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SOUTH NORFOLK TEAM 2019/20 

All activities at the Connaught Bowls Club has been suspended until further Notice. 

Due to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) Problem.

 

 

 

Connaught South Norfolk Shots Points
Results 2019/20 Season
Date F A F A
Connaught   v Horsford Away 23-Sep-19  51 56 
Connaught  v Diss Away 02-Oct-19  40 64 0 10
Connaught  v Hingham Home 07-Oct-19  57 36 10  0
Connaught   v Shropham Away 22-Oct-19  71 40 8 2
Connaught  v Hempnall Home 28-Oct-19  42 48 4 6
Connaught  v Saxlingham Home 04-Nov-19 63  42 6 4
Connaught  v Harling Home 11-Nov-19 88  25 10 0
Connaught  v Harling Away 06-Jan-20 47  46 8 2
Connaught  v Hingham Away 09-Jan-20 62  39 10 0
Connaught  v Hempnall Away 27-Jan-20 54 58 5 5
Connaught  v Shropham Home 18-Feb 20  74 40 10 0
Connaught  v Horsford Home 03-Mar-20
Connaught  v Saxlingham Away 09-Mar-20 65 50 8 2
Connaught  v Diss Home 16-Mar-20
Shot difference 170 714 544 82 38

 

 

  

CONNAUGHT v SAXLINGHAM

Connaught won at Saxlingham on Monday 9 March by 65-50 and 8-2

Mat 1 Owen Secker, John Winup and Alison Rush lost 12-13 against A Banham
Mat 2 Sheila Bragg, Malcolmn Southgate and Trevor Burt won 23-17 against P Cook
Mat 1 Mike Minshull, Steve Judd and Mike Smail won 15-10 against G Patne
Mat 2 Tony Ottewell, Paul McDonald and Ann Bayes won 15-10 against S Hook

The first match on Mat 1 saw Connaught leading 10-6 after 8 ends but then lose the initiative a bit. 12-12 with an end to go but Saxlingham got into the head for 1 and Connaught could not dislodge it. Saxlingham scored 4 on end 6 and Connaught promptly responded with 4 on the next end; otherwise the match was tight and low-scoring. Alison was trying so hard that she was over-tense at the start and took a few ends to get into the match. The Saxlingham lead and 2 were accurate, drawing bowlers and John and then Owen were under some pressure but responded well to build the lead after 8 ends. Saxlingham's steadiness saw them through in a match which could have gone either way

The first match on Mat 2 was much more of a free-scoring, smash and grab encounter. Connaught scored 4 and 2 for a good start but promptly dropped 4 before a 1 and a 5 gave them a lead of 12-4 after 5 ends. Saxlingham then took over, winning the next 5 ends to put Connaught 1 behind at 12-13 after 10 nends. Connaught's turn with with 2 and 3 before another dropped 4 and 17-17 after 13 ends. 1 to Connaught and 18-17 going into the last end. This crazy match ended with 5 to Connaught for a 6-shot win. Difficult to put logic on it. Trevor and Malcolm were hot and cold while Sheila and her opposite number were both capable of destructive play. Sheila did bowl some fine woods under pressure and just took the honours

Mat 1 after the break saw Saxlingham fielding Robert Howlett at lead and the 91-year-old but still very competent Geoff Payne at skip. The match was going to be tight and so it proved. After 7 ends Connaught led by just 6-5 but a 1, 1 and 3 sequence saw the lead extended to 11-5. Robert moved to skip and Geoff to 2 and then lead and Saxlingham came back with 2 x 1 before 2 x 2 to Connaught gave the visitors a lead of 15-7 after 14 ends. The skips exchanged identical last running woods. Mike gave Connaught 1 but Robert's response was very accurate and gave Saxlingham 3. All the Connaught players contributed well against useful opposition. Mike Smail against Robert for 10 ends or so was a good contest and Steve had one of his best games to bowl some key woods at 2. Mike Minshull is a very confident player and bowled aggressively throughout

Mat 2 saw another excellent contest. Saxlingham had the better of the early exchanges, with Sheila Hook bowling well, but Connaught were just 4-7 down after 7 ends. Connaught, who had been just a little untidy, then found form together and rallied to win the next 6 ends for a lead of 15-7 after 13 ends. Saxlingham came back with a 1 and 2 finish.
During the winning spell Ann, steady throughout, widened her line slightly to draw consistently well at lead while Paul bowled an excellent mix of No 2 shots. Added to that Tony produced one of his master classes to manufacture winning shots from seemingly impossible situations. Credit to Saxlingham for not wilting in this period and for still exerting pressure

