and Jamie Webber, thought Hampshire were easy prey they were mistaken.
With Kevin Downs, David Payne, Michael Hutley and Chris Daniels inflicting a 28-18 defeat on Chestney and former national champion Sam Tolchard, Hampshire went through 44-34. On the other rink John Leggett, Tony Nixon, John Biggs and Sports Centre skip Peter Ward held Webber 16-16.
Essex went into the final on a high, not only because of their 36-26 semi-final success against Derbyshire but also because they are at Worthing this weekend in the Middleton Cup.
At 11 ends Hampshire trailed 24-23 but then they moved into another sphere with a breathtaking second-half display, outscoring their opponents 29-10 over the remaining ends.
Ward, who scored a first-end six but trailed 9-7 on five ends, spearheaded the Hampshire assault. Level 13-13 on 11 ends he won all the remaining ends apart from dropping a four on the 16th in his 29-17 card.
After lagging 11-10 behind on the 11th, Daniels took four of the next five ends to go 18-14 up but was pulled back to 18-17 before staging a one, two, two finale in a 23-17 victory.
This was Hampshire’s first triumph in a senior inter-county championship since they took the same trophy as a single-rink affair in 1986 through Jim Squires, Russell Kemp, Russell Morgan and Dusty Miller.
l Daniels and Ward lined up in different camps for the County Club Knock-out final at Atherley – and although Ward won the personal battle, Daniels won the war as Boscombe Cliff retained the trophy 90-72 against Sports Centre.
Skips’ scores: (Boscombe first) Russell Morgan 27 Simon Doig 21, Alan Geary 31 Tony Nixon 5, Chris Daniels 14 Peter Ward 21, Michael Hutley 18 Richard Shelley 15.
In the morning semi-finals Sports Centre beat Cove 89-56 while Boscombe Cliff overcame Southsea Waverley 86-80.
Bowls review in today's Daily Echo
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