Herefordshire Short Mat Bowling Association


Match Report: Herefordshire 21 – 19 Cheshire (21/01/23)

A cold winter’s morning at the Larruperz Centre saw the Herefordshire County Team record a famous victory over a Cheshire side that have been making light work of all in their path so far this season. The 21-19 (196-198) result sees Herefordshire go top of group 3, securing a place in the main knockout competition- with a second place finish looking most likely as Cheshire currently have a game in hand.

Following their 29-11 victory over Herefordshire in the first game of the season, it was Cheshire’s turn to make the early morning journey down the motorway, with the first session giving a taste of what was to come! The singles saw two very close games, with Joe Loveys drawing 9-9 and Tony Vitale picking up a 13-12 victory, whilst the pairs fought valiently against strong opponents, both losing in close games. The second session saw a continuation of the narrow margins in the triples, with Jim Knowles’ team winning their game on the final end as Ian Roe’s just lost out by one shot. In the Fours, Steve Kite’s team won 13-8 whilst in the other game Cheshire found themselves a player down following a late withdrawal. However, John Mills’ rink still had to do the job and following a close first few ends, ran out 14-5 winners, leaving the scores hanging in the balance at 9-7 to Herefordshire (pre bonus) at the halfway stage.

Following a close morning, the afternoon session had a lot to live up to and that it most certainly did! Whilst Tony Vitale fell to an 18-6 loss on the tricky Mat Four, Joe Loveys secured a 21-8 win to take the bonus points in the singles. The pairs’ struggles continued, fighting hard but losing both games, giving Cheshire the bonus point and leaving the scores at 15-13 to Cheshire ahead of the final session. Needing 8 of the available 12 points available to secure victory, Herefordshire had a tough task ahead and a tight start to the matches did nothing to ease the tension. It was Ian Roe’s triple who finished first, winning their match 15-8 and giving Herefordshire an 8 shot cushion for the bonus point. This proved to be more than enough as Jim Knowles’ team kept it tight, losing by only two shots to see the scores go to 17-17. It was here that the numerical advantage proved crucial with Steve Kite’s team soaring to a 21-6 victory and despite a loss for the other team, this was enough to take Herefordshire over the line, winning by the barest of margins and actually -2 for shots across the match, demonstrating just how tight it was.

During the lineup, Herefordshire Captain Becci Cox praised the spirit in which the game was played and thanked Cheshire for making the journey. She also paid testament to the progress that her team has made over recent seasons, with this result giving clear evidence that Herefordshire are continuing to improve as a county.

Herefordshire now await the outcome of the outstanding group games and look forward to their Quarter-Final game to be held at Solihull IBC in February. For further information about the County Team, please visit the County Team page. For full results from the day, please see below.