A very good evening's bowling. Connaught were disappointed at losing a match by 1 shot but fought hard to win the three other matches. Saxlingham have some useful bowlers with every match being a good contest and importantly played in a very sporting manner

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CONNAUGHT v SHROPHAM

Connaught won at home against Shropham on Tuesday 18 February by 74-40 and 10-0

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, David Flatt and Trevor Burt won 17-9 against R Stevens
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Alison Rush won 20-13 against M Godbold
Mat 1 Tony Ottewell, Paul McDonald and Jan Smail won 14-13 against R Broad
Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Steve Hudd and Mike Smail won 23-5 against R Humphreys

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught had a sluggish start to go 2-5 down after 5 ends. Both Trevor and David, without much recent play, were all at sea during this period and an increasingly frustrated Joe Li-Rocchi was bowling a lone hand. Things improved with a 1, 3 and 2 winning sequence and less steam was coming from the Li-Rocchi ears! The Connaught lead was just 9-7 after 10 ends but a 4 on end 11 eased matters and the triple ended the match with a 3 for a reasonable win

On Mat 2 Shropham included Alan Marshall, recently roped in by Richard Broad, and it was a pleasure to welcome him. None of the Shropham players settled at the start and a 3 on end 2 followed by a 6 on end 4 gave the home triple a sizeable early lead of 9-1. This was extended to 15-3 after 9 ends. Alison had blown hot and cold while John had drawn well and Owen was on top form. However, Alan was starting to bowl very accurately and his teammates upped their game. They scored 2 on end 10 and crowded the head on end 11 when Owen bowled a superb driving wood to break up the head to take the jack through for 4. Shropham still pressed on and scored 2, 1 and 5 on successive ends. Only a draw from John, which luckily sneaked in, averted further disaster on the last end as Connaught scored 1. Not a convincing finish by Connaught

On Mat 1 a strong Connaught triple on paper struggled all match against a Shropham triple in which Richard Broad skipped superbly. Connaught's troubles started at lead where Jan, who had played in the afternoon, was patently tired. Paul McDonald had one of those nights where his shots looked good but somehow found gaps etc consistently. Tony also was not on song and found himself struggling against Richard, easily the most consistent player on either side. Fortunately for Connaught, the Shropham lead and 2 did not really take advantage because with better support Richard would have won the match for his side. The match stumbled its way to a Connaught lead of 8-6 after 9 ends. The home side then dropped 2 x 3 to go 8-11 down. 1 and 3 to Connaught and 12-12 after 13 ends before Shropham scored 1 on end 14. On the final end Paul came good with two superb backhand draws and Tony managed to block out Richard

On Mat 2 Shropham fielded Becky Humphreys and her father from Forncett, also recruits this season. Forncett, of course, also supplied 3 players to Connaught! Mike Smail had
a good scrap at lead with the senior Humphreys but got on top as the match proceeded. Steve had a good match at 2 while his opposite number struggled a bit and Mike was in devastating form at skip. Becky by no means played badly but especially with good support Mike was never going to lose this match. Connaught won most ends, accumulating steadily and with 4s on ends 5 and 8, while conceding only 3 x 1 and 1 x 2

The report shows that Connaught did not gain 10 points very easily. A stumble rather than a firm stride. The absolute importance of good leading was again emphasised. When a 2 goes to bowl 3 down with no woods in the head, then it is pressure and catch-up time. Shropham have recruited well and several of their players have improved quite a bit over the last 2 years or so; they still have some weak spots which on the night let Connaught off the hook. Against a stronger side, Connaught could well have lost this match

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Connaught lost at Hempnall on Monday 27 January by 54-58 on shots but drew 5-5 on points

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Paul McDonald and Derek Liles lost 10-19 against P Baker
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Alison Rush won 16-14 against D Blundell
Mat 1 Tony Ottewell, Sheila Bragg and Ann Bayes won 13-10 against C Mann
Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Malcolm Southgate and Mike Smail drew 15-15 against C Archer

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught were heading for total disaster at 2-14 down after 8 ends. Derek and Paul were having problems with pace and swing, while the Hempnall lead and 2 were finding the mat well, and Joe was having a tough battle against the competent Paul Baker. At or around this point Joe switched Derek and Paul. Although not a natural lead Paul had to adjust his pace and started to find the mat while Derek, with woods in the head, found his own style more effective. With at least parity in the head Joe was able to consolidate and the match turned. Connaught won 5 successive ends and reached 10-14 after 13 ends. The recovery ended there, as Hempnall scored 2 and 3 at the finish, but total disaster had been averted

