Norwich Cup B Team 2016-17
Challenge Cup 2016-17
CONNAUGHT 'B' v FIRST BUS
Connaught 'B' beat First Bus at home on Wednesday 5 October by 10-2 and 47-34 (final two pairs not played)
- Triple A Steve Barclay, Malcolm Southgate and Moira Eades 12-3 and 9-4
- Triple B Peter King, Jim squire and Peter Hambling 7-5 and 8-5
- Pair C David Flatt and John Winup 8-5
- Pair D Mike Minshull and Alison Rush 3-12
Connaught 'B had gone down heavily to First Bus in an equivalent fixture last season but applied themselves well in a generally solid performance to take a place in the 2nd Round. Their reward is a home tie against Hempnall. It was pleasing to see that players had done their homework after practice on the new mats. Everybody adjusted well to line and weight and players like David Flatt and Jim Squire, who last season would have struggled on the wide draw, are adapting their technique sensibly.
Connaught had a useful start, winning the opening triples matches, and David Flatt and John Winup played well to win their pairs match. Mike Minshull and Alison Rush could not cope with an on-form pair in which Bob Oatway excelled. However, 6-2 was an encouraging start and the teams then played straight on for the second half. The Connaught triples both had good starts to the extent that wins seemed probable. Those wins would give Connaught the match and the captains agreed provisionally not to play the final pairs matches. At 8-1 up after 5 ends Peter King's triple still kept things tight although losing the final three ends. That left Steve Barclay & Co to play the last end when 8-4 up. Then came the main drama of the evening. Both Moira and Malcolm put woods off and First Bus, at first jokingly and then seriously, really started to apply themselves. 4 down, Steve saved with his first wood but the jack was moved and Steve was 5 down when bowling his last wood. He kept his nerve to draw well on the backhand and was cutting the deficit to 3 down when his wood took a slight wick and he came in for shot! He was a relieved man but, rightly, still not a happy one. The lesson is that a bowls match is never finished until a side cannot win mathematically - do not relax and assume you have won. Had Steve lost, the pairs matches would have been played and psychologically First Bus after coming back from the dead would have had the upper hand.
First Bus, although missing some players (in fairness so were Connaught), will feel they did not do thenselves justice. They did not seem to have last season's cutting edge. They were still good company as the two teams enjoyed the post-match buffet