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UPPER WAVENEY COMPETITIONS 2017

UPDATE FINALS WEEKEND SATURDAY 9 AND SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER

The finals weekend took place at Gissing. Most of the Connaught hopefuls had been on tour during the week but at least had had a recovery day on Friday! Mainly semi-finals were held on Saturday and Connaught had mixed success. Paul McDonald won his Champion of Champions match 21-16 against D Saunders from Bedingfield and Sheila Bragg and Sylvia Parsons combined well in a 30-8 win against Mary Ellis and Pam Lewis from Stradbroke & Dist. Joe Li-Rocchi and Graham Benefer looked on course for a good win against M Hurry and G Large from Hoxne, leading 15-9 with 3 ends to go. Sadly the Connaught pairing, having played very well, seemed to tighten as their opponents upped their game and after the 18 ends were complete the score was 15-15. One feared for Joe and Graham on the extra end and always under pressure they conceded by 1 shot. Graham recovered his nerve to beat John Winup 21-15 in an all-Connaught men's singles semi-final. This was a good match lasting some 25 ends with Graham generally drawing better on a pushy rink although John showed the benefit of a season's skipping with some fine attacking shots.

The finals day belonged in the main to Sheila Bragg from a Connaught viewpoint. Sheila had to play a singles semi-final at 10.00 against Vicky Wilkinson from Stradbroke White Hart and won this comfortably by 21-4 against an opponent who had beaten Lorna Young from Dickleburgh by 21-4 in an earlier round. Sheila then went home, presumably to keep an eye on Russell, and returned to play the final against Claire Forster from Gissing. Claire is a talented younger player, who had recently reached the national Federation finals at Skegness in a Gissing triple.

Sheila had beaten her in the UW final in 2015 but nowadays and on home soil Claire would have been the favourite. Spectators saw a monumental final which went to 33 ends with Sheila winning by 21-20. The rink was a trifle heavy and still slightly wet with a tricky straight hand. It called for much concentration and both players showed it as end after end was settled by just a single shot and occasionally 2 shots. For most of the match Sheila was about 3 shots down and grimly digging in but she managed towards the end to exert some pressure and draw level at 20-20. She just got the 1 shot on a tension-filled last end. Tough on Claire to lose like that but what a match.

Sheila's day was not finished; she was given 10 minutes for a cup of tea and then had to play the Ladies Pairs final with Sylvia Parsons. The Connaught players were facing Angela Bailey and Sue Button from Diss & District, a very useful pairing. The players knew each other well and settled into a very competitive contest on another demanding surface. Again there was very little in it until Connaught got a 5 and after 15 ends led 16-11. Then Connaught dropped 2 and 4 before getting 1 back on the last end to draw 17-17. The extra end saw Sylvia bowl some very accurate woods to give Connaught the advantage and Sheila held out well as she and Sylvia got 4 for the win. A tough game which finished in quite heavy rain. Sylvia's bowling at lead was a great comfort to Sheila who probably would not have survived with a less-talented player in support. She still had to play solidly but the two players always had woods in the head. If only the two could play in Connaught's men's EBA side! In all Sheila had bowled 268 woods during the day for her two finals successes and she is certainly some competitor.

Earlier on Paul McDonald had just lost 19-21 against Alan Garnham from Hoxne in a fine Champion of Champions final. Two-wood bowls is by far the most testing form of the game and both players drew well on the same demanding rink that later hosted the ladies singles final. Nothing unfair about it but as a bowler you knew there was little margin for error. Paul had the edge from the outset and built up a lead of 13-8 but his opponent gradually came back at him with some very tight play. Spectators knew this match was going to the wire and so it did but with Paul just losing out. He still played very well and impressed those watching - Paul would have been unknown to most of them

It was not Graham Benifer's day in the men's singles final as he went down 4-21 to Kristian Garnham, Alan Garnham's son. The talented younger player simply read the green better and found weight and line consistently, the essence of bowling anywhere. On the day Graham could not react - if he got within 6 inches his opponent would get within 4. It was just that sort of a day. Graham was devastated afterwards and talking of public humiliation etc. Paul and John reminded him that all bowlers present had been through a similar experience and understood. Furthermore he had reached the final and they had not. Graham soon settled down and with Paul and John had a pint as all three lent their support to Sheila and Sylvia

Gissing handled the weekend very well with David Wood showing unexpected skills on the barbecue and with other club members all pitching in eg teas, coffees and cakes were always available. We parked our cars on the adjoining farm drive while the usual car park was converted, with the aid of gazebos, into a changing and general viewing area. David Lambert, competition organiser, was in attendance armed with laptop and everything ran smoothly.