On Mat 2 Connaught went 2-8 down after 5 ends, having dropped 5 on end 4. The omens were not too bad because Owen, on three ends, had managed to bowl very good woods which gave shots to Hempnall! Connaught then applied themselves. Alison conquered nerves and started to bowl very well and John, who had been steady from the start, backed her up very well. With this support Owen needed no prompting and bowled very well. Hempnall were under pressure and Connaught won the next six ends, including a 4 on end 11, to go 15-8 up. Things rarely go smoothly for Connaught as a 1 and a 4 were promptly dropped. Nerves had appeared with the dropped 4 when all three bowled badly. However, a single shot was gained on end 14 and only 1 dropped on a very tight last end. Credit to Alison for overcoming inner demons - the next trick is to do it all match!

On Mat 1 after the break there was a tremendous match which ended with Connaught scoring 3 x 1 on the final three ends to go from 10-10 to 13-10. There was rarely much in it although Connaught had a stutter when dropping 3s on ends 8 and 9 to go 5-10 down. However, 2 and 3 were scored immediately, followed by a no-score end and then the 3 x 1 finish. Key to the Connaught win was up front where Ann bowled very accurately at lead to take the honours by some margin. Sheila had a hard battle with Owen Cranston but especially in the second half of the match was also very accurate with her drawing play. Tony was not at all concerned about facing Chris Mann and the two exchanged blows all the way through. His county experience has shown Tony shots which we do not see often at Connaught. His first time partnership with Sheila worked well as he started to understand the way she bowls

Mat 2 saw another Connaught recovery from an unpromising position. Connaught struggled early on to go 3-8 down after 7 ends, recovered slightly and then dropped 2 on end 10 and 3 on end 11 to go 6-13 down. Colin Stevenson at lead and Joan Cann at 2 are very steady players with Charlie Archer at skip very accurate. Mike Smail and Malcolm bowled steadily enough but could not often give Mike Minshull any advantage. Mike Minshull found the mat not conducive to his style as several times weighted woods went wide. However, Connaught pressed on to score 1 and 4 and reduced the margin to 11-13 after 13 ends. Hempnall came back with a 2 but Connaught then scored an unlikely 4 on end 15 to draw the match. Mike Smail and Malcolm bowled very well on this end to exert pressure and Connaught held a good 3 as the skips went to bowl. Charlie and Mike had changed things only a fraction before Mike bowled last wood. He had to use backhand weight in something of a risk shot and it paid off - perhaps not as intended but enough to do the job

Connaught teams rarely gain anything at Hempnall so this was a good result and a good team effort

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CONNAUGHT v HINGHAM

Connaught won at Hingham on Thursday 9 January by 62-39 and 10-0

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Steve Judd and Derek Liles won 22-10 against M White
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Jan Smail won 17-12 against P Groombridge
Mat 3 Tony Ottewell, David Flatt and Trevor Burt won 11-7 against J Hunter
Mat 4 Mike Minshull, Paul McDonald and Mike Smail won 12-10 against K Thomas

On Mat 1 Connaught struggled a bit at the start and were 6-9 down after 7 ends. At this point Joe moved Steve to lead and Derek to 2 and thereafter Connaught won the last 8 ends by 16-1. Currently Steve does not have the power or all-round game to play at 2 and was much happier at lead where he bowled some useful drawing woods. Derek is a good all-round player and started to give Connaught more in the head as well as being able to break up the head when necessary. Joe could move on from bowling to save to bowling to add and consolidate; he played very well indeed in that second half

On Mat 2, with Jan and John drawing well and Owen adding to the head, Connaught went ahead early on. With the aid of a 6 on end 3 they led 10-3 after 7 ends. They had held another 6 on end 5 when Pat Groombridge bowled a superb last wood to take shot. She then moved to 2 and the match started to change as Jan and especially
John went walkabout for a few ends. Hingham scored 4 on end 8 and reduced Connaught's lead to 12-10 after 11 ends. Connaught then steadied as Jan and John gave Owen much better support. A 4 and a 1 gave Connaught a margin and they contained Hingham to 2 x 1 over the last two ends. Owen played extremely well throughout and with a less-talented skip Connaught would have lost this match

