The National Finals this year are being held at two venues – Tamworth on the 7th and 8th of April and Melton Mowbray on between the 12th and 15th April. The County is represented in all the National Finals competitions this year.
Mixed Fours – Tamworth – 7th April.
The county had one team competing this year – Yvonne Payne, Richard Rose, Sandra Felton, and Richard Payne. The 32 teams from across England were divided between eight groups of four with each team playing three matches. Following the group stage, the top two teams in each group proceeded to the main knockout session with the third and four teams competing in a separate knockout session for the “Plate” cup. In the group stage Richard Payne’s team won one match and lost two and as a result came third in their group. After what they thought was a disappointing result they went into the plate competition with increased vigour and went through three knockout stages in a convincing manner to reach the final. Their opponents in the final just had the edge over them resulting in the Worcestershire team being runners up. This was the first trophy that the county had received at a National Finals event since 2006.
Below – The county team with the President of the English Short Mat Bowling Association having received their runners up trophies in the Plate competition.
Over 55s Pairs – Tamworth – 8th April
This was the first Over 55s Pairs event to be staged by the ESMBA. Having won the County title Malcolm Saunders and Richard Rose represented the county. There were 32 entries from across England at Tamworth where the event started with eight groups of four teams playing in the round robin stage. Malcolm and Richard’s group included teams from Oxford, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Although Malcolm and Richard played well and felt that they could have had success at this stage, their opponents seemed to have the edge with the result that Malcolm and Richard did not reach the main knockout stages. They then lost their first round match in the knockout stages for the “plate” Trophy.
Under 18s – Tamworth – 8th April.
Finlow Hunt, the county’s Under 18s champion represented the county in this year’s National Finals, During the day he received the county shield, which was presented by Richard Rose.
Finlow enjoyed success in the group stage of the competition winning two of his three matches. This meant that he finished in the top half of his group and proceeded to the main knockout stage. Unfortunately he lost in the first of the knockout matches but overall must have enjoyed his experience in this closely fought competition.
Singles – Melton Mowbray – 12th April.
The county champion (Ian Davis) and the runner up (Johnathon Smith), in the county’s qualifying competition faced stiff opposition at Melton Mowbray. A total of 64 bowlers competed in this year’s competition. Ian’s group matches included bowlers from Norfolk, West Midlands and West Sussex. Johnathon’ group matches included bowlers from East Sussex, Hertfordshire and West Midlands, Ian drew his first match against the Norfolk opponent 6-6 but unfortunately lost his other two group matches and did not proceed to the knockout stages . Johnathon lost his first two matches in the group stage but went on to win his final match against the West Midlands opponent by 9 shots to 8. This was not sufficient, however, to enable him to proceed to the knockout stages.
Pairs – Melton Mowbray – 13th April.
Richard Payne and Johnathon Smith together with Tony Kilgour and Mark Bourne were Worcestershire’s entries into the National pairs competition this year. Again this was in the usual format with 64 teams competing with each team playing three matches in the round robin series prior to the knockout stage. Richard and Johnathon won their first match by 14 shots to 4 against a team from Norfolk but unfortunately lost their two other matches to finish third in their group. As a result they did not proceed to the knockout stages. Tony Kilgour and Mark Bourne lost their three group matches and they also did not proceed to the knockout stages.
Fours – Melton Mowbray – 14th April
County teams this year were – Yvonne Payne/Richard Rose/Cayman dredge/Richard Payne playing against teams from west Midlands, Dorset, and Northants in the group stages. Anne Hough/Pete Foster/Sandra Felton/Avis Beddow played against teams from Oxford, Hampshire and Kent. they faced stiff opposition and lost their three group matches and did not qualify for the knockout stages. In their group matches Richard Payne’s team beat Doset by 8 shots to 7, beat Northants by 10 shots to 7, but lost to West Midlands 6-12. With four points from two wins they came second in the group to proceed to the knockout stages. They were drawn against a team from Hampshire who went on to win scoring 9 shots to Worcestershire’s 6. – Quite a close match.
Triples – Melton Mowbray – 15th April
The county was represented by two teams this year – Anne Hough/Pete Forster/Avis Beddow (winners of the county title) playing in the group stage against teams from Buckinghamshire, Suffolk, and Somerset. The second team representing the county was Richard Rose/Trish Clifford/Terry Clifford, who played in the group stage against teams from Kent, Cambridge, and Essex . Both teams did not make it to the knockout stages of the tournament.