Connaught Breckland 'B' Team Shots Points
Results 2018/19 Season
Date F A F A
Connaught 'B'  v Wymondham Away 15-Oct-18  32  123  0 10 
Connaught 'B' v Harling Griffins Away 17-Oct-18  51  83  0 10 
Connaught 'B' v Banham Home 30-Oct-18 80 48  10  0
Connaught 'B'  v Shropham Home 31-Oct-18 94 35  10  0
Connaught 'B' v Connaught A Away 17-Nov-18 51 92  10 
Connaught 'B' v Carleton Rode Away 19-Nov-18 40 92  10 
Connaught 'B'  v Forncett Home 20-Nov-18  54  69 
Connaught 'B' v Hingham Away 10-Dec-18  56  78 
Connaught 'B' v Harling Unicorns Home 17-Dec-18  71  63 
Connaught 'B' v Harling Unicorns Away 16-Jan-19 51 86   4    6  
Connaught 'B'  v Hingham Home 23-Jan-19 68 57 
Connaught 'B' v Carleton Rode Home 06-Feb-19  49 86  10 
Connaught 'B' v Connaught A Home 09-Feb-19  67 53 
Connaught 'B'  v Forncett Away 13-Feb-19  61 68 
Connaught 'B' v Banham Away 06-Mar-19  65 65 
Connaught 'B' v Harling Griffins Home 13-Mar-19  67 71 
Connaught 'B' v Wymondham Home 26-Mar-19  57 67 
Connaught 'B' v Shropham Away 27-Mar-19  61 54
Shot difference -215 1075 1290 71 109


  Click here to view league table



Connaught 'B' won at Shropham on Wednesday 27 March by 61-54 and 7-3

Mat 1 Paul McDonald, John Winup and Alison Rush drew 18-18 against R Broad

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Jim Squire and Moira Eades won 17-11 against J Court

Mat 3 Mike Minshull, Barry Westwood and Michael Marlow lost 8-16 against R Dawson

Mat 4 Malcolm Southgate, Joyce Hazell and Ann Westwood won 18-9 against M Gobbold

Mat 1 saw a drawn match but one which was very much a game of two halves. Connaught dropped 4s on each of the first two ends to go 0-8 down and the deficit widened to 5-15 after 9 ends. Shropham were playing very well as a unit while for Connaught Alison and Paul had trouble with weight although John was drawing well enough. At or around this point Paul and John swapped positions and to good effect. Not faced with such a variety of shot Paul was able to bowl controlled weight to very good effect while John consolidated well with his mainly drawing game. Shropham started to feel the pressure and after 17 ends Connaught led for the first time at 18-17. A tense last end saw Shropham holding a good 1 with the skips to bowl. Neither was able to bowl a difficult forehand draw to clinch a win and the 18-18 result was fair one

On Mat 2 Connaught never lost the lead in a match they seemed to be controlling comfortably until a late wobble brought things very close. A series of very tight ends saw Connaught edging most of them and leading 12-4 after 13 ends having conceded just 4 x 1. Then Connaught dropped 3 on end 14 and 4 on end 16 and the lead was reduced to 13-11. Nerves steadied (Jim had been looking hot and flustered!) and a 1 and 3 finish secured the win. Joe once more had bowled extremely well and especially at pressure points. Moira was generally steady but with some concentration lapses and Jim again showed his ability to break up a head

On Mat 3 Connaught conceded 11 x 1, 1 x 2 and 1 x 3 while scoring 2 x 1 and 3 x 2 in a match where Shropham were the steadier combination. Michael and Barry could not consistently give Mike enough in the head for him to get the better of a useful player in Robin Dawson. Nevertheless the three Connaught players deserve credit for digging in and containing the score in a match which was close overall

Mat 4 saw what can be called a bonus win for Connaught. With several players unavailable and Ann Westwood a lateish registration, Malcolm decided to consolidate regular playing strength in 3 blocks and to field what is often cruelly called a "sacrificial triple" to do the best they can.  Things went against script as the Connaught triple applied themselves very well to achieve the best result of the evening. 4-1 up after 3 ends Connaught were pegged back to 5-5 after 7 ends but after that never lost the lead. Things were very close for some time with Connaught leading just 10-8 after 14 ends. A 4 on end 15 followed by 1 on end 16 then relieved the tension. Shropham pulled 1 back but Connaught finished with a flourish by scoring 3 on the last end. Ann has always been a very steady lead in internal play but has not wanted to play in evening team matches. She did very well, as did Joyce and Malcolm who are sometimes inconsistent but who can bowl extremely well 

A neat symmetry ended the Breckland League season, with the league winners one night followed by a team in competition with Banham to avoid bottom slot. After this match Shropham need Hingham to beat Banham at home by 10-0 or 9-1 in the last match of the entire league. Shropham have improved considerably since entering the lead and just need more concentration over 18 ends. Mat 1 tonight was a case in point, a match they had for the taking. Connaught 'B' ended the season in good heart but knowing that there will be changes next year with likely movements between the 'A' and 'B' squads 



Connaught 'B' lost at home against Wymondham on Tuesday 26 March by 57-67 and 4-6

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Jim Squire and Joyce Hazell won 15-14 against L Hawksworth, S Easter amd P Saunders

Mat 2 Mick Utting, Barry Westwood and Trevor Burt won 21-8 against M Barker, R Steele and B Barker

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Moira Eades amd Ann Bayes lost 12-25 against C Mann, J Jeffery and H Osborne

Mat 2 Paul McDonald, John Winup and Alison Rush lost 9-20 against M Lindsell, B Saunders and M Fisher

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught established a solid lead of 9-1 after 4 ends, with the triple combining well and Wymondham not adjusting to the slowish mat. Steve Easter then moved to skip and Laura to 2 and this gave the visitors a better balance, but Connaught still led 13-5 after 10 ends. The match then changed as Steve started to play really well and Connaught wilted just a little. Six successive ends were lost and Connaught were 13-14 down after 16 ends. The nerves then steadied and single shot wins on the last two ends just snatched a 1-shot win. Joyce, still not comfortable at lead, blew hot and cold as did Jim at 2, but both did enough to give Joe something and he responded very well