Mat 3 saw a tight and low-scoring match in which neither side managed more than a 2. 8 ends to Connaught, 6 to Hingham and one no-score end. The two sides had cancelled each other out as the match levelled at 5-5 after 8 ends. Connaught then gained some momentum with 2 x 2 and 2 x 1 on successive ends to lead 11-5 after 12 ends. Connaught then contained well as Hingham scored 2 x 1 and the last end measured in as no-score. Trevor and David both played their part in this match with some good drawing and Tony had his usual very accurate game. With Margaret Hunter at 2 and John Hunter at skip Hingham had some experience and firepower and Connaught did well to win

On Mat 4 Connaught scored 5 on end 1 but won only five ends after that to Hingham's nine. Crucially Connaught contained very well by limiting Hingham to 8 x1 and 1 x 2 while managing 2 x 2 and 3 x 1 themselves. Connaught had a strong triple on paper and they had to bowl extremely well to win against a useful Hingham combination in what was probably the best match of the evening in quality terms. Well done to everyone

This was a very useful away win for Connaught against a competitive Hingham side who will feel a little unlucky not to have got anything out of the match. Overall they won 28 of the scoring ends to Connaught's 31 and could well have snatched a match or two. Hingham put out 4 mats so we all started at the same time and had a relatively early night. The squad is a good mix of abilities in that 6 of the players on the night were Breckland 'A' standard and 6 of Breckland 'B'standard (some would overlap!) and the right mix is being found in block selection

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CONNAUGHT v HARLING

Connaught won at Harling on Monday 6 January 47-46 and 8-2

Mat 1 Owen Secker, Steve Judd and Derek Liles won 15-12 against D Braham
Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, John Winup and Trevor Burt won 13-11 against R Braham
Mat 1 Tony Ottewell, Paul McDonald and Ann Bayes won 13-8 against N Battley
Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Jan Smail and Mike Smail lost 6-15 against M Tarrant

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught had a good start to lead 9-2 after 5 ends with the help of a 5 on end 4. Harling then came back well to win the middle part of the match and to reduce the Connaught lead to 11-10 after 11 ends. Each side won two of the final four ends but Connaught scored 2 x 2 against 2 x 1 to run out winners by three shots. Derek played steadily at lead for Connaught and Steve, while finding the mat difficult, had his fair share of good shots. Owen had an excellent game at skip in a good tussle with Daphne Brahams who was also in good form

On Mat 2 all the players struggled for line and weight and a considerable number of woods went off the mat. Interspersed with the inaccuracy, however, was some good play. The contest was tight throughout with Connaught drawing level for the first time at 8-8 after 9 ends and then snatching the lead for the first time at 11-9 after scoring 3 on end 11. 2 x 1 to each side over the last four ends and a hard-fought win by 13-11. Trevor and John had nervy games but each had the ability at key moments to bowl very accurate woods. They seldom played badly together but on one occasion Joe was left bereft with no Connaught woods on the mat. He saved well and generally had a fine game against Roger Brahams. Perhaps to the relief of all the other players neither skip found the conditions easy!

After the break Connaught played well on Mat 1 to win by 5 shots. 5-6 down after 7 ends Connaught played very well second half, with Ann very steady at lead and Paul, an ideal 2, bowling a good mix of shots. Tony is an excellent player but had to pull out the stops against N Battley, the Harling skip, who also played very well

On the tricky Mat 2 Connaught came a distinct second against a useful Harling triple with a very capable skip in Mike Tarrant. Just 5-6 down after 9 ends Connaught subsided a bit as Harling raised their game and scored just the 1 against 9 over the last six ends. Mike was steady at lead but had a useful opponent and Jan at 2, like Trevor and John before her, had a mixed game. Mike Minshull had his quota of good running woods but his style was not suited to the mat while Mike Tarrant almost drew at will at times

Connaught became the first visiting side at Harling since the floor was relaid and were relieved to come away with an 8-2, one-shot victory. The floor is now solid compared with the previous sprung floor and the mats are the same. The speed is about the same but the relaid floor still produces similar challenges to previously. Mat 2, the first as you enter, still has exaggerated swing and the required lines are very precise. Mat 1 is as before, swing on one side and a straighter line on the other, and easier to find than Mat 2. Harling rang the changes from their side which came to Connaught and seem to have a surfeit of players, which is good for the club. Quite a few of their non-players were watching and that is another sign of a healthy club

