Cup Semi Finals chart 5 9 2019



Great Weekend for Connaught! Sheila Bragg wins for three years running!

The Upper Waveney Finals weekend took place at the Thornham Magna club on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September. Connaught were well represented and did well on the playing front, reaching five finals and winning three of them. The club also finished as runners-up in the Upper Waveney Cup.

The semi-finals took place on the Saturday and Connaught were in seven of them. Scores given are approximate in most cases. Graham Benefer just beat Neil Day from Beeches, 21-20, in the 2-wood Champion of Champions. Sheila Bragg won in the Ladies Singles  by about 21-9, against an opponent from Stradbroke White Hart. David Flatt and Terry Shoebridge lost by 9 shots in the Men’s Pairs against a pair from Thornham Magna. Sheila Bragg and Pat Benefer won by 3 shots in the Ladies Pairs, also against Thornham Magna. Sheila Bragg and Richard Broad lost by about 12 shots in the Mixed Pairs against Peter and Claire Forster from Gissing. Mark Watson, Roy Taylor and Carole Taylor won 22-9 against a Diss triple in the Mixed Triples. In the “same sex” triples Paul McDonald, Roy Taylor and Derek Liles won by 12 shots or so against a Beeches triple.

And so to Finals Day. First up were Mark, Roy and Carole in the Mixed Triples. They fought hard but lost 13-22 against the title holders from Dickleburgh, David Shimell, Paul (Dickinson?) and Lorna Young. The Dickleburgh triple is a solid unit and they were just a little more accurate.

We then had the Ladies Pairs, Champion of Champions and Triples played on adjoining rinks. Sheila Bragg and Pat Benefer won convincingly in the Ladies Pairs by 19-6 against the title holders from Dickleburgh. On Rink 6, with its precise lines, they both played very well. Graham Benefer was up against it in the Champion of Champions, playing the very accurate Alan Garnham from Hoxne. Graham lost 11-21 in a good final, acquitting himself well but unable to match Alan in the 2-wood game. In the Triples final, Paul, Roy and Derek won 20-10 against a triple from Stradbroke White Hart in a match tougher than the score suggests. All the Connaught players applied themselves well with Paul McDonald at skip having a fine match.

The finale then came with the Ladies Singles on Rink 1, the Mens Singles on Rink 2, and the Cup Final between Connaught and Gissing on Rinks 3-6.

Sheila Bragg won a tremendous Ladies Final against Lorna Young from Dickleburgh, a very good player, by 21-15. Lorna had beaten Claire Forster from Gissing in the semi-final and would be quite capable of beating Sheila. Sheila had a good start and built up a lead of about 14-8 before Lorna came back at her. Sheila’s lead was reduced to 16-15 but she overcame tiredness to edge ahead to 18-15 and then score 3 for the match. Thus Sheila retained the title that she had won in 2017 and 2018, a remarkable feat.

Connaught lost the Cup Final by 61-83 against the formidable Gissing side

Rink 3 Joe Li-Rocchi, Mike Minshull and Pat Benefer lost 20-22. They will rue going 0-17 down after about six ends because they staged a tremendous comeback after Joe went to 2 and Mike to skip. On the last end Connaught were 19-22 down and holding 6 with Malcolm Coe to bowl last wood of the match for Gissing. With a running wood he cut the 6 down to 1 for a 2-shot win

Rink 4 Mark Watson, Mick Utting and Graham Benefer lost 19-20. Connaught’s strongest triple over the season overcame a slow start to take the lead and to be 19-16 up with an end to go. A dropped 4 was very disappointing for them after a fine match

Rink 5 Owen Secker, Richard Broad and Peter Hambling lost 10-18 in another tightly-fought match of narrow margins. Gissing just had the edge but were made to fight for it

Rink 6 Paul McDonald, Roy Taylor and Derek Liles lost 12-23. The Connaught players, like all their colleagues, battled hard against another solid Gissing triple in which Simon Thompson excelled at skip. 

Players from both sides had to play earlier, more from Connaught on this occasion, but know  what is entailed in these championships. Like other clubs at this level, Connaught have the occasional success against Gissing but Gissing remain the yardstick. Connaught fell short in the final but not for the want of trying!

Howsoever, the club can be proud of its achievements over the weekend. We supported the league with a sizeable list of entries into the competitions and we reaped the rewards.

A “thank you” to David Wood, competition organiser, and to Thornham Magna for hosting very well

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