Mat 2 saw one of those extraordinary games. "Cometh the hour, cometh the man" and "This was his finest hour" hardly do justice to Mick Utting's performance. The match was very tight first half with a score of 6-6 after 9 ends. This belies the fact that Mick had to save on most ends, which he did with a variety of shot. The second half saw Connaught win 8 of the 9 ends by an aggregate score of 15-2. Trevor and Barry came on board more in this period but Mick again had a lot to do. He either consolidated from a winning position or bowled stunning woods when Connaught were down. There were at least three ends which he won with his last wood with Connaught 4 down. What a pity for Mick and the team that the season is coming to an end!

Mat 1 after the break saw Mike Minshull taking on Chris Mann with Chris on paper probably having the stronger back-up. The first few ends were tight and close with Connaught just 2-3 down after end 5. The dam then broke with a vengeance as Wymondham scored 6 and 5 on successive ends. To their credit the home side did not wilt and had a good spell to reduce the deficit to 11-18 after 14 ends. A 4 and a 2 to Wymondham then scotched any thoughts of a recovery. Ann and Moira generally were steady enough: Ann does need to start using her forehand more and Moira essentially is a solid lead unable to provide any power at 2. Mike is a confident player and coped very well against the odds

Mat 2 saw another commanding display, this time from Mark Lindsell at skip for Wymondham. Confident from the start Connaught led 5-0 after 3 ends but were pegged back and were 6-9 down at halfway. Wymondham turned the screw more second half which Connaught lost by 3-11. The figures only tell part of the story as Mark was superb on the "Mick Utting" mat! Alison just edged it against Mary. John and Brian had a good scrap with Brian this time just edging it. The net result usually was tight heads and in this type of situation recently Paul has prevailed against good skips. This time he was faced with a very good player who was simply on fire and manufactured winning ends from difficult situations. Paul certainly did not crumble and without him the score could have been much worse

After winning the first two matches Connaught were looking for a real upset but it was not to be. Wymondham had just that more depth and second half strength at skip. True they did not field players like John and Debbie Sparham and Jack Pye and though they got it right in the end the match for them was probably too close for comfort. With David Flatt and Joanna Barnes unavailable, Connaught 'B' at their level were missing regular players who would have given them more firepower. Nevertheless a good result and a good match played in a good spirit. Congratulations to Wymondham on winning the league with a 100% record. Given their age profile they will do so for years to come unless other clubs get their act together



Connaught 'B' lost at home against Harling Griffin on Wednesday 13 March by 67-71 and 4-6

Mat 1 Mick Utting, Barry Westwood and Michael Marlow lost 13-28 against G Cody

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Malcolm Southgate and Joyce Hazell lost 12-22 against L Deathridge

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Jim Squire and Moira Eades won 23-12 against G Hume

Mat 2 Paul McDonald, John Winup and Alison Rush won 19-9 against C Hayman

Mat 1 before the break saw a quite extraordinary match. Connaught led 13-8 after 10 ends. The teams had won 5 ends each but Connaught had managed a 5 and a 4 to help towards the 3-shot lead. After that Connaught did not score again, losing the last 8 ends by 0-20 and dropping 1 x 5, 1 x 4 and 3 x 3 in the process. The Harling triple were competent players, mastered the mat and tightened their game considerably. But added to that Mick Utting was left bereft as Michael and Barry could not contain their opposite numbers in the latter stages

Mat 2 saw a similar story in which Joe Li-Rocchi, a competent skip, found upfront support nowhere near the usual standard as another good triple bowled steadily throughout to gradually tighten the screw. 8-8 after 10 ends became 8-18 after 15 ends in a decline rather like that on Mat 1. Connaught won 3 of the last 4 ends but the losing end saw 4 shots dropped. Connaught in fact won 9 of the 18 ends but were contained to 1s and 2s. Tough for two loyal players, in Joyce and Malcolm, who became very frustrated and perhaps over-anxious as things went against them

Mat 1 after the break saw some highish scoring at the start with Connaught leading 8-6 after just 5 ends. Then it became much tighter, with 2 x 1 to Harling followed by 5 x 1 to Connaught and then 2 to Harling. Connaught led 13-10 after 13 ends but then scored 3 x 3 to put the match out of sight at 22-10 after 16 ends. Mike Minshull has become a very good skip but he was helped greatly by Moira and Jim, who in their different ways lent good support. Moira drew very steadily and Jim, drawing much better this season, was also able to bowl effective running woods. Mike still had much to do and as usual he did it very well

On Mat 2 a tight struggle ensued between two solid drawing triples. Until Connaught scored 3 on the last end, the match had seen only 1s and 2s. However, Connaught concentrated well to win 13 of the 18 ends, dropping just 1 x 1 and 4 x 2. There was little in it at lead and 2. Alison had a very good game, an occasion when she conquered nerves, became more confident and controlled that swing better and better as the match went on. John was again very steady in his drawing play and occasional running wood. If anything the Connaught pair had slightly more in the head and bowled back woods. Despite all that Paul McDonald, opposed by a good player, was again a major difference with some superb play throughout.