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CONNAUGHT v HARLING

Connaught won at home against Harling on Monday 11 November by 88-25 and 10-0

Mat 1 Tony Ottewell, Jan Smail and Mike Smail won 28-2 against N Battley
Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, John Winup and Ann Bayes won 13-10 aginst M Tarrant
Mat 1 Sheila Bragg, Malcolm Southgate and Trevor Burt won 26-5 against I Beckford
Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Paul McDonald and Derek Liles won 21-8 against D Ryder

On Mat 1 the strong Connaught triple were dominant from the start but Harling managed to contain very well until the 10 end point when Connaught led by just 10-2. After that the pressure became too much and Connaught scored 18 over the final 5 ends. The home players tightened their game even more and Harling could not hold on. Fielding some newer players, whose delivery looked sound enough and who will develop, Harling will still take some heart from the defeat

On Mat 2 there was a much tighter game with a useful Connaught triple, but not as strong as that fielded on Mat 1, facing a stronger Harling outfit with the very competent Mike Tarrant at skip. There was never much in it, with Connaught just edging ahead to lead 10-5 after 10 ends (a similar score to that on Mat 1). In this match, however, Harling came back well with a 2, 1 and 2 to level. In two tense last ends Connaught managed 2 and 1 to clinch the match. Ann and John had their usual steady games and both pulled out killer woods on occasion. Joe had a really good match as he went blow by blow with Mike and both players produced some excellent shots. 7 ends each and 1 no-score end, but Connaught manged 2 x 3 while containing to 4 x 1 and 3 x 2

On Mat 1 after the break Connaught again dominated in a match where Sheila was in fine form. Trevor was steady at lead and Malcolm maintained recent improved form with some good attacking woods on the backhand side. In this match the scoring pattern was even, with Connaught 13-3 up after 8 ends and scoring 13-2 over the last 7 ends. Chris Jones fought bravely for Harling with some fine shots at 2

Another strong Connaught triple on paper were made to fight by Harling after going 7-0 up after 4 ends. The score advanced to 16-8 after 14 ends with Harling winning 6 of the 10 ends during this spell, although Connaught did score 5 on end 8. Another 5 to Connaught on the last end put a slightly favourable gloss on the score, but there was little doubt throughout that Connaught would win. However, the home players had to reach top form to do so in a match which was good to watch

Connaught are becoming a compact side with a smallish but adequate squad and could even afford to rotate out Owen Secker for this match. There is no doubt that the addition of Tony Ottewell to the squad has been a major boost and playing him with Jan and Mike in an all-Forncett Breckland triple works very well (all three rushed off to play for Forncett in the second half!). However, Jan and Mike have been full playing members at Connaught for some time and it is good to see Tony playing in the internal leagues as well. A disappointing night for Harling but they are an admirable club which over a few years has produced a sizeable playing squad from local resources. With 32 players to choose from for the South Norfolk League, they are rotating for each match. Two teams next season, perhaps?

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CONNAUGHT v SAXLINGHAM

Connaught won at home against Saxlingham on Monday 4 November by 63-42 and 6-4

Mat 1 Tony Ottewell, Jan Smail and Mike Smail won 28-4 against S Hook
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Ann Bayes won 16-12 against A Banham
Mat 1 Sheila Bragg, Malcolm Southgate and Trevor Burt lost 11-16 against G Briggs
Mat 2 Paul McDonald, David Flatt and Alison Rush lost 8-10 against G Payne

On Mat 1 before the break the Forncett Legion played together for the first time (let us hasten to add that they are all fully paid-up Connaught members!). The first 8 ends were tight but with Connaught having the edge to lead 8-4. After that the floodgates opened and Connaught won the final 7 ends by 20-0. All three played supremely well during this period, with Mike spot on at lead, Jan having by far her best game in Connaught colours and Tony in brilliant form at present

There was a much tighter match on Mat 2 where Connaught had to fight hard against a very competitive Saxlingham triple. 7 ends each and one no-score end, with Connaught managing to contain slightly better. At 12-6 after 9 ends Connaught noses in front but the lead was reduced to 12-11 after 12 ends. 13-12 going into the last end. Then Ann took the jack through with an excellent narrow backhand and John consolidated with two well-executed forehand draws and Saxlingham were shut out. Ann and John were steady as usual but Owen, playing very well at present, still had to pull out the stops on one or two more desperate ends

