MATCH REPORTS (PREM TEAM)
26TH NOVEMBER - HOME TO WEST SUSSEX (22-18 WIN)
Hampshire Short Mat Bowls Premier team stay top of the league table after victory at home to West Sussex.
In the first session, Steve Puttock never really seemed in trouble against his opponent starting with a count of three on the first end, along with three further triples further on into the game. Indeed after 10 ends he was 14-7 up but eased off the pressure a little, winning 17-11. Unfortunately, David White only scored on 3 ends in a 5-26 demolition, having picked up his first shot on the 6th end when he had been 0-11 down. Nathan Bailey & Steve Buckett stormed to a 20-9 victory, picking up 9 shots in four ends in the middle of the game to be 17-5 up. Father & son pairing Paul & Callum Goodman, unfortunately lost narrowly 9-12 although after the 13th end they had been one shot ahead 9-8 so it was disappointing to drop two counts of two over the final two ends. Points were shared over this session however which was arguably a good start.
The triples and fours took to the mats for the second session, and Nadine Bailey, Matt Smith & Alistair McCrea only allowing their opposition to win five of the 13 ends in a comprehensive 12-7 victory. Dom Channell, Ryan Young & Mark Hollis were unlucky to only pick up single shots on all but one of the 9 ends they scored on, but they ran out happy victors 10-5 none-the-less. Tony Gepp, team manager Mike Wright, Ben Cherry & James Bucknall picked up a 5 on the 6th end which consolidated their imposing performance at 10-2, and they ended comfortable 16-4 winners. Wendy & Ian Ford, Colin Sansom & Martyn Dubb clawed their way back into the game from being 1-6 down at 4 ends to win 12-8. Winning 10 shots over four ends in the middle of the game was a great confidence booster. It had been a very successful session and saw the home side 12 points to 4 up at half way, but great concentration was needed as everybody knew the travelling West Sussex players would dig in and fight back hard.
In the reverse fixtures, Steve Puttock had his work cut out and valiantly kept the score close. It was a nip and tuck match, but although he had won one more end than his opponent, Puttock lost 10-12. David White had a better game in this session, but was always playing catch up. Indeed he had been one shot in front (9-8) after the 13th end, but dropped a three and a two to lose 9-13. The singles bonus points were lost and the 21 shot deficit told the tale. Bailey & Buckett only managed 7 single shots in their 7-12 defeat and had always been on the back foot in this game. However Family Goodman came back from their earlier disappointment and stormed to a 17-7 win, consistently scoring in the middle part of the game and progressing from 1-3 down to 15-4 up. The pairs overall won their discipline bonus points by 13 shots.
McCrea’s triple in the final session found themselves 1-6 down after 6 ends but clawed their way back to being level 8-8 on 11 ends only to drop two singles on the final two ends to lose 8-10. Hollis’ threesome struggled to a 10-10 scoreline at 9 ends but found the game slide away from them again to lose 11-16. However the triples bonus points were won by Hampshire with a slender 3 shot advantage. Bucknall’s rink were 7-4 up at the halfway stage in their game, but let the opposition back into the fray, and dropping nine shots over the remaining ends, lost 9-13. Alongside them, Dubb’s foursome were well up at 5 ends (9-2) but also let the game slip away dropping 8 shots and only picking up two singles in reply. It was a win for the home side by the narrowest of margins, 11-10, but dropping a three and a two on the final two ends made it very much tighter than it should have been. However, the bonus points for the fours were safely in the bag – by 7 shots.
The importance of keeping a tight hold on shots scored and conceded was shown in the final analysis as each county had
won the same number of games but victory was grasped for Hampshire by winning the bonus points for the aggregate score
in each discipline.
The final score was a win for Hampshire 22-18 (and by 183 shots to 175) and sees the Premier team at the top of the league by 17 points. The team has not lost any of its matches in this league stage of the competition, (6 won out of 6 played) and awaits
news of their opponents in the first of the knockout stages.
5TH NOVEMBER - AWAY TO WEST SUSSEX (22-18 WIN)
Hampshire County Short Mat’s Premier team travelled to old adversaries West Sussex and came away with a narrow victory.
