Inter County Championship 2014-2015

2014-2015 Season Summary

The 2014-2015 season was noticeable for the strength in depth of the county squad.  Hertfordshire was represented by 29 players across the 8 game campaign with a number of debutants.  Despite falling short of qualification for the Division A Main Competition, the county put up a strong showing in the Consolation Plate losing out at the semi final stage by just 4 points to a strong Gloucestershire side.

The season started well with a big 28-12 home win over Northamptonshire.  The singles and pairs did particularly well with a maximum 20 point haul.  The opening day win was backed up by another home victory, this time 24-16 against Surrey.

The first away game of the group stage was at Buckinghamshire where the heavy mat-on-mat conditions favoured the home players and Herts went down heavily.

Game 4 for Hertfordshire was away to Northamptonshire who had already lost their first four games.  The new venue of Northampton & District Indoor Bowls Club (another mat-on-mat surface) proved too difficult and the county lost 26-14.

Next up were Surrey away and they were keen to avenge their earlier defeat and duly did so by a 16 point margin.

The final group game was at home to Buckinghamshire and Herts ended this phase of the competition with a 100% home record, narrowly beating the visitors by 2 points.

A qualifying group performance of 3 wins and 3 losses was not good enough to make the main knockout competition but the county's strong 3rd place finish meant a bye through to the quarter final stage of the Consolation Plate.  The match against London was played at the neutral venue of Westergate in Hampshire.  This thrilling encounter started very well with both singles and one of the pairs winning.  The second session of play saw the points shared and at the half way stage Herts led by 4 points.  Session 3 was a reversal of the earlier singles and pairs results but the singles players just hung on to the discipline bonus points by a single shot.  As the match entered the deciding session, the two teams were locked together at 14 points each.  The final outcome was not decided until the last couple of ends when the triples and fours came from losing positions to pull off a memorable win over London.

The semi final against Gloucestershire was played at Bromsgrove alongside three other semi final matches.  The pairs did well in the opening session but both singles were beaten.  Session 2 produced just 2 points for Herts and at the halfway point Gloucestershire led by 4 points.  In the third session one of the Herts pairs scored a win and their teammates did enough to secure 2 bonus points.  Nothing less than a last session whitewash would do and the triples and fours came close with 7 points out of a possible 10.  The Hertfordshire 2014-15 campaign ended with this narrow loss in the semi final.

Overall, in the 8 matches played the pairs discipline was the strongest for Hertfordshire where we outscored our opponents 46-18.  For some reason the first session of play was our best with the singles and pairs leading the opposition 45-19.  The bonus point records show that we are close to matching the counties we encounter as we took 45% of the available points.

INTER COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
DIVISION A
CONSOLATION PLATE
 HERTFORDSHIRE
SEMI FINALISTS
Fixtures and Results 2014-2015

QUALIFYING GROUP FIXTURES AND RESULTS

  27/28 September  
  Hertfordshire 28 - 12 Northamptonshire  
  Buckinghamshire 19 - 21 Surrey  
  4/5 October  
  Northamptonshire 10 - 30 Buckinghamshire  
  18/19 October  
  Hertfordshire 24 - 16 Surrey  
  Buckinghamshire 23 - 17 Northamptonshire  
  25/26 October  
  Buckinghamshire 28 - 12 Hertfordshire  
  Surrey 32 - 8 Northamptonshire  
  2 November  
  Northamptonshire 10 - 30 Surrey  
  9 November  
  Northamptonshire 26 - 14 Hertfordshire  
  22 November  
  Surrey 28 - 12 Hertfordshire  
  30 November  
  Hertfordshire 21 - 19 Buckinghamshire  
  6/7 December  
  Surrey 29 - 11 Buckinghamshire  

 FINAL QUALIFYING GROUP TABLE
Team P W D L F A SD Pts
Surrey 6 5 0 1 1136 919 217 156
Buckinghamshire 6 3 0 3 1046 978 68 130
Hertfordshire 6 3 0 3 1000 1101 -101 111
Northamptonshire 6 1 0 5 906 1090 -184 83


   DIVISION A CONSOLATION PLATE  
  Quarter Final
14 February 2015
 
  Hertfordshire 22 - 18 London     
  Semi Final
28 February 2015
 
  Hertfordshire 17 - 23 Gloucestershire