After the break on Mat 1, where Sheila was a last-minute replacement for a cold-afflicted Mike Minshull, there was another close game. Connaught were just in front at 7-5 after 8 ends when disaster struck with a dropped 5 and after 11 ends Connaught were 7-12 down. A 1 and 3 rally took them to 11-12 after 13 ends but Saxlingham likewise rallied with 1 and 3 to close out the match for a 5-shot win. Saxlingham were just that bit steadier up front and Sheila played well to keep Connaught in it but was still facing an experienced skip in Geoff Briggs

On Mat 2 the match was really tight, 7 ends each, one no-score end and no more than 2 scored on any one end. Connaught were always behind in the match after losing the first end and being 0-4 down after 3 ends. They rallied well to reduce the lead to 6-7 after 11 ends before dropping 1 and 2. A 1 and 1 finish was not enough. Saxlingham were experienced and solid. Alison battled well against a noted lead in Robert Howlett. David was a frustrating mixture of fine shots and way off-beam shots. Paul had a good match and like Sheila kept Connaught in it. However, he had a doughty opponent in the 91-year-old Geoff Payne who belies his age quite remarkably

Saxlingham will "take" that result after the first-half deficit and Connaught will be slightly disappointed. The visitors were hammered in one match by a very strong triple but otherwise were solid and accurate. Fine margins in three matches with the up front contests being very important. The return match will not be an easy one for Connaught

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CONNAUGHT v HEMPNALL

Connaught lost at home to Hempnall on Monday 28 October by 42-48 and 4-6

Mat 1 Mike Smail, Malcolm Southgate and Derek Liles won 12-10 against G Chilvers
Mat 2 Joe Li-Rocchi, Tony Ottewell and Steve Judd won 13-12 against R Parker
Mat 1 Sheila Bragg, Paul McDonald and Alison rush lost 10-16 against P Baker
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Ann Bayes lost 7-10 against L Cranston

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught were staring down the barrel at 2-7 down after 8 ends and with Hempnall playing confidently. The match then changed dramatically with a 4 to Connaught on end 9 followed by 2 x 2 and 2 x 1 for a 12-7 lead after 13 ends. Hempnall came back with a 1 and 2 but Connaught had held on for the win. The reason for the change was because both Derek, especially, and Malcolm came on board together to give Mike much better up front support. Always steady Mike was then able to consolidate well

There was an even more dramatic change on Mat 2 where Connaught were 2-11 down after 10 ends with Roger Parker for Hempnall playing superbly. A 2 and an extraordinary 6 to Connaught then took the score to 10-11. Then 10-12 down but with a 1 and 2 finish taking Connaught home. Connaught had won just 6 ends but that 6 was decisive while Hempnall were contained to 3 x 2 and 6 x 1. During the losing spell Joe moved Tony to lead and Steve to 2 but this did not work and he then tried Steve back at lead, himself to 2 and Tony to skip. This worked a treat. Steve, happier at lead at this level, was steady and Joe, with more space, was able to rely on his superior backhand side. Tony was superb in all positions but at skip he really produced a virtuoso performance

After the break Connaught were outgunned on Mat 1 where Paul Baker produced every shot in the book to deny Connaught on virtually every end. Sheila and Paul swapped positions but to little avail as the score moved on to a depressing 3-16 down after 13 ends. Then an amazing last two ends saw Connaught manage 2 and 5 to make the score look respectable. Connaught had not played badly but lost out to a player in fine form and with steady support

Mat 2 saw a low-scoring and tense struggle throughout. Connaught led 5-4 after 9 ends when Hempnall managed the first 2 of the match. Connaught then responded with their own 2 to lead 7-6 after 11 ends but sadly for them then lost the last 4 ends by single shots. Connaught won 6 ends, 5 x 1 and 1 x 2, and Hempnall 9 ends , 8 x 1 and 1 x 2. Ann found herself against an excellent lead in Kerry Greenacre but dug in very well to stay close. John and Bernie Cudden had a similar battle. There was seldom more than 1 in it and heads were tight when the skips bowled. If anything Hempnall had a slight advantage on more ends. Owen had another very good game, showing all the shots, and seemed to be steering Connaught home, but his youthful opposite number raised his game towards the end

Mat 2 after the break became crucial to the end result. It seemed that overall shots would be lost but that a win on Mat 2 would give Connaught 6 points. The three players were disappointed not to pull it off, especially after the wins against the odds before the interval. Hempnall are a solid side who are always "at you", as newer Connaught players like Steve Judd quickly realised. Overall this was a good-quality match