Jason McLean started well picking up a three on the first end but then his opponent kicked into gear and by the start of the 7th end the Hampshire player was 4-11 down. However he rallied and picked up a four on the 11th to get back into the game. The final score was 15-18. Paul Goodman was having a similar fight and at the halfway point he was 5-10 down. A slight comeback over the next two ends saw him get closer at 7-10 but his opponent then picked up a four (7-14) and despite trading singles over the remaining fours ends, the result was a defeat of 9-16. In the pairs, although Steve Buckett, partnered by Ben Pay only scored on three of the first ten ends, they led 9-8 but then they lost all of the last five ends to go down 9-14. Nathan Bailey & Callum Goodman had been 10-0 up at four ends but let their opponents back in to the game, dropping two consecutive threes before re-asserting themselves again albeit in single shots,
to run out 16-9 winners
The second session saw both triples win by the same scoreline. Nadine Bailey, Matt Smith & Alistair McCrea started well and were 8-2 up at seven ends, but their opponents clawed themselves back into the game to be only 2 shots behind at 12 ends (10-8). Thankfully the Hampshire group picked up a 3 on the last end to finish 13-8 victors. Dominic Channell, Ryan Young & Steve Puttock had a see-saw game and indeed were 7-8 down at 11 ends, but collected a good 5 on the penultimate end and rounded it off with a single on the final end, for a 13-8 success. Tony Gepp, team manager Mike Wright, Ben Cherry & James Bucknall were 7-1 up after picking up 4 shots on the 6th end and hung on to finish 9-6. Wendy & Ian Ford, Mark Hollis & Martyn Dubb had a storming game picking up a 5 on the 4th end to go 6-3 up. Dropping only two singles in the remaining 8 ends they finished 18-5. It had been a good session for the travellers.
At the halfway stage Hampshire were 102 shots to 84, and 10 points to 6 up, but there could be no resting on their laurels.
In the third session, McLean redressed his earlier defeat scoring on all but 6 of the available ends and won 17-7, but unfortunately Goodman fell to his second defeat of the day in a crushing 7-21 scoreline winning just four ends. The bonus points for the singles were lost. In the pairs, Bailey & Goodman could not quite repeat their earlier success and lost 10-18, winning only five of the 15 ends, whilst the Buckett & Pay pairing finished well from being 6-15 down to only lose 12-18. However it was more
bonus points lost.
McCrea’s triple struggled with their opponents as well as the mat in the fourth session, but kept the scores tight and indeed picked up a four on the 11th end to draw level 10-10. Having picked up one shot on the 12th end to go into the lead, it was disappointing to concede four shots on the final end to lose 11-14. On the adjacent mat, Puttock’s triple staged a comeback from being 3-7 behind to force two dead ends before picking up a game-levelling four shots. They went on to win 14-12, and thus the bonus points for the triples were gratefully grasped by Hampshire. Bucknall’s rink held on for a win of 11-9, but they had dropped 7 shots over the final four ends which had kept the nerves twitching. No such problems for Dubb’s foursome however, as they only dropped two singles in the whole of the game, winning 16-2. The bonus points for the fours adding to the tally.
The overall score was a win of 22 points to 18 for Hampshire (200 shots to 186) and it was a good victory away from home against arguably one of the strongest and most consistent opponents in the Premier team sides. It sees Hampshire top the league on 152 points, 13 points ahead of West Sussex, and they face the same adversaries at home in the next couple of weeks.
22ND OCTOBER - AWAY TO WILTSHIRE (34-6 WIN)
Hampshire’s Premier short mat bowls team travelled to the Melksham area of Wiltshire intending to consolidate their standing at the top of the Inter County table and they came away with an impressive win.
Jason McLean found his opponent definitely up for the challenge in the first session, and despite playing the jack off the mat on three separate occasions, the Hampshire man could only score on 5 of the available 15 ends in a 12-17 defeat. Team and club colleague Paul Goodman, however had much the better of his opposition in the second half of the game, scoring consistently and going from 6-6 all the way through in a 17-8 win. Nathan Bailey & Callum Goodman held on for a 12-10 win, but dropping a three on the final end was disappointing, having kept their opponents down to singles until then. Greg Puttock & David White had a challenging match but won 13-12 pulling back from 5-9 down at 8 ends. All the players battling back well in the second halves of their games as they became accustomed to the vagaries of the floor. It had been a good start for the Hampshire team.
