Report from Mike Perkins (Tournament Director)
Thirty Two teams assembled at Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth
for the twenty sixth annual All England Inter County Finals, with their
Youth team returning as champions, Lancashire had a team in all four
sections, Staffordshire, Surrey, and Somerset were represented with
three teams, In the Mens A section Lancs drew Suffolk, and won 23-21,
Staffs were against Bristol winning 23-20 in Group One, Group Two saw
Northants up against reigning champions Leicester, and the champions
made a good start in their quest to take the title for the third year
in a row winning 23-15, and Surrey beat North Yorks 23-17.
In the B section champions Bristol drew Surrey, and in a tense match
it finished 22 all, so we had our first three player play-off, and Andy
Esgrove, and Kyle Pickett both won for Surrey to win 24-22, Staffs had
an easy 23-7 win over Northants, in Group Two Lancashire beat Humberside
23-15, and Somerset surprised Norfolk with a 23-17 victory.
The Ladies secion also started with a very close match between Somerset,
and South Yorkshire, and it was Kelly Mayne, and Andrea Bennett who
won for South Yorks to give them a 24-22 win, the other match saw Buckinghamshire
record a 23-14 victory over Surrey, in Group Two Lancs beat Norfolk
23-12, and champions Kent recorded the same score against Staffs.
The Youth section saw Leicestershire beat Hertfordshire 23-16, and Somerset
beat Cleveland 23-17, Group Two we had another tie between Warwickshire
A, and London, and Joe Prince, and Frank Costello won to give London
the 24-22 win,
The other match saw champions Lancashire thrash West Yorkshire 23-7,
In the second session Lancs beat London 23-20 to progress to the semi-final,
and then Warwickshire A were beaten in their second play-off when Tom
Smith, and Arron Stack won for West Yorks for a 24-22 win, in Group
One we had another play-off between Leicester, and Somerset, and although
John Bowkett won for Leicestershire Max Nosko, and Josh Corkett won
for Somerset to triumph 24-23.
In the second games in the Ladies South Yorks beat Bucks 23-19 to go
forward to the semi’s, and Somerset fought back to win 23-20 over
Surrey to stay in the competition,
Group Two saw champions Kent progress to Sunday with a 23-17 win over
Staffs also made sure of a play-off place with a comfortable 23-12 win
The Mens B section had Staffs win 24-22 against Surrey thanks to wins
by Rob Wharne, and Andy Cragg, Bristol kept in the running with a 24-15
win over Northants, in Group Two Somerset made sure of the semi’s
with a 23-20 win against Lancs, and Humberside beat Norfolk in a very
close match 23-21.
In the A section Staffs booked another semi-final place with an easy
23-10 win over Lancs, and Suffolk remained in with a 24-20 win over
Bristol, in Group Two champions Leicester eased into the semi’s
with a 23-15 victory over Surrey, and Northants were still fighting
after beating North Yorkshire 23-14.
The play-offs saw Suffolk beat Lancs 23-20, and Surrey beat Northants
In the B section Staffs edged through 23-21 against Humberside, and
Surrey beat Somerset 23-13.
In the Ladies Bucks beat Somerset in a close match 23-21, but Staffs
had an easier passage beating Lancs 23-16.
The Youth of Leicestershire had a comfortable 23-12 victory against
Hertfordshire, and London beat West Yorkshire 23-14.
The semi finals saw London thrashed by Somerset 23-5, and Leicestershire
knocked out champions Lancashire 23-17.
In the Ladies Kent had an easy 23-10 win against Buckinghamshire, but
the other semi was a titanic struggle between South Yorks, and Staffs,
the Yorkshire girls led most of the way down the final leg until Michelle
Henshall, Marie Coley, and Sarah O’Donnell won the last three
frames to pull Staffs level, Andrea Bennett won for South Yorks, but
Michelle Brown, and Karen Morgan won to put Staffs into the final.
The B section saw Surrey have a comfortable win 23-12 over Somerset,
but the other match was very close with a win by Andy Critchlow in the
final frame clinching victory for Staffs 23-21 against Humberside.
In the Mens A Surrey overcame Staffs23-17, but again the other match
was a titanic battle between champions Leicestershire, and Suffolk,
with the champions leading 12-10 after two legs, but Suffolk went 17-16
ahead at the end of the third leg, and held their nerve to win 23-20,
and deny Leicestershire the chance of taking their third title in a
In the final it was Surrey who edged ahead 6-5, but Suffolk hit back
to take the second leg 7-4, but collapsed in the third leg 9-2, and
could not recover, Surrey winning the match 23-19.
In the B section Surrey went 7-4 up, and followed this with a 6-5 second
leg win, but Staffs showed their vast experience in this competition,
and hit back with an 8-3 third leg win to lead 17-16, winning the next
four games, and it looked all over that Staffs would take this title
for the seventh time, but Surrey won six of the next seven games to
pull off an incredible 22 all draw, so Surrey were now entering their
fourth play-off of the weekend, Andy Cragg won for Staffs, but Kevin
O’Connor levelled, and it was left to Andy Esgrove to win the
title for Surrey, and this is only the second time in the history of
the competition that the same County have won both Mens titles, ironically
Staffs were the only other County in 1996.
The Ladies final was much closer than anticipated, with Staffs taking
a shock 8-3 lead, but Kent managed to edge the second 6-5, but Staffs
came back to take the third 6-5 to lead 18-15 into the final leg and
it became 21 all before Vanessa Ledger, and Julie Fane won the final
two games for Kent to win 23-21, and make it a hat-trick of wins.
In the Youth section we would have new champions, and it was Leicestershire
who won the first leg 6-5 against Somerset, but unfortunately Somerset
fell away after this, and Leicestershire had an easy 23-12 victory.