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CONNAUGHT v SHROPHAM

Connaught won at Shropham on Tuesday 22 October 2019 by 71-40 and 8-2. The match was played on 4 mats

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Derek Liles and Alison Rush won 13-11 against M Godbold
Mat 2 Sheila Bragg, David Flatt and Trevor Burt won 23-11 against R Broad
Mat 3 Owen Secker, John winup and Jan Smail won 23-5 against G Wilcox
Mat 4 Mike Minshull, Malcolm Southgate and Mike Smail lost 12-13 against R Humphreys

On Mat 1 the scoring was tight throughout. After dropping 4 on end 1 Connaught notched up 2 x 2 immediately to level. Thereafter a series of close ends ensued with Connaught falling behind at 8-11 after 12 ends. They edged up to 10-11 after 14 ends and then stole the match with 3 on the last end. Well done for digging in

On Mat 2 the match meandered along with the advantage to Connaught at 9-5 after 9 ends. Madness then followed as Shropham levelled with a 4 and Connaught responded immediately with a 6. After then dropping 2 Connaught put the match out of sight with a 5, 2 and 1 finish. Again, well done

On Mat 3 Gordon Wilcox was due to skip for Shropham but played at lead because his side had just 2 players. This was unfortunate for everybody but both sides applied themselves. Gordon had a very useful game but Jan plugged away well. John was steady throughout and Owen had some fine shots. Unsatisfactory but the Connaught players concentrated and did what they had to do

On Mat 4 three players from Forncett were in evidence, Mike Smail for Connaught and Martin and Becky Hunphreys for Shropham. The outcome was a close result. Despite winning 9 of the 15 ends Connaught dropped a 5 on end 2 which in the end proved decisive. Connaught pulled up to lead 8-5 after 6 ends but Shropham replied with 2, 3, 1 and 1 sequence. 8-12 down Connaught won 4 of the last 5 ends but were contained to single shots. A good match

With all matches starting at the same time it is impossible to comment in any depth. Good mats to play on, with speed and swing testing everyone. A meeting of the clans, with 4 players from Forncett (2 on each side). Could have been 5 but Tony Ottewell was unavailable. Richard Broad, who plays Tens and outdoor bowls for Connaught. Gordon Wilcox, ex-Connaught and Hingham. Nolan and Doreen Newbury whom we know from outdoor bowls at Thetford. A pleasant evening in a lovely village hall.

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Connaught beat Hingham at home on Monday 14 October by 57-36 and 10-0

Mat 1 Joe Li-Rocchi, Derek Liles and Steve Judd won 12-11 against K Thomas
Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Trevor Burt and Mike Smail won 14-11 against J Hunter
Mat 1 Paul McDonald, Tony Ottewell and Alison Rush won 14-7 against P Groombridge
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Ann Bayes won 17-7 against John Higgs

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught struggled initially and dropped 4 on end 5 to go 2-7 down. After that they gained momentum to win a series of hard-fought ends and lead 12-8 after 13 ends. A 2 and 1 then were dropped but Connaught just held on. Connaught onlookers were aghast when Joe asked Derek to bowl a very risky last wood of the match when Connaught were 1 up on the match. Why? It turned out that Joe and Derek thought it was a 16-end match! Good job Derek missed! Steve had struggled early on but came good after a few ends and Joe and Derek swapped positions about mid-way to steady the ship

On Mat 2 Connaught struggled similarly at the start and were 2-6 down after 5 ends. Hingham had offset the slow Connaught mat by setting a short jack and bowling very well to it. When Connaught could set the jack long the match changed and in a similar pattern to Mat 1 Connaught advanced to a 13-9 lead after 13 ends. 13-11 after 14 ends but a single shot win then settled nerves. Trying out new woods Mike Smail was a bit awry at the start against a good lead but once he found the range Connaught settled down. Trevor was much happier on the long jack and Mike Minshull again showed good form especially with his running woods. With John and Margaret Hunter also bowling well for Hingham this was a hard-earned win

On Mat 1 after the break Connaught settled down from the start and bowled well to lead 12-2 after 10 ends. Hingham rallied well to win the last five ends 5-2 but Connaught had too much in the bank. Good to see Alison bowling smoothly, with little jerking. Tony Ottewell in his first match for the club was a real asset, bowling very accurately, reading the head well and combining well with Paul. With good back-up Paul also had an excellent match

