Today (Saturday 12th) Northumberland played Lancashire at Appleby BC, Cumbria in the 1st round of the Balcomb Trophy. To note Balcomb Trophy is the inter-county Bowls England National competition for Two Rinks (combined score).
In the opening exchanges the game was tight with Chris Yeomans rink being 3 – 2 ahead at 5, and Craig Cooper being 6 – 4 behind at the same stage. However, Cooper’s rink had lost 2 scores of 3 shots going in the same direction, and lost another 3 the same way on the next end. Yeomans rink scored a 4 at the same point which negated this 3. At the 10 end stage Yeomans was 10 – 4 up, and Cooper was 12 – 10 down, but Craig had been 10 – 4 down at 7 ends but scored a great count of 6 to draw level at 8 ends. So overall we were 4 shots up at 10 ends.
Yeomans continued scoring and extended his lead to 12 – 4 against England International colleague Chris Gale. At around this point we possibly had a turning point in Cooper’s game, Craig was shot against and scored a lucky one coming off a side bowl. This was a significant bowl or time as it was an 13 – 11 deficit, and was looking to be further behind, but instead we were 13 – 12 behind at 13 ends. And Cooper’s rink then scored on all of the remaining ends (further 8 ends) clearly unlucky 13 for Lancashire. The game looked to be in our control as we went 10 ahead, but on the 16th end in Yeomans game, and Chris lying a really good two shots, Gale played a magnificent heavy bowl to remove the two bowls and somehow the jack did not move, and Lancashire scored 5 shots, reducing the overall deficit to 5 shots only. Yeomans hit back with a single and a great count of 5 for himself to stretch our lead again, but on the next end we dropped another 5. But with Cooper’s rink continually scoring Lancashire were reduced to taking chances and running at bowls and jacks. This played in to our hands as Cooper scored a 3 on the 20th end, which put us 12 shots with both rinks playing the final end. On Cooper’s rink they were shot against and Jason Parkinson (Lancashire skip) tried to kill the end and took out their own shot bowl which left us with 5 shots. As a result the game was done and a great victory for Northumberland.
Overall it had been a great victory against a difficult opponent as Lancashire have won the Balcomb in recent years (2018).
Rink Scores: (Northumberland rinks in green)M Cymber, G Myerscough, P Harvey, C Cooper 28
A Whitehouse, L Rimmer, R Sterling, J Parkinson 13D Targar, J Minto, J Curtis, C Yeomans 20
A Booth-Young, J Lockhart, I Mayne, C Gale 18
Overall Score: Northumberland 48 Lancashire 31
This takes to the regional finals in July – 18th at Dunnington BC, Yorkshire, where we will actually play Yorkshire, as Yorkshire defeated Durham away in the same round last week. Yorkshire skips are Gary Bunce and Mark Walton.