The second session saw Nadine Bailey, Matt Smith & Alistair McCrea pick up a full house of 6 on the 9th end to put them well and truly in front (12-6) and they then coasted to a win of 16-9, picking up a three on the final end. Dom Channell, Ryan Young & Steve Buckett clawed their way to a 14-13 win having been 8-11 down at the end of 9 ends. Tony Gepp, Paul Wheatley, team manager Mike Wright & Ben Cherry only dropped four single shots in a confident 12-4 win, whilst Wendy & Ian Ford, Mark Hollis & Martyn Dubb always had the better of their opposition in a 15-7 win, although dropping 6 shots over the final three ends had been a little disappointing after dominating for so long.
So at the halfway stage Hampshire were in a very positive position being 14 points to2 up, with the shot scores
on the mats 111-80.
The third session saw McLean have a slow start being 0-4 down after 4 ends and despite only winning 6 ends managed to hang on for a 13-12 win. Paul Goodman was narrowly defeated 11-12 but had done well to keep the scores tight all the way through. However it meant the Hampshire side took the bonus points, by 4 shots. Bailey & Goodman were always on the defensive and except on one end, always behind, in an 11-18 defeat, but Puttock & White came back from being 4-6 down at 6 ends to kick into gear and surge into the lead to win 14-8. Pairs bonus points in the bag by 2 shots overall.
McCrea’s triple started well picking up 3 shots on the first end, but stayed on that score until end 6 at that point being 3-7 down. However, they found some consistency and dominated the rest of the game to pull away picking up 11 shots over the remaining ends in a 14-9 win. Buckett’s three were always in control and ran out convincing 11-5 winners. Triples bonus points definitely in the bag with a 19 shot advantage. So it remained for the fours to do their bit which they did in style. Cherry’s rink only won 5 of the 11 ends, but made the scores on each count in a 15-8 win, including a score of 6 on end 4, whilst Dubb’s team only allowed their opposition to score on three ends, in a 22-5 annihilation. They had been 18-0 up after 6 ends. Needless to say, the points for the fours also settled into Hampshire’s account.
The match score was 222 shots to 157 in favour of Hampshire, and 34 points to 6. It sees Hampshire sitting comfortably at the top of the league table on 130 points but they have yet to face their nearest rivals, (and occasionally their nemesis!) West Sussex, home and away. West Sussex are only 9 points behind.
8TH OCTOBER - HOME TO EAST SUSSEX (29-11 WIN)
Hampshire Premier Team played host to East Sussex in their return match, hoping for a similar storming result to the one achieved away. However it was a feistier travelling team that took up the challenge giving the home side a more competitive game.
In the first session Jason McLean found his opponent definitely up for a fight and indeed was always on playing catch up. Being
0-6 down at 3 ends he clawed back to being only one shot adrift at 11 ends (9-10), but dropped a 3 on the next end to go 9-13 behind. Although he finished 12-14 down he had kept the game tight. Paul Goodman had a much better game against his opponent and was 14-3 up at 9 ends but let the game slide a little losing 4 of the last 6 ends before winning 16-10.
Nathan Bailey & Callum Goodman struggled to get started but when they did they picked up 10 shots over four consecutive ends to more or less crush their opposition in a 15-7 win. Wendy & Ian Ford however had a more difficult game as their opposition were always scoring multiple shots and despite picking five shots over the last two ends, the Fords lost 13-18.
In the second session Jan Sansome, Matt Smith & Alistair McCrea were 4-6 down after 6 six ends but then picked up a 5 to jump into the lead and after exchanging shots over the next couple of ends stormed away picking up another 5 along with two counts of 3 in a 21-9 win. Dom Channell, Ryan Young and David White could never quite get an advantage but picked up a welcome 5 on the 9th end to get level and then kept with their opposition
in a 13-13 draw.
Tony Gepp, Paul Wheatley, Ben Cherry & James Bucknall were always in charge of their destiny especially when they picked up a 6 on the 3rd end and a 4 on the 5th to put them 12-2 up. They finished with a win of 17-8. Team Manager Mike Wright, Nadine Bailey, Mark Hollis & Martyn Dubb strode into a 7-1 lead at 5 ends and continued strongly winning 11-6, only allowing their opposition to score on three of the 11 ends.