A close match in the end but very different from recent contests in that there were 2 big defeats and 2 big wins. The winning Connaught triples, both second half, were aware of shots difference but had to concentrate on winning their matches first of all and not take too many chances early on chasing shots. The major lesson of the evening was that of upfront support. Harling Griffin have become a useful side and overall were just a bit steadier than Connaught 'B'


Connaught 'B' drew at Banham on Wednesday 6 March 65-65 and 5-5

Mat 1 Paul McDonald, John Winup and Trevor Burt lost 13-19 against W Hoggan

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Jim Squire and Moira Eades lost 14-16 against J Williamson

Mat 3 David Flatt, Malcolm Southgate and Michael Marlow won 17-13 against B Francis

Mat 4 Joe Li-Rocchi, Mick Utting and Joyce Hazell won 21-17 against J Delaney

On Mat 1 Connaught won just six ends but never seemed out of a hard-fought match. 4-4 after 6 ends but 4-11 down after 10 ends, Connaught pulled up to 13-16 after 17 ends before good play brought Banham a 3 and a 6-shot win. Most ends were extremely tight with good drawing on both sides and with very close measures being the result. Val Hambling had a good game at lead for Banham but Trevor found the range better second-half. John Winup had a very steady game at 2 against another useful drawing player in Peggy Herbert. Paul McDonald had another fine game faced with a good player in Will Hoggan

Mat 2 saw another fine match with each side winning nine ends but with Banham always in the lead except on ends 2 and 9! A losing spell saw Connaught decline from 8-8 after nine ends to 9-15 down after end 13. A good recovery then saw Connaught score 5 to 1 over the last five ends, not enough to win but priceless in terms of overall shots. Moira, who has applied herself well of late, had another very useful game at lead while Jim played in his usual disruptive style. Mike yet again played very well in more than holding his own against John Williamson

Mat 3 saw a perhaps surprising win for Connaught against a useful triple on paper and with Malcolm making an enforced comeback after several weeks off for his hand operation. In fact Malcolm played so well on the fast surface that we would all settle for that occasional quality! Good play early on saw Connaught lead 8-3 after six ends and never lose the lead from that point on. 15-6 after end 13 and 17-9 after end 16, Connaught held on despite then dropping 2 x 2 as Banham fought back. Michael was very steady at lead, Malcolm was a revelation and David Flatt, also in the wars recently, played very well against Bill Francis

On Mat 4 Connaught dominated the first part of the game, dropping only 3 x 1 as they took an 11-3 lead after 10 ends. The game then went crazy. 4 to Banham, 5 to Connaught, 4 to Banham and 3 to Connaught. Still 8 shots up at 19-11 after end 14, Connaught then dropped 2 and 3 to be just 19-16 up and with things reaching the twitchy stage. A 2 on end 17 calmed nerves although Banham pulled back an important 1 on the last end.

A cracking match overall with all four mats providing tight contests and good bowling. Banham have had their problems this season given the problem with the floor and loss of their facilities for much of the season. This led to availability problems and points deductions etc. They seemed back on track for this match with regular skips playing and a useful side being turned out. A fair result on the night as a more confident Connaught 'B' dug in on faster surfaces where they sometimes crumble



Connaught 'B' lost at Forncett on Wednesday 13 February by 61-68 and 4-6

Mat 1 Mick Utting, Jim Squire and Michael Marlow lost 8-23 against T Ottewell

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Joyce Hazell and Moira Eades won 24-15 against L Preece

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Barry Westwood and Joanna Barnew won 17-14 against R Humphreys

Mat 2 Paul  McDonald, John Winup and Trevor Burt lost 12-16 against P Lock

The first match on Mat 1 saw Connaught playing tightly at the start to be just 3-4 down after 6 ends. After that Forncett turned the screw, with B Preece at 2 and especially Tony Ottewell at skip bowling with greater accuracy than their opposite numbers. Michael Marlow at lead against Andrew Coleman had some useful woods throughout but really needed to give Jim and Mick a greater advantage against opponents who have benefited from playing in the county sides

Mat 2 saw another tour de force from Mike Minshull in a match which was very close up to the conclusion of end 13 when Connaught were just 11-12 down. In the remaining 5 ends Connaught scored 1 x 4 and 3 x 3 against 1 x 3 to win by quite a big margin. Moira followed Saturday's fine performance with another excellent game, this time at lead where she judged pace very well. Joyce struggled for much of the match, unable to adjust to faster pace and greater swing than at Connaught, but she found some semblance of form to help in those final stages. Mike played some fine shots throughout against a useful skip in Linda Preece

On Mat 1 after the break Barry Westwood made his debut for the team having been registered in the face of considerable unavailability. He played extremely well as No 2 to Joe who had one of his finest games of the season. The Forncett triple on their own mats is experienced and very useful and had the ascendancy at the start. A 4 on end 8 kept Connaught in it but they were 7-11 down after 10 ends. A good spell of 2, 2 and 3 then gave Connaught a 14-11 lead but this was reduced to 14-13 after 15 ends. A 2 and a 1 gave Connaught some breathing space which they used to go just 1 down on the last end. A fine effort, although Joanna at lead confessed to problems with weight and swing as her technique faltered

Mat 2 saw probably the best match of the evening in terms of all 6 players contributing well and with two excellent skips having a fine contest. At 10-7 up after 12 ends Connaught were just edging it but Forncett came back well and after 17 ends Connaught were  12-13 down. On the last end Connaught held a good 2, after fine draws from Trevor and John and with several short woods blocking the way in. Peter Lock had only one shot which he bowled to perfection - a drive into the short woods, a ricochet effect and the jack sent off the mat. The replayed end saw Forncett clinch the match with a rather cruel 3. Trevor held his nerve well at lead against Mike Smail although Mike edged it in the closing stages and John drew well in a tight battle with Jan Smail. Paul again had a fine game and against a very competent skip; he judged weight very well on the fast surface

Defeat with honour against a useful side and much better that the miserable 2-8 loss at home earlier in the season. Connaught 'B' dug in and showed some resilience and they are capable of doing that more often



Connaught 'B' beat Connaught 'A' at home on Saturday 9 February by 67-53 and 8-2

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Joanna Barnes and Ann Bayes won 18-14 against Bob Oatway, Richard Harrison and Elaine Oatway

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Moira Eades and Alison Rush won 21-13 against Sheila Bragg, Derek Liles and Peter Hambling

