Under 25’s Hunts v Norfolk

Under 25’s report Hunts V Norfolk at Cawston 2nd June 2019

In the words of the Frankie Valli song my eyes adore you we were ‘ So close and yet so far ‘

We were Spurs not Liverpool. We were Anthony Joshua laying our title on the line against the larger opponent. We were Derby County losing out to Villa at Wembley – ‘So Close and yet so far’.

I’ll set the scene, It was a muggy,hot, sunny day at Cawston Bowls club. We took various routes to get there but I bet they all had ‘passing places’ along them. Miles and miles of single track roads until we finally spilled into downtown Cawston……we then turned around cos we’d missed it. Must have blinked.

Hunts arrived the holders, the title fresh in our little mitts. Norfolk had assembled their best side, among them newly crowned England junior internationals, national singles champions.

Hunts just arrived.

We were missing four key players from the previous week’s dispatching of Suffolk.

All the talk in the clubhouse by the Norfolk players was that after this foregone conclusion against us they only had to beat Suffolk and then book rooms at Skegness! How very dare you!

The match started and Hunts started ok.We led overall at 15 ends 42-39. heres a rink by rink breakdown.

On Rink 1 we had Two players making debuts. Alfie Gardiner made his debut in the A team, along with Darren Dunbavin, Hunts newest member, who were matched with Tom Hall. The game started with Hunts finding out that rink one at Cawston is really a one sided rink. Ditch side is very tricky. Alfie settled in after the initial shock of finding out he was in the A team (I hadn’t told him in case he worried too much). Early exchanges went Norfolks way but Hunts soon settled to be 13 all at 15 ends. Norfolk finished well with some great shot making by skip Jack Wells. Which was always accompanied by a huge amount of raucous shouting……. I say.. calm down.

The game finished with another great shot by Mr Wells and the final score was 17-27. Hunts were down by 2 shots overall going into the final end on rinks 1 and 2. but Norfolk skips saved them on both to get two ones.

On Rink 2 we had an all Papworth rink of Kane Phillips Callum Bowden & Mark Franklin. They were up against Danny Cawthorne among others. It was a tight game all the way through. 5 all at five ends 10-9 up at 10 ends. 13-14 down at 15 ends. Norfolk got away slightly and led 16-22 at 20 ends but then on the 23rd end Hunts got a magnificent five. Mark coming down to take out the Norfolk shot perfectly…we shouted a bit too. This was followed by a drawn one on 24th end to mean that the scores were 23-24 in Norfolks favour. Overall as I said we were two down. The shot changed hands up until the last bowl with Norfolk getting a spawny one to win the game 23-25.

A great effort by the Papworth boys though.

Now how about Rink 3. The early talk of easy Norfolk victory had been led by players from rink 3. How they regretted it. My team talk was done for me. Sam Brugnoli, Bradley Herbert & Keirren Murray started like men possesed. 10-1 up at 5 ends. 15-7 up after 10 ends. And Keirren was even keeping the card well!! The closest Norfolk got was 17-12 at 15 ends. A brilliant performance from all the rink led them to best winning rink prizes. Second week running for Sam Brugnoli. Hunts ran out 27-19 winners on ths rink.

Total result Hunts A 2 points 67 shots Norfolk A 8 points 71 shots

Its not over there’s a lot of bowls to be played yet. Keep the faith. The difference between our counties isn’t a lot, 4 shots in fact. If only we could have had the pick of all our players without other draws on their talents.

The B team Match.

There was improvement from the B team overall, even though we didn’t quite get a winning rink.

Rink 4 had debutant Scott Green along with last weeks B team stars Tom Anderson & Jake Pankhurst. They found it hard going early on and got stuck on 4. They found themselves 4-15 down after 10 ends.9-21 after 17 ends. But then they started to play, that was lead enough. Scott led well and they only lost one more end and got to within 4 shots with one end to go.

There was a shot to draw back the jack to snatch a draw and Jake went for it but unfortunately he just got half the jack which sent it to the right where we had one wood and Norfolk had second. So an end result of 20-23. like I said ‘so close and yet so far’ but a valiant effort.

Rink 5 saw our youngest ever player 8 year old Alex Brugnoli. He was with 10 year old Sam Bate and old man Harry Manning! They were up against an all girl Norfolk team. But Alex did himself proud he drew well at lead and along with Sam many times they held shots at the change over. The Norfolk skip had a great game and kept taking us out. It was hard going but the boys never gave up and kept their concentration for the whole 25 ends. The score unfortunately got away from them and they went down 15-30

On Rink 6 we had Needingworth pair Caitlin Jackson & Sam Ormiston along with Thomas Whittiker of Sawtry. This end of the rink was much like the other and had one very tricky hand. The Norfolk lead did most the damage finding a straight line to the jack that no-one else could hold. They swapped late on as the game was gone the score 7-23. Norfolk didn’t score again and Hunts got back to within 8 shots another really good effort. Final score 15-23.

Overall score Hunts B 0 points 50 shots Norfolk B 10 Points 73 shots.

On the whole an improved performance, we still need to look at rink personnel and in game management but its coming. The B team is our development side and is the A team for years to come.

A very proud daddy!!

Alan