Searles Hunstanton and Dersingham take Countryside League honours as Houghton miss out

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COUNTRYSIDE BOWLS LEAGUE FINALS 2016

In a season beset with rain, it was inevitable that the league cup finals should be played in similar conditions.

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Great credit must go to the bowlers of Searles, Houghton A and Heacham Social Club as they battled the elements as well as their opponents on Saturday and Sunday.

The league Knockout Cup, played on the Dersingham Institute green, saw Searles take on Houghton A.

The scores fluctuated, although Searles were able to retain the lead gained in the early stages. However, with Houghton chipping away to reduce the overall lead to a couple of shots on several occasions, the result stayed in the balance. Indeed, Houghton had won two of the three blocks, but were unable to overcome the shots scored by Searles in the third, leaving the Hunstanton team the victors, by 69 to 52 shots.

League chair, Kevin Johnson, presented trophies to the finalists, along with those for the league, won at a canter by Dersingham Institute, with Houghton again the runners-up.

Scores (Searles first): T Holt, D Cawston, C Holt 16-26 A Reid, G Boucheron, J Gooch; M Drage,

C Smith, P Woodbine 38-10 M Richardson, T Pooley, W Churchman; A Shepard, F Grange, G North 15-16 C Gooch, J Richardson, T Broadwater.

The following day in the Eddie Hipkin Memorial Cup, Searles faced Heacham Social Club, on the Ingoldisthorpe green. After rain, the weather cleared, leaving ideal conditions. Played on a four-wood singles, three-wood pairs and a two wood triples basis, this trophy remembers the late Mr Eddie Hipkin, a keen bowler and supporter of the league from its formation.

The scores of the matches followed those of the previous day, with Searles taking an early lead, before being severely pressed by Heacham right up to the final end. The pairs and triples matches held the result in the balance until the final shots were played.

Heacham had won two blocks, but the margin of the victory in the third afforded Searles the title, by a score of 56 to 51 shots.

Post-match, the chair offered his thanks to the league secretary, Mrs Jane Burden and her husband Richard for all their efforts, the host clubs, and especially the teams for their efforts to fulfil the fixtures. Mrs Burden presented the trophies to the finalists.

Scores (Searles first): P Woodbine 22-8 J Hilton; T Holt, C Holt, 14-21 L Ilsley, D Ilsley; M Drage,

C Smith, R Hills 20-22 St Tegerdine, Sh Tegerdine, G Robbins.