Mat 1 Paul McDonald, John Winup and Trevor Burt won 15-8 against Owen Secker, Mike Parsons and Diana Adcock

Mat 2 David Flatt, Jim Squire and Michael Marlow lost 13-18 against Lee Fallows, Sylvia Parsons and Bill Adcock

In the opening match on Mat 1 Connaught 'B' were contained to 4 x 1 in the first half to be 4-9 down. A 5 on end 10 brought them level and they got on top thereafter to win by 18-14. This was a good match. Ann  Bayes, a backhand player only, managed to keep it together and Joanna Barnes played much more steadily than on Wednesday to help give Mike Minshull something to play with. Mike and Bob had a tremendous scrap with Mike just prevailing with some superb running woods

On Mat 2 Joe needed steady bowling at lead and 2 from the outset and he got it this time round. Alison by and large conquered those nerves on most ends to control her delivery while Moira, by general consent, won player of the match ie the total contest. She drew in time after time, often through very narrow gaps, to save or take shot. Joe had another good game, especially on his favoured backhand side, and generally Sheila was left playing catch-up

On Mat 1 the Connaught 'B' triple on paper seemed well-balanced and had the edge in what was a tight and low-scoring contest. Trevor put Wednesday behind him to bowl very steadily at lead and John bowled sensibly enough at 2. Paul usually had woods in the head but against Owen still had a lot to do. As in recent matches Paul rose to the occasion with a controlled and positive game and his judgement of weight and line was always accurate

On paper Connaught 'A' on paper looked likely to salvage something with Lee and Sylvia in harness and Bill at lead. They indeed won the match, and deservedly so, but could not get away from a very dogged 'B' team triple which kept things tight and contained well. Michael and Jim plugged away and David Flatt, despite bouts of illness this season, has vastly improved as a short mat player to be comfortable with the game

As ever this match was keenly-fought but only on one occasion boiled over a bit and that was quickly contained. Connaught 'B' certainly were up for it but for once did not go mad. They bowled in controlled fashion and importantly for 18 ends. Connaught 'A' certainly were not complacent and battled hard but on the night seemed just a bit subdued. Certainly for next season there are key players in Connaught 'B' who surely will make the 'A' side. A very friendly gathering afterwards with Sandra providing a lovely spread and with quite a few specators staying on for the fun. A good night for raffle and bar.   



Connaught 'B' lost at home against Carleton Rode on Wednesday 6 February by 49-86 and 0-10

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Trevor Burt and Alison Rush lost 12-22 against R Davidson

Mat 2 David Flatt, Moira Eades and Graham Benefer lost 11-17 against N Davidson

Mat 1 John Winup, Joyce Hazell and Pat Benefer lost 15-19 against K Newby

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Joanna Barnes and Michael Marlow lost 11-28 against G Mobbs

On Mat 1 before the interval Connaught went 0-14 down after 5 ends and conceded a 5, a 4 and a 3 in the process with the lead and 2 nowhere in sight. At home this is partticularly wasteful. Joe switched Trevor to lead and Alison to 2 with the result that Connaught won the remaining 13 ends by 12-8. What might have been! Joe is a skip who needs tightish heads - he will not save by using sheer power - and when he gets them he plays very well. Frustrating

On Mat 2 by contrast Graham and Moira bowled steadily throughout to give David Flatt a fighting chance against a player several classes above everybody else on the mat. Indeed Neil at times was put under quite a bit of pressure and could not always respond. The two triples slugged it out until the score reached 11-11 after 15 ends at which point Carleton Rode managed to exert more pressure to score 2, 1 and 3 over the closing ends. A good effort by the home players

On Mat 1 after the break Connaught looked under-powered on paper against a strong triple. They needed to draw accurately to stand any chance. 0-6 down after 4 ends was not good but at least the bowling was tight. Good drawing produced 5 for Connaught on end 6 and the match started to change as the home players edged ahead by 9-8 after 11 ends. They then followed up with another 5 to lead 14-8. Karl Newby then changed positions with his father, who had not played well to that point. John Winup immediately decided to move with him and Joyce went to skip. Terry Newby's game improved quite a bit and Connaught dropped 10 points over the next 4 ends: John moved back and the final 2 ends were shared 1-1. Carleton Rode apparently were claiming mind games after the match - a bit over the top. Another good effort, with Pat leading very well, Joyce very steady and John not wilting against a younger and better player

On Mat 2 Connaught raced into a 7-2 lead after 5 ends but then dropped a 6 and the wheels came off as they subsided to an 11-28 defeat. At 10-18 down after 14 ends there was a faint chance but 3, 4 and 3 were then dropped. A disappointing outcome for a home triple capable of better. The overall impression was that the home players were going for broke all the time and not patiently building heads for Mike to use

To some extent a predictable defeat against the second-best team in the league but analysis shows that a good fight of it was made in three matches. But not good enough. You field who is available and it was unfortunate for Connaught that Paul McDonald and Jim Squire, with their spouses, were revelling in luxury at Gunton Hall! Their ability to bowl with weight would have given more balance to the side. Inclusion of the Benefers for an occasional outing showed what good leading can do; sadly their availability is limited 



Connaught 'B' beat Hingham at home on Wednesday 23 January by 68-57 and 6-4

Mat 1 Mick Utting, Trevor Burt and Alison Rush lost 12-18 against K Thomas

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Jim Squire and Michael Marlow lost 19-20 against J Hunter

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Joanna Barnes and Moira Eades won 17-13 against G Tweed

Mat 2 Paul McDonald, Joyce Hazell and John Winup won 20-6 against M White

On Mat 1 before the break the Connaught triple were playing well to lead 9-5 after nine ends. Then some Connaught 'B' crept in as 6 shots were dropped on end 10. However, the home triple did not buckle and were level at 12-12 with five ends to go. Those five ends were hard-fought but Hingham clinched all of them with 4 x 1 and 1 x 2 for a 6-shot win. A vast improvement by the triple from the Harling match and against a shrewd skip in Keith Thomas. Just a bit more steadiness required at pressure points

