How about mat? Dramatic end as Central win double

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 September 2014

Wanstead Central Cordell Cup winners

Wanstead Central Cordell Cup winners


A day with a lot of drama and hard work

Wanstead Central Seeley Trophy winners (Pictures: Tom Titmarsh)Wanstead Central Seeley Trophy winners (Pictures: Tom Titmarsh)

On paper, Wanstead Central were huge favourites to overcome little Plashet Park in their two Group 5 Finals on Sunday at Wanstead, but bowls is played on grass and though they eventually took both trophies there was a lot of drama and a lot of hard work to be done before the job was done.

The Seeley Trophy final in the morning was packed with good bowls and controversy as the match eventually went to an extra end on both rinks.

Mick Bird’s rink of Keith Lloyd and Colin Foster trailed 10-6 early on, but after finally getting in front at 13-12 they were able to hold on at 17-14 for a three-shot lead.

On the other rink all looked rosy as the Central team of Lou Jacobs, Russell Wilson and Mitch Brenner went into the last end a shot to the good and with Plashet needing four to take the match to the extra end.

But then came the controversial moment as the mat seemed to have been lined up with the scoreboard rather than the mark and nobody noticed until the skips were delivering their final woods.

It clearly affected Brenner, who wondered if the mat should be moved. It wasn’t and when his last wood dropped short, Plashet claimed four and the match went into overtime.

It was Central who held their nerve, but it came with a piece of good fortune on Bird’s rink as a nick saw them grab two shots and with Plashet one up on the other rink, Brenner elected not to take his last wood and the game was won.

“I am thoroughly delighted,” said Bird. “We were behind most of the way, but got a big four to get in front and that was crucial, we only let them have four shots after that.

“We won’t talk to Mitch ever again after dropping a four on their last end,” laughed Bird. “But our nervy end was the 18th when I went to the mat five shots down, but managed to get second wood.

“In the end, we had a lot of fortune, but it was a perfect day for us.”

With one trophy in the bag, a completely different Central team took to the green for the Cordell Cup final against the same club.

At one stage they were trailing on two of the three rinks, but Paco Rodrigues and his team of Len Welton, Jim Reynolds and Paul Woodford were always in charge of their match.

They led 15-4 at one stage, and despite a spirited comeback, they eventually got home 24-14.

There was no such joy for Steve Welsh’s rink of Kenny Ruston, Steve Minns and Dave Baxter who found themselves 10-3 down at one stage.

It was damage limitation at that point and they did it well, eventually losing 19-17 to leave the destiny of the cup down to the other rink.

Youngster Daniel Hughes had a fine match as lead and with Phil Fagelson, Terry Lichkin and skip Bob Druce also playing well they hauled back a 9-5 deficit to take the game 19-13 and secure the cup.

It was a culmination to a great day’s sport and thanks to all the organisers who enabled the finals to go off without a hitch.

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