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Men's 2013 Finals

The 2013 Men's County Finals were held at Irchester BC, the home Club of President Geoff Hunt, on the evenings of 17th, 18th, 19th July, 2013, with the following results:

SINGLES

Richard Lemon, Northampton Express BC beat John Haines, Desborough Town BC 21-16 shots. Both players were seeking their first Champonship title, with John Haines having been Runner-up last year and in 1994 and Richard Lemon having been Runner-up in 2009 and 2011, so a new name has been added to the magnificent trophy. John started the better and moved into a 7-1 shots lead after 5 ends of play, and although Richard was bowling well and got to within 4 shots of his opponent, John with a good 3 shot pick-up moved to 13-4 up after 11 ends played. Richard is, however, highly competitive and did not let his 'head drop' and after finding a shorter jack length which suited him he 'nailed' the jack repeatedly with his first bowl and with some superb bowling only allowed John to score 3 more shots as he himself collected 17 shots over the last 12 ends of play. Richard's joy at getting his name on the trophy was palpable.

PAIRS

Rob White and Dominic Graham, Northampton Express BC beat Mark Plimmer and Matt Wordingham, Higham Ferrers Town BC 22-16 shots. As with the Singles there would be new names on the trophy, for neither Club had provided a winner in the long history of the competition. The Express pair started very well and by the half way stage had posted a 10 shots lead at 14-4, but the Higham players are very competitive, were both bowling well, so it was no surprise when they reduced the deficit to 5 shots after 14 ends. A couple of singles to Express saw the gap increase to 7 shots, but quite out of the run of the match the 17th end was a mini disaster for Express as both players failed to get close, and their opponents, each of whom bowled the end very well indeed, picked up a handful to reduce the deficit to 2 shots and with it the promise of a nail-biting finish. 2 ends later it was still just 2 shots the difference, and with a bit of good fortune on the 20th end Express collected a single to give them a 3 shot cushion for the last end. This end was played very well by both Express players putting close bowls in which obliged Matt to send firm bowls in response, but his 'positive' deliveries were just off target and the title went to Express.

TRIPLES

Mark Corbyn, John Marlow & Neil Corbyn, Wellingborough BC beat Kevin Stevens, Andy Fowkes & Dave Kovacs, Northampton West End BC 23-17 shots. The title holders from Northampton started the better posting 3 shots on the first 2 ends, but Wellingborough fired back with a 9 shots pick-up on the next 2 ends to go ahead. West End then picked up shots to be just 1 shot adrift after 10 ends, but Wellingborough then went further ahead by 7 shots at the 15 end mark. Dave Kovacs' trio are very competitive and reluctant to give up their title and on the 16th end they collected a score of 4 shots to be just 3 shots adrift playing the last 2 ends. Some excellent bowls by the Wellingborough trio saw them win those 2 ends and the match.

FOURS

John Baggat/Martin Walker/Alan Ashby/Jamie Walker, Northampton West End BC beat Jason Hall/Peter Ward/John Haines/Phil Exley, Desborough Town BC 17-13 shots. Another match involving current title holders in the West End quartet. This was a very competitive and close match, with first Desborough taking a 4-1 lead which was levelled on the next end by a 3 shot pick up, and after 10 ends of play the score was still level at 7 each. This was a real battle with all bowlers putting in some excellent bowls, but West End went ahead by 4 shots after 15 ends, and a big effort was required by Desborough to stem that advance, and that is what we saw as Desborough picked up a count of 4 to draw level again. 2 ends later and the two rinks were still level at 13 each with 3 ends to play. Those 3 ends were of the highest quality, especially by the West End men, who won them all, picked up 4 shots and retained the title.

2 WOOD SINGLES

Neil Corbyn, Wellingborough BC beat Neil Gould, Earls Barton BC 17-8 shots. Yet another final in which the title holder was involved, and Neil Corbyn, last year's winner, was looking towards his second success of this year's Finals, following his Triples success of the previous evening. This format of singles is set on 21 ends of play, as opposed to the 21 shots of 4 wood singles, and after 6 ends of play honours were even at 4 shots each. The next 6 ends, however, went all the way of the Wellingborough Neil as he picked up 9 shots without reply, and although Neil Gould won the next 3 ends to close the gap to 5 shots, he was running out of ends and with Neil Corbyn winning the next 2 ends the victory was his and with it the retention of the trophy.

UNDER 25 SINGLES

Jamie Walker, Northampton West End BC beat David Walker, Kingsthorpe BC 21-5. The holder of this title for the past 3 years Jamie was not about to relinquish it to his namesake in this match for he started like an express train, racing into a 12-0 lead after 6 ends of play, by delivering some superb bowls which gave his opponent little chance. On the next end, however, and against the run of play it has to be said, Jamie conceded a count of 3 shots to David, but he immediately struck back to lead 17-3, and was about to take the match. David, had other ideas for he sent a firm bowl down which collected the jack and 2 shots for himself, which gave a 'stay of execution' but that was short-lived for on the next end Jamie picked up the 4 shots for victory, and another retention of a trophy.

CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS (MASON CUP)

Paul Broderick, Wellingborough BC beat Richard Lemon, Northampton Express BC 21-11 shots. Past winner on 2 occasions, and runner-up twice too, Paul was up against a Northampton Express player in Richard Lemon who is currently in good form and playing in 3 finals this year. The match was fairly tight for the first few ends with the score 4 each after 6 ends, but then Paul eased in front 9-5 after 10 ends. The gap was still only 4 shots after another 4 ends of play, but then Paul collected 5 shots without reply to see the winning
post at 18-9 shots up, and after conceding 2 shots to Richard on the next end he took the victory in collecting a 2 and a 1 on the next 2 ends.

SECRETARY/TREASURER'S CUP

Mark Turner, Kettering Midland Band BC beat Bob Blencowe, Brackley & District BC 21-13. Five times winner of this title, Mark remains unbeaten in the competition at the Final stage. This match was, for three quarters of its duration a very even and competitive one, with both players delivering some excellent bowls. At 6 ends the scores were level at 6 each, and after 16 ends of play they were level again at 12 each. Bob Blencowe then took a 1 shot lead at 13-12 after 17 ends of play, but Mark Turner dug his heels in and refused to give his opponent another shot as he spent the next 5 ends in compiling the 9 shots he needed for victory.

EXECUTIVE TRIPLES (FRED HODGE TROPHY)

Peter Hoad, Steve Lemon & Richard Lemon, Northampton Express BC beat Don Smith, David Fage & Jonathan Brown, Abington BC 17-16 shots. This was a terrific match in which initially the previous 2 times winners of the title from Abington took the initiative and built up a lead of 10-3 shots after 7 ends, but with 5 shots collected to 1 conceded, Abington's lead was reduced to 3 shots. When Abington picked up a count of 4 shots on the 14th end to lead by 5 shos with 4 ends left to play, perhaps they could see the winning post, but so could Express for, with some outstanding bowls, particularly by Richard Lemon, they collected 5 shots themselves to draw level with 1 end to play. That last end was firstly held by Express, then Abington, and it changed several more times, but once more a very good bowl from Richard Lemon got his triple the shot, and although Jonathan Brown was very close to taking the shot, the victory went to Express.

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