On Mat 2 John Hunter's triple had won by a single shot against Connaught 'A' last week and repeated the feat here! In another hard-fought match a 5 and 3 to Hingham on ends 5 and 6 put Connaught adrift by 4-12. The 5 shots were regained on end 7 and after that the match became tighter. Connaught were still down at 13-18 after 13 ends but won the next four ends to lead 19-18 with an end to go. In this spell Joe had bowled a series of fine backhand shots. He could not quite bring it off on the last end and Hingham snatched 2 for the win. Michael and the opposing lead cancelled each other out as both players blew hot and cold. Jim battled hard against Margaret Hunter and Joe played well in a good scrap with John Hunter

On Mat 1 after the break Connaught were 4-0 up after two ends but dropped 5 on end 3. The match then became very tight with very little in the score and Connaught were just 12-13 down after 16 ends. An excellent finish saw the home triple score 2 and 3 to take the match. Moira had one of her better games and vitally did not ignore the forehand shot. Joanna said she was a bit erratic first half but came into her own well second half to bowl some fine attacking woods. Mike as usual (we are taking him for granted now) had a fine game throughout and several of his running woods under pressure were superb

On Mat 2 the 20-6 win on Mat 2 substantially won Connaught the 2 points for overall shots. John, seemingly changing position every match, settled down well at lead to draw accurately throughout. Joyce, although losing woods from time to time, also drew well and had some telling shots to nudge Connaught woods in. Paul usually had something in the head and consolidated very well as a result. But when under pressure he was calm and effective, using power as necessary. The triple combined well on the night losing just six ends and all by a single shot

A good win by Connaught 'B' by a similar margin to that achieved by Connaught 'A' against Hingham, last week. Interesting that the Hingham team was much the same for both matches and that their same triples lost and won. Heartening for Connaught 'B' was the fact that everyone contributed with the losing triples keeping things tight. But of the 57 shots conceded, 16 were lost over 3 ends!



Connaught 'B' lost at Harling Unicorn on Wednesday 16th January by 51-86 and 4-6

Mat 1 Mick Utting, Alison Rush and Trevor Burt lost 7-31 against R Braham

Mat 2 Paul McDonald, David Flatt and Jim Squire won 18-15 against E Jones

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Malcolm Southgate and Michael Marlow lost 11-26 against M Tarrant

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, John Winup and Joanna Barnes won 15-14 against D Ryder

On Mat 1 Connaught were 0-24 down after 11 ends and 1-31 down after 15 ends until a spirited 1, 3 and 2 recovery put a slightly better gloss on the score. In short the Connaught players could not adjust to the playing conditions while all the Harling players bowled well and skilfully on the surface

On Mat 2 an even start saw the score 2-2 after 4 ends following which Harling scored 2 and 5 to put their visitors 2-9 down. Connaught then immediately got the 5 back and started to edge things until levelling the score at 11-11 after 12 ends. 1, 1 and 2 to Harling and 11-15 down after 15 ends. Then Connaught scored 4 to level and took the final tense ends by 1 and 2 for a hard-earned win. Jim is adjusting well to playing at lead; it is perhaps what he needs because he concentrates on the draw. David Flatt blows hot and cold at short mat and tonight was one of the hot sessions! He played very well with key woods at key times. Paul again played very well and is a much-needed new broom in the side. Without the losing mentality baggage which affects some of the side, he concentrates hard and plays to win; good at pressure points

On Mat 1 after the break Connaught again could not come to terms with the playing conditions. The concession of 3 x 3 and 2 x 4 tells its own story. Against good players on their own mats you must try to stay in touch by not losing woods and by getting second woods at least. Easy to say but still possible with the right concentration. That said the Connaught triple did try really hard and had pulled up to 11-19 after 14 ends before Harling asserted themselves again

On Mat 2 Connaught went 2-1 up on end 2 after losing the first end. They did not lose the lead thereafter despite Harling drawing level from time to time in a desperately close match. The match did see-saw. 10-6 to Connaught after 10 ends, then 10-10 after 13 ends. A 1,2 and 2 sequence gave Connaught a useful 15-10 lead with 3 ends to go. Harling came back with 2 x 2 as Connaught just held on. Largely a tactical drawing match, although both skips used heavy woods to good effect on occasion. Joanna and John had good games at lead and 2 to dig in against capable players and Mike had to play well against another useful opponent

Connaught thus completed a sequence of four successive games against Harling Unicorn, two in the league and two in the Five Pairs. The two home matches were won narrowly and the two away matches lost by much bigger margins on overall shots. Connaught did well to snaffle two wins and 4 points from this match.



Connaught 'B' beat Harling Unicorn at home on Monday 17 December by 71-63 and 6-4

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Malcolm Southgate and Michael Marlow lost 11-12 against M Tarrant

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Mick Utting and Moira Eades lost 20-26 against R Braham

Mat 1 Peter King, Jim Squire and Joyce Hazell won 21-13 against E Jones

Mat 2 John Winup, Alison Rush and Ann Bayes won 19-12 against M Cunningham

Mat 1 before the break saw a very close match with two good skips facing each other. There was never much in it with leads and 2s having a close scrap but with Daphne Braham for Harling just giving her side the edge. Mike played some useful running woods throughout to keep Connaught in contention but the home triple were 8-12 down after 16 ends. A 1 and 2 finish took them close and those shots proved important to the overall result

On Mat 2 Connaught were swamped from the outset, with the lead and 2 playing very tightly and with Roger Braham at skip playing superbly. As he usually does under pressure, Joe changed playing order, going to lead himself with Moira at 2 and Mick at skip. For a few ends these changes did not work and Connaught were facing complete disaster at 5-23 down after 12 ends. The match then changed dramatically as Connaught took the last 6 ends by 15-3, notching up 1 x 5, 1 x 4 and 2 x 3. It was hard to detect any vast tactical change. Connaught tightened their game a little and Mick especially bowled some cracking woods. Also, with the match won, the Harling players switched off somewhat and perhaps there was too much laughing and joking with spectators etc. Whatever, that recovery made a huge difference to shots difference and the overall result

