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Pitch-black victory for Ilford in County Shield

PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 July 2017

Frank Roberts (in tie) with the Ilford team

Frank Roberts (in tie) with the Ilford team

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Valentines Park side dedicate win to Frank Roberts

Sim Madgewick was in form for Ilford in the county shieldSim Madgewick was in form for Ilford in the county shield

Ilford rolled back the years on Friday night as they came from behind to book their place in the third round of the County Shield.

The Ilford Club are now down to just shadow of their former selves with only 21 male members, but they proved themselves to be capable team against a Bournemouth Park team that boasted county singles finalist Steve Gunnell in their ranks.

The competition is played over four rinks of four, two home and two away and things looked precarious for Ilford in the first half of the contest.

They trailed by five shots at that point, but then came the big come back and by the 15th end, it was all square again thanks mainly to a spirited battle by Dave Waters and his rink who went from 12-4 down to lead.

Frank Roberts of the Ilford ClubFrank Roberts of the Ilford Club

Over at Bournemouth Park it was a tale of two very different rinks.

Sim Madgewick and his team found themselves a whopping 21-9 to the good, while Bill Beney was struggling 19-10 down.

Back at Valentines Park, Waters secured a 21-16 win and with Dave Betts keeping things close as he went down 19-15, it meant that Ilford held a one-shot advantage to go into the two away rinks.

Madgewick’s four finished with a 28-11 victory, but with Beney trailing 27-10 with three ends to go, it looked like the Southend side would prevail.

Bill Beney of the Ilford Bowls Club helped his team through in the South Essex Fours.Bill Beney of the Ilford Bowls Club helped his team through in the South Essex Fours.

But there was more drama to come. Ilford had lost 11 of the previous 12 ends, but they did pick up a shot on the 19th, only for Bournemouth Park to match that on the next.

That left the score at 75-74 to Park going into the last end which was played out in the pitch black with mobile phone torches illuminating the jack.

Incredibly, Terry Ewart delivered a fine wood to give them two-shots and when Richard Telling’s final two woods hit the ditch, Ilford had nicked it 76-75.

They will now take on either Silverthorn of their old friends from Wanstead Central in the next round.

Ilford’s pitch black triumph in the county shield was dedicated to Frank Roberts, who sadly died last Monday.

Sim Madgewick played tribute to him: “Frank was such a kind man and a fantastic member of the Ilford Club,” he said.

“He would always support the club and his joy at being part of our 2014 county shield winning side will live forever in our memories.

“He was such a nice man and would always help out and support any body that was playing and would come and watch finals and things like that.”

Meanwhile, Ilford have made a name for themselves in the South Essex Fours, but it is usually a team skipped by Sim Madgewick who are flying the flag.

However, this time round it is Bill Beney and his team of Steve and Dave Waters, plus Terry Hughes who have come out of the pack with some fine bowls.

They booked their place in the final of the competition by beating a Harlow team skipped by Gary Hurley with a dominant display.

The one blip on the match for Ilford was dropping an eight on the fourth end to see Harlow come from 6-0 down to lead, but it proved to be something of an anomaly.

In fact the Ilford team only lost six ends throughout the game and successive three-counts on the 14th and 15th end all but ended Harlow’s resistance.

In the end they won by 27-18 and will take on ta Wanstead Central team skipped by Paul Whellams in the final at Romford on August 13.


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