Thank you to Gissing and to David

 

Connaught have put 31 entries into the Upper Waveney competitions ie that means adding up 2 for a pair, 3 for a triple etc. Almost certainly that is more than anybody else. As in the league, however, the club has depth but not the really talented individuals found in virtually every other club. That probably means as before some useful competition performances but not ultimate success. However, Sheila Bragg and Sylvia Parsons in the Ladies Pairs look a useful combination. The best result so far has been Paul McDonald's win by 21-19 against Maurice Hurry, the holder, in the Champion of Champions. Now off to America for a few weeks, Paul will need to get his act together on return to regain that sort of form. Joe Li-Rocchi had a startling win in the Mens Singles at Mendlesham, coming back from something like 5-19 down, changing the jack length and not dropping another shot. Roy Taylor, Kevin Noble and Graham Benefer got their come uppance from an all-female triple at Dickleburgh. In an all-Connaught affair Graham Benefer and Joe Li-Rocchi beat David Flatt and John Winup by about 7 shots with Joe agains showing very useful form. David Flatt also teamed up with John Winup and with Graham Benefer at lead to play a triples at home against the Beeches triple of K and N Day and A Broughton. Connaught lost by 4 shots with Alfie Broughton at skip for the visitors having a very good matchConnaught have put 31 entries into the Upper Waveney competitions ie that means adding up 2 for a pair, 3 for a triple etc. Almost certainly that is more than anybody else. As in the league, however, the club has depth but not the really talented individuals found in virtually every other club. That probably means as before some useful competition performances but not ultimate success. However, Sheila Bragg and Sylvia Parsons in the Ladies Pairs look a useful combination. The best result so far has been Paul McDonald's win by 21-19 against Maurice Hurry, the holder, in the Champion of Champions. Now off to America for a few weeks, Paul will need to get his act together on return to regain that sort of form. Joe Li-Rocchi had a startling win in the Mens Singles at Mendlesham, coming back from something like 5-19 down, changing the jack length and not dropping another shot. Roy Taylor, Kevin Noble and Graham Benefer got their come uppance from an all-female triple at Dickleburgh. In an all-Connaught affair Graham Benefer and Joe Li-Rocchi beat David Flatt and John Winup by about 7 shots with Joe agains showing very useful form. David Flatt also teamed up with John Winup and with Graham Benefer at lead to play a triples at home against the Beeches triple of K and N Day and A Broughton. Connaught lost by 4 shots with Alfie Broughton at skip for the visitors having a very good match

Click here to view Semi-Finals Draw 2017

UPDATE 4 AUGUST
Sheila Bragg had an incredible win in the Ladies Singles on 2 August by beating Angela Bailey 21-2 at Diss. Sheila had never beaten Angela before and had feared that Angela's drawing style would be too much for her on the fast Diss green. Not so, as Sheila "found it" and ground on to the end.
Most people left in competitions are awaiting games. Graham Benefer has to play A Garnham from Hoxne at home in the Singles - a tough one for Graham but he can do it. John Winup is also playing at home against Neil Day from Beeches - a very tough one for John who has lost form of late after a good season. Joe Li-Rocchi conceded in the Singles, being without a car on the day he had to play. Joe lost a battle with his garage door and his car suffered to the tune of a thousand pounds or so! Mick Utting and John Winup are playing at Bedingfield on 9 August in the Brian Leeder Memorial Trophy. Sheila Bragg, David Flatt and John Winup are playing at Gissing on 11 August in the Mixed Triples and in the same week Sheila and Sylvia Parsons are in the Ladies Pairs at Stradbroke WH (not counting chickens but Sheila and Sylvia together must stand a good chance). There will be other people awaiting games eg Paul McDonald in the Champion of Champions

UPDATE 12 AUGUST
Sheial Bragg and Sylvia Parsons have reached the semi-final of the Ladies Pairs after winning 19-4 at home against Julie ward and Lynne Ruth from Stradbroke White Hart. Sheila Bragg, David Flatt and John Winup subsided to a catastrophic 4-23 defeat (conceded after 14 ends) at Gissing against Paul Whymark and Clair and Peter Forster

UPDATE 23 AUGUST

Mixed success. John Winup and Graham Benefer have both reached the semi-finals of the Men's Singles, John after a 21-17 win at home against Neil Day from Beeches and Graham after a 21-14 win at home against Alan Garnham from Hoxne. Graham played particularly well against Alan, who is a noted singles player. It is thought that John and Graham will meet each other in the semi-final. Against those successes some defeats. Richard Harrison and John Winup went down 10-19 in wet conditions at Bedingfield in the Brian Leeder Trophy against the D & C Saunders father and son combination. Roy Taylor and Kevin Noble went down quite heavily at Thornham Magna in the Men's Pairs and Sheila Bragg and David Flatt lost by about 6 shots at Stradbroke White Hart in the Mixed Pairs

 

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