Madeira pair help in Middleton Cup win

PUBLISHED: 16:04 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:34 10 June 2010

County bowls: MADEIRA S Craig Ralph and Josh Hadfield were in the Devon squad that completed a successful defence of their Bowls England Middleton Cup inter-county title after beating Norfolk 120-109 in the final at Beach House Park, Worthing

County bowls: MADEIRA'S Craig Ralph and Josh Hadfield were in the Devon squad that completed a successful defence of their Bowls England Middleton Cup inter-county title after beating Norfolk 120-109 in the final at Beach House Park, Worthing writes Tony Atkins.

Five titles in seven years is a fabulous record for the Devon team, under manager David Tucker (Topsham) and the county is now on course to win a hat-trick of titles for the third time in their history.

Ralph played under skip Neil Pook and the Devon rink was unlucky to miss out in the semi-final defeat of Nottinghamshire when they fought back from 4-10 down after five ends to lead 19-18 after fifteen ends before just being edged out by Mike Owen 24-23.

Unbeaten in both the semi-final and final was Devon's newly-crowned national singles champion Sam Tolchard from the Kings club in Torquay.

A brilliant two weeks at the national finals at Worthing saw Tolchard runner-up in the Champion of Champions - a title he won last year - and a winner in the national mixed fours before playing his part in the team success to retain the Midleton Cup trophy.

Results:

Bowls England inter-county Middleton Cup (Worthing)

Final.

Devon bt Norfolk 120-109: Phil Hackett (Kings), Adrian O'Neill, Mark Theedom, Sam Tolchard (Kings) bt Jamie Chestney 20-18; Oliver Lucas (PCS), Stuart Evans (PND), Richard Bawden (Culm Vale), James Webber (Shaldon) bt Mervyn King 26-11; Steve Davies (Shaldon), Alan Hirst (Kings); John Evans (Torquay), Lee Haywood (Shaldon) lost to Brian Taylor 22-16; Stephen Fourte (Plymouth), Simon Broom (Culm Vale), Simon Haywood (Shaldon), Kevin Phillips (Exonia) bt Phillip Barr 26-12; Gareth Foster (Shaldon), Craig Ralph (Madeira), Rob Paxton (Exonia), Neil Pook (Shaldon) lost to Trevor Webb 20-16; Craig Downs, Paul Kinsman (Barnstaple), Dave Mallett (PCS), Phil Downs (Shaldon) lost to Darren Rowsell 26-17.

Semi-final.

Devon bt Nottinghamshire 129-114: Phil Hackett (Kings), Adrian O'Neill, Mark Theedom, Sam Tolchard (Kings) bt Brett Morley 23-14; Oliver Lucas (PCS), Stuart Evans (PND), Richard Bawden (Culm Vale), James Webber (Shaldon) bt Duncan Robinson 25-15; Steve Davies (Shaldon), Alan Hirst (Kings); John Evans (Torquay), Lee Haywood (Shaldon) lost to Aaron Lockhart 14-27; Stephen Fourte (Plymouth), Simon Broom (Culm Vale), Simon Haywood (Shaldon), Kevin Phillips (Exonia) bt Russ Pearce 22-19; Gareth Foster (Shaldon), Craig Ralph (Madeira), Rob Paxton (Exonia), Neil Pook (Shaldon) lost to Mike Owen 23-24; Craig Down (Kings), Paul Kinsman (Barnstaple), Dave Mallett (PCS), Phil Downs (Shaldon) bt Phil Dickens 22-15.

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