Hertfordshire bowlers bow out as Cambridgeshire prove too strong

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The Hertfordshire County short mat bowls team made their exit from the 2015-2016 Inter County Championship at the hands of Cambridgeshire as they went down 27-13.

In session one, Michael West made a good start to his singles game, jumping out to a 5-1 lead after four ends, however his opponent responded well to level at 8-8.

Michael couldn’t trouble the scorers again and lost out 8-15. In the other singles game, Tony Gayler was up against inspired opposition and went down 2-27.

Audrey Fowler and husband Brian slipped five shots behind in the early stages, got back to 8-8 but finished 9-14 behind.

Pauline Taylor and Jeanette Gayler held a narrow lead through to the last end before a three-shot reverse gave Cambridgeshire a draw at 11-11.

In session two, Margaret Regan, Peter Griffiths and Ken Murray had a scoring streak of six winning ends to lead 10-3 with four ends to go but couldn’t hold off the opposition and slipped to a 10-12 defeat.

The other triple of Sue Murray, Jill Oakes and Brian McGivern fared much better. They powered to a 19-5 win.

Margaret Hare, Peter Regan, Sam Salmon and Alan Hare dropped a 5 and a 2 to fall behind 2-9 and finished 7-13, while the other Hertfordshire four of Adrianne West, Graham Yates, John Taylor and Aaron Jones were ahead for just one end and lost 7-12.

At the halfway stage Hertfordshire trailed by 10 points and needed to reverse the scoring to have any chance of progressing to the next round.

In session three, Michael West was up against an opponent who had dominated in the morning singles but started well to lead 6-2. Once again he faced a second half onslaught, however, and scored only one more shot, finishing 11-16 down.

Tony Gayler came back strongly from a poor start, winning eight of the last 12 ends, but lost 11-17.

Audrey and Brian Fowler were briefly ahead in their pairs game before the Cambridgeshire duo took control and the Fowlers lost 6-16.

Pauline Taylor and Jeanette Gayler were trailing for the majority of their game but a two-end closing flourish secured a much needed 13-11 win.

In the final session of the day, Margaret Regan, Peter Griffiths and Ken Murray - in an almost exact replica of their morning performance - started strongly and led 10-7 with three ends to play but eventually lost 10-12.

Sue Murray, Jill Oakes and Brian McGivern had a similarly good start but lost 8-15. However, despite losing three of the four triples games, Hertfordshire took 2 bonus points with an overall 47-44 aggregate result in this discipline.

Margaret Hare, Peter Regan, Sam Salmon and Alan Hare scored heavily and lost only four singles to win their fours game 18-4, while Adrianne West, Graham Yates, John Taylor and Aaron Jones also lost only four ends and led throughout to finish 19-11 ahead.

These two strong results meant the bonus points from the fours discipline went to Hertfordshire.

Cambridgeshire were clear favourites going into this match having won their qualifying group comfortably.

Hertfordshire came second but can take great heart from the fact that they got the better of very strong opposition in two of the four disciplines.