So at halfway, the Hampshire team was 118 shots to 75
and 11 points to 5 up.
After the lunch break, McLean redressed his earlier defeat always having the advantage over his opponent in a 16-7 win, and Goodman was 12-1 up after 6 ends. With the loss of only 8 more shots he roared away into a 20-9 victory. The bonus points were comfortably in the bag for the singles.
Both pairs also had the bit between their teeth and with Bailey & Goodman, and the Fords both winning 17-9, the pairs bonus points were also in the bag.
The last session was arguably the worst of the day for Hampshire with only McCrea’s triple collecting any points and that with a storming 20-7 victory. White’s threesome only won 4 of the available 13 ends falling away from 9-9 at 10 ends to a disappointing 9-17 defeat. Fortunately the triples had picked up sufficient shots in the first session to counteract that defeat and the triples bonus points were thus also in the bag.
Bucknall’s rink had had a poor start to their game but had kept the scores against to a minimum and from end 7 they started a mini revival being only one shot down going into the final end. Unfortunately when the opposition skip played forcefully with the last wood of the game, the winning shots the home team had been holding were played out of the way and Hampshire dropped a single shot to lose 6-8. Similarly, Dubb’s foursome having had a good start to the game, being 5-1 up after 3 ends and 10-6 up after 6 ends, let their advantage slip away to be level on 11-11 going into the last end. The opposition skip played an unassailable winning toucher into the ditch which Dubb could do nothing about and the home side went 11-12 down.
However, as in the triples, the rinks had done the damage in the first session and the bonus points were safely collected.
The final score was a convincing win of 234 shots to 163 (29 points to 11) to the home side.
24TH SEPTEMBER - AWAY TO EAST SUSSEX (34-6 WIN)
The second match for the Premier team saw them travel to Hailsham in East Sussex, coming back with an emphatic win.
In the first session, Jason McLean always had the better of his opponent but mid-way saw his 12-4 advantage be clawed back to 14-12 going into the last end. However a count of two for McLean saw the game won at 16-12. On the adjacent mat, team colleague Steve Puttock was also having a good game, although he too, allowed an 11-5 advantage at 11 ends slip a little, but maintained his authority for a 12-9 win. Paul Goodman & Nathan Bailey were 9-0 up at 5 ends but let their opponents back in the game to be only 11-9 up at 12 ends. A better finish however saw them run out 15-9 victors. Wendy & Ian Ford kept pressure on their opponents all the way through only dropping 5 shots over 4 ends to ensure a convincing 17-5 win.
In the second session Greg Puttock, Matt Smith & Alistair McCrea kept up the winning theme scoring 4 and 5 on consecutive ends early on in the game, running out 12-6 winners. Dom Channell, Ryan Young & David White were also having a consistent game picking up a 3 on the final end to win 13-7. It almost seemed as if the home side had not quite turned up for the morning sessions, as Anita Bucknall, Tony Gepp, Callum Goodman & Steve Buckett were already 7-0 up after only two ends. They kept their edge all the way through, even picking up a 4 and a 5 on the last two ends to win convincingly 24-5. Team Manager Mike Wright, along with Nadine Bailey, Mark Hollis & Martyn Dubb completed the joyous morning sessions with a 19-2 win, picking up a 4 and a 5 midway through the game only losing one end which avoided a
At the halfway point then, the travellers had won every available rubber and were 16 points to 0 up.
After lunch McLean strode to a 15-8 victory although he had only won one more end than his opponent. Puttock similarly showed no mercy in a resounding 25-9 victory. Bonus points for the singles well and truly in the bag. Unfortunately in the pairs there was a little less success with Goodman & Bailey losing 9-21 and the Fords losing 11-12 on their final end. However the success in the first games in the pairs had been sufficient to carry the bonus points into the kitty.
In the final session, McCrea’s triple had a tighter game than they would have liked, with only two scores of two shots holding on for a 9-6 victory but White’s trio had their second opponents on the ropes for a good part of the game winning 16-6. Triples bonus points were thus added to the tally as the first half games had done the damage in terms of shots scored. Buckett’s foursome struggled against their opposition and indeed only won four of the available 11 ends, but kept the game tight, only losing 11-13. Finally, having been 0-6 down at 4 ends and 3-9 down at 6 ends, Dubb’s rink pulled back to being 10-9 up having picked up a 3 and a 4 on the following two ends. A single dropped on end 9 put the teams level at 10-10, but two singles achieved on the remaining two ends saw the game won for the travellers, 12-10. Bonus points added making it a good day for Hampshire
all the way round.
