King’s Lynn bowlers claim last silverware of the domestic campaign
The final piece of domestic silverware in the men’s section of the Norfolk Bowls Association went West as Lynn lifted the Hansells Cup after a final which went down to the wire.
The opening skirmishes of the final saw Lynn score strongly against Hingham Rectory on a superb Wymondham Dell Bowls Club green and they looked to be strolling to success.
But their never-say-die Central Zone opponents fought back strongly, steadily reducing the deficit in the later stages of an absorbing contest.
The tension ratcheted up as the first two rinks cancelled each other out, leaving everything resting on the outcome of the last pairing.
In a nail-biting finale, Richard Bunton’s block emerged victorious by just two shots against Barry Moody’s four.
Earlier in the morning, Lynn – beaten semi-finalists two years ago – had another close encounter, winning by one shot on the final bowl of the last end against Scole and District.
Presenting the trophy to winning team captain of West Zone Division Two champions Lynn, Geoff Bonnick, Hansells partner Nick Sutherland congratulated all four teams on a wonderful day’s play that demonstrated exemplary skill and sportsmanship.
Lynn skipper Bonnick said he was proud of the way his team played – and was full of praise for both sets of opponents.
Bonnick said: “In both matches the results went down to the final bowl.
“We won our semi-final by one shot and the final by two shots – but each of them could easily have gone either way.
“It shows how closely matched the teams were. We just had that little bit of extra luck.”
He added: “All credit to Hingham Rectory for the way they came back at us in the final.
“My rink was 24-10 up at one stage, but Hingham changed their tactics and after that we never won any of the last eight ends as they pulled it back to 24-22.
“Even if we had lost, we would have come away knowing we had had a brilliant day.
“You could not ask for a better setting than Wymondham Dell, with its superb green, fantastic floral displays and wonderful hospitality.”
Lynn 60 Scole and District 59
Lynn names first:John Abbott, Alan Clark, Geoff Bonnick, Richard Bunton 18; Dave Crame, Julian Mason, Denis Hughes, Nick Bell 17. Ron Graham, Geoff Upton, Reagan Simper, Eddie Hill 17; Keith Buck, Victor Buckle, Jonathan Runaches, Geoffrey Vernon 25. William Taylor-Bennett, Brian Gore, Ted Carter, Nigel Blyth 25; Mervyn Wiles, Tim Mowle, Roy Frostick, David Aldous 17.
Lynn 58 Hingham Rectory 56
Lynn names first: John Abbott, Alan Clark, Geoff Bonnick, Richard Bunton 24; Roy Bailey, Jake Kemp, Nathan Watson, Barry Moody 22. Ron Graham, Geoff Upton, Reagan Simper, Eddie Hill 20; Gerald Higgs, David Mylchreest, Robert Marshall, David Sherman 15. William Taylor-Bennett, Brian Gore, Ted Carter, Nigel Blyth 14; Colin Harris, David Bailey, Ken Jenkins and Michael Tufts 19.