Ely club fighting on four fronts

THE City of Ely competed on four separate fronts in a busy week of national team championships.


On Thursday, the Ely ladies side faced Turpins from Saffron Walden in the second round of The Yetton Trophy and a score of 108–51 was a true reflection of the dominant form of the club’s senior lady players.

Victory on all four rinks was achieved by a strong all round performance.

On Saturday, the men came up against Lynnsport in the second round of The Denny Cup.

An easy ride was not anticipated in the absence of key players; Greg Harlow, Nicky Brett and Andrew Ware all in action in Perth in the season’s first World Bowls Tour event, The Scottish Open.

Captain Matt Marsden and regular Ian McWhinney were also unavailable so the team therefore had a somewhat unfamiliar look with Stuart Popple, Ian Brown and Wayne Bailey being asked to skip their respective rinks.

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At home Andy Easy started strongly and was 10-1 up after five ends. He continued to dominate and after 15 ends was out of sight with a 12-shot lead.

Wayne Bailey had a shaky start and found himself 14–6 down after 10 ends but recovered well to run out a 25–17 winner. On the away rinks Ian Brown found the going tough but Popple was making steady progress. Brown was all square after 10 ends but slipped away late in the day to lose 26 19.

Popple gradually increased his advantage and eventually won 31–14. An overall match score of 104–71 was satisfactory under the circumstances but a stronger performance will be required in the next round against either Ross Peers or Haverhill on November 19.

Chesterton were the opponents on Sunday in the latest round of The Egham Trophy and, although Nicky Brett had returned from Scotland, Harlow and Ware were still unavailable.

The initial exchanges did not bode well for the Ely outfit, with home skips Ian Brown 13-4 down and Andy Easy all square at 8–8 after 10 ends.

On the away rinks Brett had built a 14–9 lead but Stuart Popple was 11 – 6 down. For a while the situation looked less than promising, with Brown struggling and Easy just about holding his own.

However, when news came in that Brett had increased his advantage to 11 shots after 15 ends and Popple had recovered to lead by a single shot the atmosphere at home seemed to alter and a late charge by Brown reduced his deficit.

Ultimately it was Brett’s rink that made the difference with a stunning 34 13 win and, supported well by Popple, who won 19 – 16, the home defeats were irrelevant and an overall match score of 89–73 secured the club’s place in the next round on November 27 when they face either St Neots or Huntingdon.

On Sunday evening the ladies under 60 double rink faced Huntingdon in The Lingford Trophy and completed a clean sweep of wins for the club. The ladies overcame stubborn opposition from a strong Huntingdon outfit winning by the narrow margin of seven shots overall.