Scores and Table
English Short Mat Bowling Association
Inter County Rinks 2017-2018
Qualifying Round, 9 December
MATS 1 2 3 4
Opponents F A F A F A F A F A Pts
Kent 8 8 19 6 11 12 12 12 50 38 2
Essex 12 11 6 18 16 10 17 11 51 50 2
Surrey 10 8 7 14 6 23 10 12 33 57 0
Team P W D L F A SD Pts
Surrey 3 2 0 1 156 132 +24 4
Hertfordshire 3 2 0 1 134 145 -11 4
Kent 3 1 0 2 144 128 +16 2
Essex 3 1 0 2 131 160 -29 2

Hertfordshire won two of their three matches to finish second in the qualifying phase held at Wey Valley IBC, Guildford and progress to the final stages of the competition for the first time.


Three of the four games were very closely contested with the result being decided by the last rink.

The Herts four of Adrianne West, John Taylor, Mary Chadd and Michael West were never behind, leading 5-0 and 8-6 but both times were pegged back.  Their game finished tied at 8-8.

Pauline Taylor, Sam Salmon, Alan Hare and Bill Gearing were well in control of their game at 11-1 after seven ends. However, they dropped a 6 on the 8th end to open the door for Kent who took advantage, winning all remaining ends for a final score of 11-12.

Jeff Branch, Jill Oakes, Alan Spicer and Brian McGivern's game hinged on the 5th end when the Herts four scored a 7 count. Kent responded with a 4 to tie the scores at 10-10. From then on single shots were exchanged and the game finished 12-12.

Audrey Fowler, Robin Quarterman, Ken Murray and Brian Fowler led 3-2 after four ends. A scoring run of five ends including a 6 on the 6th end put them ahead 15-2 and gave the Hertfordshire squad an overall winning position. Kent scored on two of the last three ends but were countered by a 4 from Herts and the game ended 19-6.

Brian Fowler's big win ensured the 2 match points went to Hertfordshire.


The match against Essex did not start well with the Herts team dropping a 5 and a 6 on the first end. After two ends Herts were already trailing by 16 shots. Then the fight back began.

Michael West's rink opened by losing a 6 and a 3. Undeterred, they responded with four scoring ends to close to 8-9. A single to Essex was followed by another four end run from Herts including a 5 on the 9th end. Despite the early setback, Michael's four scored on eight of the twelve ends and won 17-11.

In the first half of the game for Brian Fowler's rink the opposing fours were evenly matched and tied at 5-5. Herts edged ahead to 11-5 before a 4 for Essex closed the gap. The 11th end was hugely significant for the overall match position as Herts scored a 5 and went on to win 16-10.

Bill Gearing's four were quickly 0-6 behind and things got no better as they slipped to 1-12 at the halfway point. With the overall match score getting closer all the time it was important that the Herts foursome limited their opponents' scoring and their final end 2 shots were to prove vital.

The final rink skipped by Brian McGivern started well and led 8-1 after four ends. They were still 10-5 ahead after eight ends before a dropped 3 and 2 levelled the scores at 10-10. Essex went ahead on the penultimate end with a single and the final end of the match was set to decide the result. With this last end to play, Essex held a 1 shot overall lead. With this end complete it was down to an umpire's measure to determine the match winners. The umpire ruled in Herts' favour and 2 shots turned into the match win 51-50.


With two wins already in the bank, Herts were in a very strong position to qualify for the ICC Rinks Finals. The last match was against a strong Surrey team on their home mats.

Michael West's rink scored on only three ends but were still in contention at 3-6 after seven ends. They dropped 6 shots in three ends, scored a 4 of their own on the 11th end and finished 7-14 behind.

Brian Fowler's four completed their day's work with their third win. Their final game was a close encounter with the Herts team having the advantage for most of it. However, Surrey were never more than 4 shots adrift and had managed to level the scores at 8-8 with just the final end to play. Audrey Fowler, Robin Quarterman, Ken Murray and Brian Fowler closed the game out with 2 shots and a 10-8 win.

The game involving Brian McGivern's rink was tied three times at 3-3, 6-6 and 8-8. The Herts four scored on the 10th and 11th ends and led by 2 shots starting the last end. Disappointingly, they dropped 4 shots and lost 10-12.

Bill Gearing's rink suffered at the hands of a very strong Surrey rink. They were 7 behind before getting going and were subjected to a string of heavy scoring ends to end their game at 6-23.

In the final match of the group, Kent inflicted a hefty defeat on Essex. This result ensured that Herts finished second. To take two wins from such a tough qualifying group is a major achievement for Hertfordshire who will now contest the ICC Rinks Finals in January.