Intercounty Report 2014
Over thirteen hundred people were at Vauxhall Holiday Park for the All England Inter County Championships. The weekend commenced on the Friday with the Seniors, and in the first round there were some very close matches with GMC, Northamptonshire and Staffordshire all edging through 5-4. Last year's champions, Dorset, were knocked out by Kent also 5-4. Lincolnshire beat Northumberland 5-3, Essex had a 5-2 win over Cleveland, and Surrey beat Durham 5-1. Nottinghamshire whitewashed West Midlands 5-0. In the quarter finals GMC had another 5-4 win over Northants, Lincs beat Essex 5-3, Notts beat Kent 5-2, and Staffs beat Surrey 5-1. In the semi-finals Lincs and Notts both had 5-3 wins over GMC and Staffs. In the final Lincs, with Paddy Prince, Nigel Dexter, and Stuart Sahnoune, proved too good for Shane Robinson, Olly Brooks and Bill Rigby as they ran out 5-2 winners.
In the KO Cup, West Yorkshire, Northumberland, West Midlands, and Durham made their way through to the quarter finals where they were joined by Essex, Northants, Surrey and Kent. West Yorks beat Essex 5-2, Northumberland beat Northants 5-1, West Mids beat Surrey 5-3, and Kent overcame Durham 5-2. In the semi's West Yorks had an easy 5-1 win over West Mids, and Northumberland beat Kent 5-4. The final saw West Yorks with Harris Ali, Yuk San Lee, and Darren Whitlock see off their opponents, Northumberland, 5-1.
Friday evening it was the Mens B to play their first matches and it was not long before we had our first sudden death play-offs after 22 all draws. Derbyshire had Craig Bousfield, Marcus Harrison, and Alex Molloy, playing Paul Birkett, Darren Smithies and Ian McMullan for GMC . Harrison and Molloy won to put Derby through. Another play-off was needed to separate Lancashire and Warwickshire. Chris Hatton won for Lancs, but Stan Makh and James Stokes won the other two frames for Warwickshire to go through. They were joined by Berkshire, Staffordshire, Cleveland, Northumberland, Leicestershire and Northants. In the quarters, Derbyshire beat Berkshire 23-17, Staffs beat Cleveland by the same score, Leicestershire beat Northumberland 23-19, and Warwickshire beat Northants 23-20.
In the semi's Staffs one of the favorites beat Derbyshire 23-18, and Leicestershire beat Warwickshire 23-16.
In the final it was Staffs who got off to a good start taking the first session 7-4, following this with a narrow 6-5 win in the second leg. They opened a four point lead but Leicestershire hit back in the third leg for a 6-5 win. However, they could not prevent Staffs taking the title for the eighth time with a 23-17 victory.
In the K.O.Cup Somerset, Cornwall, and Lancashire progressed, but it took another play-off before Surrey joined them after beating Norfolk 24-22. In the quarters, Cleveland beat Somerset 23-19, Surrey had a comfortable 23-11 win over Berkshire, Cornwall edged out Northants 23-21, and Lancs won 23-11 over Northumberland. The semi's saw Cornwall swamp Cleveland 23-7, and Surrey beat Lancs 23-11. The final saw Cornwall race into an 8-3 lead, but incredibly Surrey won the second leg 9-2, and then took the third leg 6-5 to lead 18-15 into the final session where each team won five frames for Surrey to take the title 23-20.
Saturday morning and the other three sections all had their first matches. The youth matches were to be play in the Games Room where twenty new Supreme Tables had been installed. As there was no team from Cleveland, who were champions for the previous two years, a new name would be on this trophy this year. Warwickshire and Leicestershire beat Kent, and London 23-12, but it took Jamie Hawkins, and Aaron Matharu to win in a play-off to put Bristol through against Sussex. Staffordshire, Lancashire, Somerset, West Midlands and Bedfordshire all joined them in the quarter finals. Leics beat Warwick 23-17, Staffs beat Bristol 23-19, Lancs beat Somerset 23-11, and it took Sam Bircher, and Sean Kainth to win a play-off to put West Mids through against Bedfordshire. In the semi's Leicester had a tough match with Staffs, before winning 23-20, but Lancs had a comfortable 23-12 win over West Mids.
The final started very close with Leicester just edging ahead 6-5, but in the second leg they had an 8-3 win to lead 14-8. Another 6-5 win in the third gave them a comfortable 20-13 lead, but Lancs took the first four frames in the final leg to narrow the gap, only for Leicester to win the next three frames and the match 23-17.
