Bowls

A clean sweep of all rinks for both Ely’s men and ladies earned them a quarter final place in the Denny Cup and Yetton Trophy.

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First up at the weekend were the men with a difficult tie against Ipswich. Ely started slowly and were trailing by eight shots after five ends, with both Andrew Ware and Nicky Brett behind on the away rinks.

At home, Greg Harlow was ahead 4-2 and Andy Easy was tied at 5-5. Ely began to assert themselves from that point and by 10 ends were ahead by nine shots, with Harlow having extended his advantage to six, Easy ahead by two, Brett leading by one and Ware tied at 9-9.

The overall lead had grown to 20 shots after 15 ends and to 27 shots after 18. Despite a late surge from Ipswich that saw them reduce the deficit to 21 shots by the end of the match, Ely were safely through to the quarter final where they will meet perennial rivals and Denny Cup holders Wey Valley from Guildford.

Having lost to the same opponents at this stage last year, Ely’s men will be looking to turn the tables and progress to the semi-final.

The ladies faced Welford-on-Avon in the Yetton Trophy with the midlands club seeking to avoid a third defeat against Ely in recent weeks having lost in both the Denny Cup and Egham Trophy.

From the start it looked a forlorn hope with Ely dominating the early stages in spite of struggling to come to terms with the neutral green at Wellingborough. Catherine Popple had surged into an 11-0 lead after five ends, with captain Sarah Seymour holding a one-shot advantage and Sarah Matthews up by six.

The Ely ladies continued to press home their advantage and had extended the lead to 22 shots after 10 ends with only Ellen Falkner’s rink behind by four. Popple had seen her lead cut to seven but Matthews had built an 11-shot lead with Seymour up by eight. As the match progressed it was evident that the Welford ladies were losing heart and were trailing by 32 shots after 15 ends. Popple and Matthews both led by 14, Seymour by seven and Falkner was digging in to stay just three shots adrift. By the close, Falkner, having been behind for the whole match, had managed to grab a win by a single shot and great team effort saw the Ely ladies win 90-63. Ely’s opponents in the quarter final will be Riverain from Hitchin.

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