On Mat 2 against a strong triple, including 2 x J Higgs, Connaught bowled well to have the edge throughout and conceded very little. They also had the rub of the green, if we are honest about it, but after a few ends the result itself was not in doubt even if the score was a little generous. Connaught concentrated well, with Ann and John drawing well and giving Owen good support. Owen had his usual sound match and if Connaught were in any trouble he would come to the rescue

A welcome win for Connaught after two opening defeats. However, the margin of victory is rather deceptive. Hingham are a useful side and Connaught had to dig deep, especially in the two matches before the break

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CONNAUGHT v DISS

Connaught lost at Diss on Wednesday 2 October by 40-64 and 0-10

Mat 1 Paul McDonald, Derek Liles and Jan Smail lost 4-17 against T Newby
Mat 2 Mike Minshull, Malcolm Southgate and Mike Smail lost 17-18 against G Atter
Mat 1 Sheila Bragg, David Flatt and Ann Bayes lost 10-11 against A Biddulph
Mat 2 Owen Secker, John Winup and Trevor Burt lost 9-18 against R Davidson

On Mat 1 before the break Connaught won just 4 ends, each by a single shot, and came second in every way. The Diss triple built heads more solidly and consistently and dealt better with swing. Connaught tried hard and each player had fine individual woods. The score might have been closer but for Terry Newby at skip who knew the mat inside out

On Mat 2 there was a much closer match and one which went to the wire. 0-6 down after 2 ends Connaught came back with a 5 on end 3 but were still down at 7-12 after 8 ends. A 3, 2 and 2 sequence then gave Connaught the lead at 14-12, a margin maintained at 17-15 after 14 ends. The last end was a disaster. Two superb woods from the Diss skip took out a Connaught wood to hold 2 and then drew in perfectly to hold 3. Connaught missed opportunities to draw in and cut down. However, the triple had played well. Mike Smail is a huge comfort at lead and usually gave Connaught the advantage; Malcolm generally drew very well on his backhand side and Mike Minshull had bowled some fine woods throughout. The match took ages to finish - 5 ends after Mat 1. Diss discussed the head in minute detail and Connaught meandered a bit themselves

After the break Mat 1 saw another close match. Connaught had the early advantage to lead 6-2 after 5 ends but Diss came back to level at 6-6 after 7 ends. A ding-dong after that with the sides going into the last end at 10-10. End 15 was exciting, with the advantage changing, but Diss had the last word by scoring 1. For Connaught Ann had a very useful game at lead, David had his moments and Sheila as usual bowled some fine woods in her individual style

On Mat 2 Connaught were outgunned by a regular Carleton Rode triple and were 0-8 down after 3 ends. Thereafter they came back well. Indeed the ends were shared at 7 each with one "no score" but Connaught conceded 1 x 5 and 3 x 3 while being contained to 1s and 2s. Trevor admitted to struggling on the night but improved as he followed the Diss line in. John drew steadily enough throughout and Owen had some fine woods often to take shot. The dropped 5 was the sole collective disaster and Connaught could not afford this against a very steady triple

An unwelcome margin of defeat but in fact Connaught were not far away from a 4-6. The mats were perfectly fair, but like most away mats were faster than our own (although not eg Bob Carter fast!). In general Connaught players, reared on our slow mats, have trouble with anything faster and in some cases lack the technique for the wide draw

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Connaught played Horsford Away on 23rd September 2019

Connaught lost 3 - 7 and 51 – 56 

Session 1

Rink 3 Steve Judd, David Flatt, Owen Secker -v- C Kemp, D Davitt, V Webster 15 – 15

Rink 4 Mike Smail   Malcolm Southgate   Mike Minshull -v- R Hart   D Claxton   C Woodhouse   18 – 9

Session 2:

Rink  3 Ann  Bayes, Joe Li Rocchi, Sheila  Bragg -v- C Aggas  R Dix   J Aggas 7 - 15

Rink  4 Jan Smail, John Winup ,Derek  Liles -v-  C  Warnes   M Dale   L Chadwick  11 - 17

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SHORT MAT SEASON 2019/20

SOUTH NORFOLK TEAM PLAYERS

CAPTAIN: - Alison Rush

David Flatt

Steve Rush

Joe LiRocchi

Steve Judd

Carolina LiRocchi

Trevor Burt

Owen Secker

Mike Smail

Sheila Bragg

Derek Liles

Alison Rush

Mike Minshull

Malcolm Southgate

Ann Bayes

Paul McDonald

Jim Squire

John Winup (reserve)

 

 

 

 

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