On Mat 1 after the break the Connaught triple took control after dropping 5 on end 4 and 2 on end 5 to go 3-8 down. The remaining ends were won by 18-5 in a very solid performance. Joyce is a reluctant lead but by all accounts had a very useful game and should reflect on the importance of good leading in a triple. Peter and Jim have always played well together - they get on well and know each other's strengths and weaknesses - and they combined well throughout

On Mat 2 a somewhat haphazard Connaught combination, with both Ann and John drafted in on the day, played well to secure a perhaps unexpected win. Ann was facing a useful lead, who found the mat well, but from time to time bowled some killer woods on the draw. Also she did not panic, kept to her favoured backhand side and always had woods there or thereabouts. Alison remains an enigma, sometimes erratic and prone to nerves, but she had an excellent game throughout. Chris Jones was a very useful opponent at 2 but Alison stayed with it to play a variety of accurate shots. She was key to this win. John also had a good game, very steady on the draw and able break up the head when necessary with running forehand woods

Connaught 'B' naturally were elated with this win against a useful Harling side. Also it was a good team effort with the losing triples fighting hard to the end and the winning triples concentrating hard. Scratchings, including one at 5.00pm on the day of the match, had disrupted selection but everyone pulled together



Connaught 'B' lost away at Hingham on Monday 10 December by 56-78 and 1-9

Mat 1 John Winup, Joanna Barnes and Michael Marlow drew 20-20 against G Tweed

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Jim Squire and Carolina Li-Rocchi lost 14-16 against J Frary

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Paul McDonald and David Warne lost 9-21 against K Thomas

Mat 2 David Flatt, Malcolm Southgate and Alison Rush lost 13-21 against M White

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught went 0-7 down after 4 ends but a 2, 2 and 4 sequence then gave them a lead of 8-7. The play was very tight after that but Hingham just had the edge as Connaught went 12-16 down after 16 ends. 2 x 1 took Connaught closer but were not quite enough in a hard-fought effort

On Mat 2 Connaught dropped a bad 4 on end 1 but Michael was bowling very accurately and Joanna backing him up well to keep Connaught in the game. After a slow start John started to play very well and Connaught recovered from 3-9 down after 6 ends to 19-12 up after 14 ends aided by a 5 on end 14 itself. Then, in typical Connaught 'B' style, 5 shots were promptly dropped on end 15 as both Michael and Joanna had their worst ends of the match. Disputing the head direction of the skip was not helping as 2 shots on end 16 and 1 on end 17 were dropped - 19-20 down. On a tense last end John bowled a fine, running last wood to take shot and earn a draw

On Mat 1 after the break Connaught lacked up front steadiness to put pressure on Mike Minshull who for once could not overcome the odds, especially against a canny opponent in Keith Thomas who knew every inch of the mat and how to bowl to it. Not much more to say really, with David having a real struggle at lead and with the controlled weight games of Paul and Mike not working on the night

On Mat 2, despite failing to build consistent heads, Connaught stayed in the game through good individual shots and were clinging on well at 11-13 down after 14 ends. Then, on the same end and the same mat where Connaught had dropped 5 before the break, the visiting triple went one better to drop 6 and hand the match to the opposition. The last three ends were shared 2-2

Hingham are a useful side, especially on their own mats, and would have won this match overall come what may. However, some Connaught wounds were self-inflicted and with more thought and concentration the visiting side at least should have won one triple and possibly two. The side is particularly weak this season at lead, with only Michael Marlow comfortable in that position, and always playing catch-up puts constant pressure on 2s and skips



CONNAUGHT 'B' lost at home to Forncett on Tuesday 20 November by 54-69 and 2-8

Mat 1 David Flatt Jim Squire and Trevor Burt lost 15-19 against L Preece

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Mick Utting and Malcolm Southgate won 18-12 against T Ottewell

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Paul McDonald and Alison Rush lost 11-20 against R Hunphreys

Mat 2 Peter King, Joanna Barnes and John Winup lost 10-18 against P Lock

On Mat 1 Connaught were 6-0 up after 2 ends and maintained their advantage at 12-7 after 11 ends. The wheels acme off as they dropped 4, 2, 1 and 1 over successive ends to go 12-15 down. 3 brought them level at 15-15 after 16 ends but they went into the last end 15-16 down. Connaught held 2 for the match as the Forncett skip, (Linda?) Preece bowled last wood. It was a fairly easy shot which she had missed with her first wood but the nerves held as the second wood took the jack through for a Forncett 3. A tendency to go for broke and not bowls for second wood does this triple no favours

On Mat 2 the match was tight at 5-5 after 6 ends but 3 x 2 gave Connaught an advantage which they never lost. The lead extended to 18-8 after 14 ends but Forncett managed 4 x 1 after that. Mike was facing a good skip in Tony Ottewell but was given better back-up at lead and 2 than he has been getting. Credit to Malcolm and Mick. This enabled Mike to consolidate well - he really is having a good season

After the break on Mat 1 Connaught were 6-0 up after 2 ends but Forncett came back at them. Connaught were still well in it at just 9-10 down after 12 ends but a disappointing finish in which Forncett raised their game yet again saw the opposition double their score over 6 ends

Mat 2 saw a similarly disappointing match for a home triple which had played well together the previous Saturday against Connaught 'A'. The match was very tight early on with Forncett edging it but Connaught scored 4 on end 7 to draw level at 7-7. It was still level at 8-8 after 11 ends but then Connaught subsided just as they were doing on Mat 1. The match was played to a strange tempo with Andrew in his wheelchair at 2 for Forncett and Peter his usual slowish self at skip for Connaught. It was essential for John Winup to stay with Mike Smail at lead and mostly he succeeded. At 2 Joanna was a bit out of sorts: she drew well enough but was often too heavy with running woods. Not enough advantage against Andrew, who as usual sneaked some useful woods in from time to time. Peter had some brilliant ends but second half could not hold off Peter Lock, happily recovering after a minor stroke

Not a good night for Connaught 'B' who often beat Forncett at home. They were not steady enough, while Forncett if anything have improved and wanted to win more.