The final score was Hampshire 239 shots East Sussex 140, Hampshire 34 points to 6 and see the team top their league table.
17TH SEPTEMBER - HOME TO WILTSHIRE (33-7 WIN)
The first match of Hampshire’s Inter-County Short Mat Bowls season took place on Sunday at Testbourne Community School in Whitchurch and resulted in a convincing victory over Wiltshire for the Premier side. Sporting bright new shirts which reflected the colours of the County’s supporting partners Stannah they took to the mats in style .
In the first session Jason McLean started well with two consecutive fours and then traded scores of three on the next two ends (11-3). From then on it was a see-saw game but he ran out victorious 18-15. Team colleague Steve Puttock also started well picking up a three on the first end and proceeded to out think his opponent, only allowing him to score on 6 ends. The result was a convincing 16-7 win. In the same session, Paul Goodman and Nathan Bailey went from scoring a three on the first end to dropping single shots over the next six ends (3-6) but then stopped the decline picking up 11 shots in the second half of the game with the loss of only a further two shots, 14-8 the final score line. Indeed the only points dropped in this session were by Wendy & Ian Ford who had a poor start going 1-8 down after 7 ends. A revival at this point saw them pick up 6 shots over the next three ends to be only 1 shot behind. From then on it was nip and tuck and indeed picking up a two on the penultimate end saw them at 11-11. Dropping a four on the final end was not in the game plan, but the 11-15 defeat was not a major concern
at this point.
The second session saw Callum Goodman, Matt Smith & Alistair McCrea storm into a commanding 13-0 lead at 5 ends – but it was a figure on which they stayed for a while. However the opposition were only able to pick one shot an end for the next four ends to bring the score to 13-4. Then McCrea’s team kicked back into gear and picked up a single on end ten and a two on the final end with the loss of only another couple of singles in the interim. 16-6 the final score. Next door, Anita Bucknall, Ryan Young and Ben Pay started well with a four on the first end and then traded shots but won 6 of the next 7 ends and ran out 19-6 winners. It was the rinks that had problems though, with Tony Gepp, Paul Wheatley, Ben Cherry & Stephen Buckett never really getting a grasp on the game falling away after being level (4-4) at 7 ends, eventually losing 5-11. Team Manager Mike Wright, Nadine Bailey, Mark Hollis & Martyn Dubb had a see-saw game and could never really get a big advantage, but did carve out a win of 9-8 picking up a single shot on the final end.
At halfway then, Hampshire were 108 shots to 76,
and 12 points to 4 up.
The third session (reverse singles and pairs) saw Jason McLean claim another win (20-7 ) only allowing his opponent to score on 5 ends. Steve Puttock however fell to a disappointing defeat 10-19 failing to get started until the 7th end when he was already 0-12 down. However the bonus points for the discipline were assured so this loss wasn’t critical. Goodman & Bailey grafted out a win in a high-scoring game, dropping 3 fours including one on the penultimate end. This brought their opponents level before the Hampshire pair picked up a single shot to win 17-16. Next door the Fords were determined not to have a second defeat on their hands and stormed to a 17-9 victory although only scoring on one more end than their opponents. Bonus points in the kitty again.
The fourth session found the McCrea trio 7-10 down after 6 ends but then got back into a winning groove and won the remaining 7 ends in a 20-10 victory. Pay’s threesome only allowed their opposition an advantage on three ends comfortably winning 15-4. Bonus points secured. Buckett’s four started well again with a score of four on the first end, they proceeded to win 7 of the following 10 ends and ran out 17-4 winners. Dubb’s rink struggled against their opposition, with a replayed end being needed on two occasions due the jack being forced off the mat. In spite of this, and winning one less end than the opposition, his team achieved a draw, picking up a single shot on the final end in an 8-8 tie. This meant the bonus points were again in Hampshire’s bag, although the overall fours score of 39-31 was closer than they would have liked.
The match was won by Hampshire 232 shots to 153 and 33 points to 7 and made a welcome start to the season.