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
Connaught  v Hingham Away 09-Jan-20
Connaught  v Hempnall Away 27-Jan-20
Connaught  v Shropham Home 17-Jan-20
Connaught  v Horsford Home 03-Mar-20
Connaught  v Saxlingham Away 09-Mar-20
Connaught  v Diss Home 16-Mar-20
Shot difference 101 412 311 41 29



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 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 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 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 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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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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