Connaught 'B' lost at Carleton Rode on Monday 19 November by 40-92 and 0-10

Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Mick Utting and Joyce Hazell lost 13-22 against I Blundell

Mat 2 David Flatt, Jim Squire and Carolina Li-Rocchi lost 9-24 against R Davidson

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Paul NcDonald and Moira Eades lost 6-33 against K Newby

Mat 2 Peter King, John Winup and Michael Marlow lost 11-13 against T Taylor

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught 'B' were 0-10 down after 4 ends and 3-15 down after 7 ends. After that they won the match 10-7 but the start did for them. A slowness to read the mat accounted for the start. After that Joyce, a player who tends to bowl in on the jack, called for a shorter jack and was more accurate as a result. Mick started to read lines and weight well and Mike Minshull continued his excellent form

On Mat 2 Connaught made a fight of it and forced Carleton Rode to play. Russell Davidson knows his home mats inside out and is a good skip apart from that. With a lesser player the score would have been much closer. All the Connaught players had their moments but the tendency to bowl a bit heavy did not help them.

After the break on Mat 1 Connaught were simply out-gunned by good players. Pam Rush at lead and Terry Newby and Karl Newby at 2 and skip form a very sound triple. With a lead established early on they could bowl with more and more confidence while Connaught were always under pressure as their best woods were eased out or smashed out. Paul McDonald must be wondering what has hit him after his first two matches in the side! Things will get better, Paul!

Mat 2 saw the best match of the evening. Connaught 'B' went 0-5 down after 3 ends but then won 10 ends to 5 but just 11-8 on shots. There were only 1s and 2s in the match, Connaught 10 x 1 and 1 x 2 and Carleton Rode 3 x 1 and 5 x 2. All the heads were tightly-fought. Michael was brilliant at lead and he lasted 18 ends. John was very steady at 2 and Peter was excellent in a repeat of his Saturday form. It was not quite enough; Carleton Rode do not give anything away

After Connaught 'A' on Saturday Connaught 'B' faced 2nd in the league Carleton Rode on the Monday, with a very similar result. Again there were lessons in concentration, head-reading and sheer accuracy


Connaught 'B' v Connaught 'A'

Connaught 'B' lost 'away' at Connaught 'A' on Saturday 17 November by 51-92 and 0-10 

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Paul McDonald and Carolina Li-Rocchi lost 7-24 against Owen Secker, Derek Liles and Diana Adcock

Mat 2 David Flatt, Jim Squire and Alison Rush lost 8-27 against Bob Oatway, Mike Parsons and Elaine Oatway

Mat 1 Peter King, Joanna Barnes and John Winup lost 15-19 against Lee Fallows, Sylvia Parsons and Bill Adcock

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Malcolm Southgate and Moira Eaades lost 21-22 against Sheila Bragg, Roy Taylor and Di Quadling

Connaught 'B' suffered two emphatic defeats first half by very similar margins. The analysis is the same for both matches - Connaught 'A' were much more accurate up front and this advantage was backed up by two experienced and competent skips.

The second half matches were much better contests albeit that Connaught 'B' lost both narrowly. On Mat 1 John Winup and Joanna Barnes dug in against the opposition, not bettering Bill and Sylvia but matching them for most of the time and at least getting woods in or around the head. Added to that Peter King turned back the clock to have a superb game against Lee. At 13-12 up the junior side was in with a shout but the 'A' players, with Sylvia devastatingly to the fore, turned the screw a bit and a 4 on end 17 proved conclusive.

Mat 2 saw the best and closest match of the evening. The 'B' triple, despite dropping 5 on end 3, won end after end to lead 17-7 after 11 ends. Moira and Malcolm were very steady and Mike Minshull was in stunning form against Sheila. Sheila and Roy then changed positions and both played much better as a result. Moira and Malcolm wilted somewhat and Mike could not stem the tide. 17-7 up became 17-18 down after 15 ends but 4 to Connaught 'B' on end 16 gave them a real chance at 21-18. It was not to be as 2 x 2 were dropped

The match showed quite a gulf between the two sides, both in ability and in attitude. In general Connaught 'B' do not react well to pressure and do not build heads as a result. Mike Minshull, playing very well all season, is probably the only player who would strengthen Connaught 'A' and possibly about two or three others would hold their own. Not quite the usual atmosphere afterwards. With Lee and Peter, especially Peter, being very deliberate skips their match was slow - 5 ends behind. However, the decision to serve food well before that match finished was not appreciated by the 6 players



Connaught 'B' won at home against Shropham on Wednesday 31 October by 94-35 and 10-0

Mat 1 Mick Utting, John Winup and Michael Marlow won 23-6 against G Wilcox

Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Peter King and Carolina Li-Rocchi won 31-6 against R Dawson

Mat 1 David Flatt, Jim Squire and David Warne won 23-9 against T Cullinane

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Joyce Hazell and Alison Rush won 17-14 against R Broad

Before the break on Mat 1 the Connaught triple proved too accurate for their opponents although Gordon Wilcox, now resurfacing in Shropham colours, played very bravely to save shots on many ends. For Connaught Michael at lead was very sound - he possibly tired a bit at the 12-end stage. John had a good game, to draw and take out. Likewise Mick, now thinking in short mat terms, was very calm and steady at skip

