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English Short Mat Bowling Association
Inter County Championship
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.

Knockout Phase
14 February 2015
Hertfordshire 22 - 18 London
28 February 2015
Hertfordshire 17 - 23 Gloucestershire
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
Qualifying Group Results
27/28 September 2014
Hertfordshire 28 - 12 Northamptonshire
Buckinghamshire 19 - 21 Surrey
4/5 October 2014
Northamptonshire 10 - 30 Buckinghamshire
18/19 October 2014
Hertfordshire 24 - 16 Surrey
Buckinghamshire 23 - 17 Northamptonshire
25/26 October 2014
Buckinghamshire 28 - 12 Hertfordshire
Surrey 32 - 8 Northamptonshire
2 November 2014
Northamptonshire 10 - 30 Surrey
9 November 2014
Northamptonshire 26 - 14 Hertfordshire
22 November 2014
Surrey 28 - 12 Hertfordshire
30 November 2014
Hertfordshire 21 - 19 Buckinghamshire
6/7 December 2014
Surrey 29 - 11 Buckinghamshire