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Tournament Report

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 Lancs,
Staffs also made sure of a play-off place with a comfortable 23-12 win over Norfolk’

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 23-17.

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 row.
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.

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