In the KO Cup, London, Sussex, Northants,and Suffolk went through to the quarter finals and were joined by Bristol, Warwickshire, Bedfordshire, and Somerset. Bristol beat London 23-19, Sussex beat Warwickshire 23-12, Beds beat Northants 23-18 and Somerset beat Suffolk 23-16.
In the semi's Beds beat Bristol 23-14 and Sussex beat Somerset 23-21.
The final saw Beds make a flying start winning the first session 8-3, but Sussex hit back in the second to take it 7-4. Back came Beds for a 7-4 win in the third session to lead 19-14, but Sussex won six of the next seven frames to make it 20 -20, but Beds managed to win three of the final four frames to take the match 23-21.
The Ladies had four matches on two tables, and four on three tables, and we soon had a 22 all draw which saw the first play-off in this section. It was Polly Almond and Lindsay Lloyd who won two frames to put Lancs through against Leicestershire. Cleveland beat GMC 23-17, Somerset had a big win over Northants 23-10, Devon beat Oxfordshire 23-16. Suffolk had a close game before overcoming West Mids 23-21. Hot favourites Kent trounced East Yorks 23-3, Notts beat Hampshire 23-12 and Staffs beat Cambs 23-13. The quarters saw Cleveland have a comfortable 23-11 win over Lancs, Somerset beat neighbours Devon 23-6, Kent had another easy win 23-10 against Suffolk and Notts beat Staffs 23-19.
In the semi's Somerset beat Cleveland 23-18 and Kent marched on 23-11.
In the final Kent had two 7-4, and a 6-5 leg win to comfortably take the title for the seventh time 23-14.
In the KO Cup, Leicestershire, Northants, West Mids, and Hants went through to the quarter finals and were joined by Devon, Lancs, Staffs, and Suffolk. Devon beat Leicester 23-15, Lancs beat Northants 23-4, Staffs beat West Mids 23-2, and Suffolk beat Hants 23-18.
The semi's had Staffs beating Devon 23-14, and Lancs beat Suffolk 23-12
In the final Lancashire took a 7-4 first leg lead, and never looked back as they ran out 23-15 winners.
In the Mens A section one of the favourites, Staffordshire, had a comfortable start with a 23-10 win over North Yorkshire. Another favourite, Leicestershire, beat Warwickshire 23-16. Neil Brittain and Ritchie Foxall won two frames for West Mids in a play-off with Cheshire. Northants had a good 23-19 win over London, and Gaz Royds, and Mike Giles won two frames for Lancs in their play-off with Bristol. Cambs beat Northumberland 23-20, Humberside beat Surrey 23-14, and last years champions Somerset beat Essex 24-22 after another play-off.
In the Quarters Staffs beat West Mids 23-19 and Leicester beat Northants 23-15. In the other group Lancs beat Cambs 23-18, and Somerset beat Humberside 23-21.
The semi -finals and two hot favourites met and it went all the way. Leicester took the first leg 7-4, Staffs the second 6-5, and then Staffs took control of the match with an 8-3 third leg win to lead 18-15, but Leicester then won the first seven frames in the final leg to lead 22-18, only for Staffs to win the last four for a 22 all tie. In the play-off Tem Dixon won the first for Leicestershire, Rob Wharne then levelled, and John Bowkett did a very good clearance to win the third for Leicestershire.
In the final Somerset made a good start by winning the first three frames but Leicestershire came back to take the session 6-5. This score was repeated in a close second leg. The third leg was won by Leicester 7-4 for a 19-14 lead, but the champions would not give in and fought all the way down the final leg. However, they could not prevent Leicestershire taking their title 23-19.
In the KO Cup, Cheshire, London, Bristol, and Essex after a play-off went through to the quarters and were joined by Northants, West Mids, Humberside and Cambs. Cheshire beat Northants 23-17, West Mids beat London 23-12, Bristol beat Humberside 23-21 and Essex beat Cambs 23-21.
The semi's saw Cheshire beat Bristol 23-21, and West Mids beat Essex 23-15.
In the final West Mids got off to a flyer taking the first leg 10-1, but the match turned in the second leg with Cheshire winning 9-2. In the third leg it became very close with West Mids edging home 6-5 to lead 18-15, and although the final leg was even for a start West Mids won the title 23-18.
Intercounty Tournament Director