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Butchers carve out junior pairs crown for Wanstead Central

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 August 2017

The Essex Junior Pairs finalists Wanstead Central v Grays Town

The Essex Junior Pairs finalists Wanstead Central v Grays Town

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Jack’s the lad in final but there is plenty of sibling rivalry

The Butcher brothers Jack and Charlie survey the scene in under-25 pairs finalThe Butcher brothers Jack and Charlie survey the scene in under-25 pairs final

Brothers in bowls Jack and Charlie Butcher are the new junior pairs county champions after an impressive performance in the final at Westcliff on Saturday.

The Wanstead Central pair saw off the challenge of Ben Commerford and Nick Sharp of Grays Town by 18-9 in the final, but much of the good work was down to younger brother Jack.

“Charlie was playing, but he wasn’t if you know what mean,” said lead Jack, who at 21 is a year younger than his skip brother.

“The first few ends it was all me really, their skipper was a little unlucky, but it would have been nice to have got some help from Charlie!”

Jack and Charlie Butcher with Essex President Mark Cohen after their win in the under-25 pairsJack and Charlie Butcher with Essex President Mark Cohen after their win in the under-25 pairs

Harsh words in a way that only sibling rivalry can, but he was right to a great extent as it was Jack who was not only calling the shots on the day, but also holding them.

“It is stressful playing with him,” said Jack with the hint of a smile. “You want to have a go at him and then you realise he is your brother. It was very hard because you have to try and stay positive, but it was hard to try and keep your cool with him.”

It does make a change. Charlie’s form has been impressive this summer, earning him a call up to the England junior for the internationals in September.

In this game, the Butchers opened up a 9-3 lead before the Grays boys forced their way back into the match for the one and only time.

“They pulled it back to 9-8 and their skip began to find it when I wasn’t there and they did get a bit close to us,” admitted Jack. “But we got a big three to make it 13-8 and I think that was the turning point because they started chasing the game and it is not easy on this rink.”

From that point it was the Wanstead Central boys back in charge and they collected the title and the only place up for grabs in the competition at Leamington.

“There was extra pressure with only one qualifier,” said Jack. “We were odds-on favourites I think, as we had never heard of them.

“They also had most of the crowd! I’m not sure where our supporters were!”

It has been a big turnaround for Jack this season after a tough start to the summer where, unlike brother Charlie, he was not selected for England.

“I had not been happy with the way I was playing and at one point I did think about packing it up,” admitted Jack. “But you have to keep going and hopefully I can have another shot at the England team. I am still only 21 so I have got plenty of years left.”

The brothers teamed up later in the day for the fours final, but it did not go to plan against a powerful Romford side.

The team of Jack, Bob Druce, Paul Whellams and skip Charlie were all square early on, but after dropping a six, they never got back into the match, losing 24-10.

“I think me and Bob were always about, but when you only get one in the head it is difficult,” said Jack. “Paul and Charlie unfortunately didn’t turn up and their back end played well.”

Courtesy of making the final, Central’s boys will still be in Leamington, but without Jack.

“Unfortunately I am away for the fours,” revealed Jack. “I will be on holiday, but Daniel Hughes will take my place.”

At 21 and 22 it looks like the Butcher boys have got a bright future in the sport.

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