On Mat 2 the Connaught triple played to top form against mainly outdoor and long mat bowlers who tried extremely hard but were out-manoeuvred. The score was unkind to them. Carolina had another excellent game - she has moved on from just trying hard and is now a good short mat lead. Peter and Joe again combined very well - apparently they did play together when at Wymondham - in a variety of shot

After the break on Mat 1 the Connaught triple surged ahead from the start and a 5 on end 11 took their lead to 19-1. It did not last - Shropham heads did not drop as the visitors took the last seven ends by 8-4. David Warne at lead proved an able substitute for Trevor Burt, while Jim and David again played well together in a competent display

Mat 2 saw an excellent match with Mike Minshull and Richard Broad, fellow skips in Connaught's Tens League side, pitted against each other. In the first half the Shropham lead and 2 played well to give Richard Broad a slight advantage on most ends and he played brilliantly to build on that. 3 x 3 on ends 6 to 8 helped put Connaught 4-12 down. 3 shots were retrieved on end 9 and after that Connaught won the second half. Alison and Joyce gave Mike a little more although their opponents still played well, but Mike played excellently with controlled weight to give Connaught the edge. Richard did not wilt and the result was easily the best match of the evening

Connaught 'B' were very pleased with this result following last night's win. In truth, in league terms, matches like these at home are rather like, say,  Southampton v Huddersfield. You know your places in the pecking order and you have to beat those close to you. Shropham did compete and made Connaught play well. They will look to the return match and much faster mats, on which some Connaught players may struggle, to get a measure of revenge. For Connaught Joe has some useful players in the wings and he has some tricky selection issues with a largeish squad. Perhaps flu' and other ravages of winter will come to his aid! 



Connaught 'B' won at home against Banham on Tuesday 30 October by 80-48 and 10-0

Mat 1 Mick Utting, John Winup and Alan Marshall won 18-13 against J Delaney

Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Malcolm Southgate and Moira Eades won 20-10 against J Williamson

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Peter King and Carolina Li-Rocchi won 22-10 against P Bertram

Mat 2 David Flatt, Jim Squire and Trevor Burt won 20-15 against B Francis

Connaught made a steady start before the break.

 Mat 1 brought together three people with sticks and mobility problems and this slowed the game down quite considerably. Before he tired and lost a bit of concentration Alan was steady at lead enabling John and Mick to consolidate well. Connaught built up a lead of 15-4 after 12 ends and in truth would have been out of sight but for Jim Delaney who saved well end after end. The wheels came off a bit after that as Connaught lost the last 6 ends by 3-9

Mat 2 saw a very tight contest at the outset with Connaught leading by just 7-6 after 8 ends. After that Malcolm became steadier and Moira retained concentration while Mike Minshull against a useful skip had a really excellent game. He played a variety of shot and on two or three occasions won the end from seemingly impossible situations. Very impressive

After the break Connaught continued to exert pressure.

 On Mat 1 Banham's all-female triple bowled well on the draw but lacked power when it was needed. Carolina, who works hard at her game, won the contest at lead. Joe and Peter formed a new combination and onlookers wondered whether it would work. It did and both bowled well and read the head in harmony! Their power was very useful on occasion. Connaught built up a lead of 21-3 after 13 ends, but as on Mat 1 earlier concentration flagged somewhat with the match won and the last 5 ends were lost by 1-7 

Mat 2 saw probably the best match of the night in terms of quality and evenness of competition. Connaught led 7-1 after four ends but then slipped to 7-8 down after 8 ends. 12-12 after eleven ends but a 4 gave Connaught some breathing space. End 14 proved crucial. Connaught were leading 16-13 but were 5 down with David Flatt to bowl last wood with the jack in a tricky position well to the forehand side; he drew perfectly to win the end. Connaught held on well after that. Trevor had a fine game at lead after some travails against Hempnall and Jim is getting his game together with more regular play after his health problems. David had the best game some of us had seen from him and is mastering the demands of short mat

We send Phil King our best wishes after her fall and fractured hip. According to Peter she insisted that he played the match! A good and welcome win for Connaught 'B'. After some tough matches to start the season (including Wymondham and Hempnall) there are signs of things coming together. The new addition of Paul McDonald to the squad is most welcome. Banham did well to turn out a side given the problems with their hall and their temporary migration to use Shropham's facilities


Connaught v Harling Griffins

Connaught lost away to Harling Griffins on 17th October 18 by 51-83 and 0-10

Rink 1 David Warne, Moira Eades and David Flatt lost 10-23 to B Murphy, M Elflain and C Hayman

Rink 2 M. Marlow, A. Rush and M. Minshull lost 18-21 to P Hayman, J Hayman and  G Hume

After the Break

Rink 1 John Winup, Joyce Hazell and Mick Utting lost 12-20 to C Newman, V Smith and G Cody

Rink 2 Alan Marshall, J. Squire and P. King lost 11-19 to J Deathridge, G Hune and L Deathridge


Connaught B v Wymondham

Connaught lost away to Wymondham on 15th October 18 by 32-123 and 0-10

Mat 1 A. Marshall, J. Hazell and D. Flatt lost 8-30 to Mary Fisher, Melvyn Barker and Chris Mann

Mat 2 T. Burt, J. Squire and P. King lost 7-42 to Billie Barker, John Jeffery and Jon Sparham

After the break

Mat 1 M. Eades, J. Barnes and J. Winup lost 5-22 to Pat Saunders, Laura Hawksworth and Debbie Sparham

Mat 2 M. Marlow, A. Rush and M. Minshull lost 12-29 to Hayley Osbourne, Steve Easter and Mark Linsdell

Not good reading for Connaught, but all Wymondham players make it hard work for any visiting Breckland league team

Peter King Alan Marshall
Joe Li-Rocchi Alison Russ
Carolina Li-Rocchi Trevor Burt
Jim Squire Jo Barnes
John Winnup Michael Marlow
David Flatt Joyce Hazell
Mike Minshall Mick Utting
David Warne Ann Bayes
Malcolm Southgate Moria Eades

Mobile Menu