EIBA national finals at Melton: Titles for Whiteknights and Hornsea

The young Hornsea team won the women's fours title at Melton EMN-170327-134615002
The young Hornsea team won the women's fours title at Melton EMN-170327-134615002
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A Kingsthorpe (Northampton) quartet including three full England players Andy Manton, Neil McKee and Jamie Walker, and junior international Connor Cinato emerged triumphant from a high-quality final at Melton on Sunday.

The EIBA national finals got under way on Saturday, opening with the men’s and ladies’ fours competitions, while an under 25s title was also decided yesterday.

Whiteknights won the men's fours title in a high-calibre final EMN-170327-134640002

Whiteknights won the men's fours title in a high-calibre final EMN-170327-134640002

Exonia’s Simon Broom, Nathan Farrant, Ian Bond and Jamie Chestney led 6-4 at seven ends, but Kingsthorpe hit back with a 3-2-1-2 sequence to lead 12-6.

They were never behind again, but they had to fight hard to stay in control.

Earlier, they had been made to fight hard for their 16-15 semi-final victory over a South Shields four skipped by England star David Bolt.

A high-quality game ebbed and flowed, but when Kingsthorpe scored a double and a four to turn a 5-8 deficit into an 11-8 advantage, then surged into a 15-10 lead after 15 ends, Walker’s men started to look comfortable.

South Shields went into the last end four shots adrift, and came mighty close to scoring four shots to tie, but Bolt’s last bowl, on a good line, pulled up marginally short, and did not count, so Kingsthorpe went through.

Broom, Farrant and Bond had won the title before - with Simon Stevens in 2003 - and this time around were skipped by WBT world number eight Jamie Chestney, who recently won the International Open in Blackpool.

Against the Erewash (Long Eaton) quartet of Danny Danson, Tony Blackler, Russell Robinson and Tom Smith, Exonia were held to 5-5 scoreline after six ends.

But they then took control, allowing their Derbyshire opponents only three more shots as they powered to a 19-8 victory.

* A young Hornsea team, with an average age of 23-and-a-half pulled off a sensational 18-10 win over a highly experienced Desborough quartet in the final of the women’s fours on Sunday.

Veteran campaigners Eileen Devonald-Batt, Helen Jones, Lorraine Woodley and Mary Price found themselves 8-0 adrift after only four ends, and struggled to get back into the game.

And the Yorkshire youngsters, Lydia Cutmore, the Baxter sisters, Holly and Katy, and their brilliant skip Dani Martinson put themselves in the clear with a telling count of five on the 10th end.

Anyone looking for evidence that bowls is a sport for all would have found it in abundance in the semi-finals when the age difference between the teams was the talk of the arena.

In Desborough’s 23-11 defeat of Hitchin-based Riverain, there were 55 years between the two skips; Desborough’s Mary Price is 73, while Riverain’s skip Rachel Tremlett is 18.

And Desborough lead Eileen Devonald-Batt admitted to being 61 years older than her opposite number Devon Cooper, who is only 15.

In a classic hare-and-tortoise scenario, Riverain, who started brilliantly, led 6-0 after two ends, but Desborough got on top, and were in complete control at the finish.

In the other semi final, Hornsea, who put the defending champions from Swale out of the event in the quarter-finals, swept to a 20-6 win over Barbara Bellamy’s Torquay United quartet.