Cornwall recovery keeps them on track for promotion

CORNWALL made the long 850-mile round trip to play County Durham in their re-arranged British Inter County Championships fixture but returned to the Duchy with a well-earned victory to keep them on track for Premier division status in the next campaign.

The visitors got off to a great start when the ladies’ B side won 5-1 which was started with a 3-1 success for Becky Curnow.

Angie Bird won 3-2 followed by a 3-1 victory from Claire Irons before Jacqui Champion (20.00) emerged a 3-1 winner, aided by a leg in 18 which she finished with a checkout of 114, followed by a 3-0 success for Belinda Hall.

Darren Mitchell (19.03) pushed the overall scoreline along to 6-1 when he won the opening set of the men’s B fixture, only for the hosts to win three on the spin, but Cornwall bounced back and took four of their own which began with a 3-0 win for Mark Odgers (19.27).

PROMINENT: Mike Jones was once again prominent for Cornwall and emerged a 4-2 winner in 14, 18, 15 and 17, achieving a top average of 28.70.

Martin Smith (22.76) and Steve Pascoe (20.80) both came from behind to win their encounters 3-2 before Danny Robinson (26.68) won 3-1 in 15, 19 and 17.

The hosts surged again though and won the next three, but a 3-2 victory from Jerry Cox (21.09) forced a 6-6 draw and Cornwall led 11-7 overnight.

The Cornwall ladies’ A side started well with wins from Emma Dow (18.11) and Sue Shepherd (19.34) but those were the only points they were to win in a surprise 4-2 defeat, against a side who had only won on one previous occasion.

County Durham, who are destined for relegation to division two, were playing much better than their league position would suggest and brought the scoreline level at 13-13 when they took the opening two sets of the Men’s A fixture.

Paul Ellis (25.14) pulled one back when coming from 3-1 down to win 4-3 followed by victory from Kevin Bray (25.65) who also had to go the full five legs, but trailing 3-2, won the last two legs in 13 and 15.

The hosts could not be shaken off and they won the next three to lead for the first time at 16-15 before Cornwall showed promotion form in a grand finale.

Dennis Bryant (24.56) won 4-2, taking the last leg in 15 before Kevin Dunstan (24.58) also got a point on the board by the same margin.

Mike Jones (28.70) took the opening two legs in 14 and 18 and although his opponent levelled, he took the fifth in 15, aided by a kill of 108 before sealing a 4-2 victory in 17.

That point ensured Cornwall of a draw, but the win was what they came for and it was the win which they got when Neil Meneer (28.07) and Dave Copplestone (25.26) put in two good performances for a well-deserved 20-16 victory.

Cornwall’s final fixture will be away to Essex over the weekend of April 21/22 but they may have to put the champagne on ice as their promotion rivals Essex won’t play their outstanding fixture until May 19/20 and Northamptonshire, who are also in the frame, have yet to play Dorset from early April.

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