INTER COUNTY REPORT 2011
About twelve hundred people gathered at Vauxhall Holiday Park for the EPA's first National Finals of 2011, the Inter County Championships, and the K.O. Cup, and it was the Cup which started on Friday evening, and in the Mens A, reigning champions Leicester made a good start with a 23-14 win over Cleveland, Bucks, Berkshire, and Notts also recorded wins, the B section saw Champions Leicestershire win 23-17 against their fellow Region three team Derbyshire, Notts, Northants, and West Yorkshire won their matches, in the Ladies champions North Yorkshire got off to a winning start by beating local county Norfolk 23-16, other winners were West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and Somerset, looking at these early results your thoughts would be that a Yorkshire team may well win this section, in the Youth section champions Staffordshire beat Surrey 23-16, and G.M.C., Warwickshire, and East Yorkshire thanks to Lee Hinchcliffe, and Callum Thompson beat Bristol 24-23 after a three player play-off.
In the second matches on Saturday Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire went through to the Semi-finals both winning 23-13, Bristol beat Suffolk, and Merseyside beat Buckinghamshire to join them in the semis, the B section saw Leicestershire, and Northamptonshire progress to the semis, Hertfordshire beat West Yorkshire 23-20, and Derbyshire beat Nottinghamshire by the same score to reach the semi-final.
The Ladies had Somerset beat last years champions North Yorkshire 23-12, and South Yorkshire beat neighbours West Yorkshire 23-15 to reach the semis, then in the play-off for the other semi spots Norfolk beat North Yorkshire 23-19, and Nottinghamshire beat West Yorkshire 23-11.
In the Youth section G.M.C. thrashed East Yorkshire 23-7, and reigning champions Staffordshire beat Warwickshire 23-9 to go into the semis,
Bristol, and Surrey won the play-off matches to join them in the semi finals, on Sunday morning in the A section Nottinghamshire beat Merseyside 23-17, and Leicestershire beat Bristol 23-18 to reach the final.
The Mens B saw Leicestershire also reach the final beating Hertfordshire 23-17, and Derbyshire beat Northants 23-18.
The Ladies had Nottinghamshire beat Somerset 23-20, and South Yorkshire beat Norfolk 23-13 to reach the final
In the Youth last years champions Staffordshire were beaten 23-13 by Bristol, and Surrey beat G.M.C. 23-16.
In the final Leicestershire A made a steady start, but turned the match well in their favour in the third leg which they won 9-2, and went on to retain their title with a 23-15 victory, and their B team also retained their title when they had a comfortable 23-12 win over Derbyshire.
In the Ladies section Notts took the first leg 6-5, but South Yorkshire came back to take the second 7-4, the match was won in the third leg which South Yorkshire won 8-3, and they just needed the frames in the final leg to win the match 23-15.
In the Youth final Surrey took a 6-5 lead, but Bristol reversed that score in the second leg to level the scores, Surrey then took the third leg 7-4, and won five games in a row to win the final 23-17.
The Main event the Inter County Championships commenced at 8-30am Saturday morning with the opening ceremony, and presentation of the National Ranking List winners trophies which was won by James Charlwood (Surrey) in the Youth, Anne Roccia (Lancashire) Ladies, and Ian Davenport (Lancashire) Mens, in the Mens A section champions London beat Northumberland 23-19, Staffs beat Lancs 23-12, Somerset beat Norfolk 23-18, and we were into a three player play-off between Surrey, and Northants, and it was Graham Berruto, and Danny Smith who swayed it Northants way after Tom Kennedy won one for Surrey.
In the B section Lancashire played champions London, and it went to a play-off Adam Coppen took one for London, but Ian Harle, and Geoff Hadgett won the match for Lancs 24-23, other matches saw Norfolk beat Worcestershire 23-20, Staffs beat Cornwall 23-16, andwe had another play-off where Anthony Dixon won for Cleveland, but Neil Callingham, and Max Brooker won for Surrey to take the match 24-23.
In the Ladies section champions Lancashire were beaten 23-13 by Cleveland, Bucks beat Cambs 23-11, G.M.C. beat Staffs 23-19, and Kent thrashed Devon 23-8.
The Youth matches always draw the large support with their exiting open play, and last years champions were stunned in their first match when they were beaten 23-15 by Leicestershire, Somerset beat Cleveland 23-17, Suffolk beat Northants 23-15, and in the other match Luke Bowry, and Jack Galloway won for Kent in a play-off with Lancs.
In the second matches London were beaten by Staffs 23-17, and had to rely on a 23-17 win over Lancs to reach the semi-finals, Somerset beat Northants 23-13 to reach the semi, and then Northants beat Norfolk 23-14 in the play-off to go into the semi, in the semi-finals London showed their class again, and beat Somerset 23-18 to reach the final, the other semi saw Staffs beat Northants 23-16 to join them.
In the B section Staffs beat Norfolk 23-10, and Lancs beat Surrey 23-19 to go into the semi, in the play-off matches Cornwall pipped Norfolk 23-21, and Surrey beat champions London by the same score.
The Ladies section Cleveland eased into the semis beating Bucks 23-20, and Kent beat G.M.C. 23-13, the other two places were taken by Bucks who beat Lancs 23-14, and Staffs who beat G.M.C, 23-16
In the Youth Somerset beat Suffolk 23-19, and Leicestershire beat Kent by the same score, in the play-off matches Cleveland just beat Suffolk 23-21, and West Midlands kept their chances alive with a 23-21 win over Kent, and in the final they took the first leg 7-4, and followed this with a 6-5 in the second leg to put themselves 13-9 ahead at the halfway stage, but Cleveland won the third leg 6-5 to put themselves back in the match, but West Midlands then won five of the next six frames to retain their title 23-16.
In the Ladies final Cleveland made a good start, and were 4-1 up, but Kent then won six in a row to take the leg 7-4, but Cleveland edged the second 6-5, again Kent hit back with an 8-3 third leg win for a 20-13 lead, but Cleveland would not give in, and Kent needed to fight all the way before winning 23-19.
In the Mens B Lancs got off to a good start with a 7-4 first leg win, this was followed with a 6-5 win in the second leg, but Surrey are real battlers, and took the third leg 7-4 to trail by the odd frame into the final leg, down the final leg, and each game was won alternatetively until Chris Charnley, and Kevin Calverley won the final two frames for Lancashire to give them a 23-21 win.
The A final between two of the best sides in the country proved a real classic with Staffordshire edging the first leg 6-5, and then repeating that score in the second, but London turned the match in the third leg with an 8-3 win to lead 18-15 into the final leg, both teams have been in the position several times in the past, and we were in for a very tense final leg, Rob Chalmers, and Joe Prince won two for London, Staffs then had wins from James Croxton, Gareth Potts, Lee Hammersley, and Adam Davis to make it 20-19, Jack Pople made it 21-19, Lee Kendall 21-20, Andrew Breen 22-20, Darren Shone 22-21, and Rupert Ward won the final frame for London to retain their title 23-21.