Suffolk are Minor Counties Champions!

In the National Final today in Warwick, the Suffolk team beat Nottinghamshire by the convincing score of 9½ – 6½ to win the trophy as this year’s Minor Counties Champions.

The win today follows a successful season in the EACU competition, where we finished runners-up by just half a point.   This qualified us to play in the national rounds, where we first beat Somerset in the Quarter-Final on 18 May, followed by Essex in the Semi-Final on 14 June.

Teams playing in the Minor Counties Championship must not exceed an average grade of 180.   We were fortunate to obtain the services of three outstanding juniors on our top three boards – Alan Merry, Justin Tan and Adam Taylor – whose combined age of 50 was considerably less than several other members of our team!   The youngsters did us proud, scoring 2½/3 between them, including excellent wins on the top two boards.

After four games had been completed, Suffolk were 3½ – ½ ahead, with wins from Mike Cook, Shaun Munson and Alan Merry, and a draw from Nick Savage.   Our lead was maintained throughout the afternoon and with the score at 8 – 5 we knew we would win, because in the event of a tie, board count would have worked in our favour.   Steve Gregory’s win made our victory mathematically certain.

The photo shows Steve Gregory and joint captain Ian Wallis holding the trophy after the presentation.

Other Suffolk winners were Shaun Munson and John Peters, whilst further draws were recorded by Adam Taylor, Rob Sanders, Silas Peck, Leon Burnett, Michael Clapham and John Feavyour.   In the event, only three players lost: Graham Moore, Steve Ruthen and Ed Kirkham.

In all a great team effort!

3 thoughts on “Suffolk are Minor Counties Champions!
  1. I believe this makes it three out of three!
    Suffolk have previously made it to the Minor Counties final in 1995 and 1998 winning on both occasions.
    Out of interest I have tracked down the winning team of 95 but can't find the one for 98.

    In 95 another Suffolk team made it to the finals, the teams in those days were slightly different to today and it was an U125 team. I recall that the finish to their match was a cliff hanger. The first team had won their match against Herts and were willing on the U125 team that were playing right to the end of the playing session. The match finished 8 – 8 but we won on board count!

    The two successful teams from that year were

    First Team U125
    1. K Bowden M Clapham
    2. N Pert A Rudd
    3. M Cook J Peters
    4. S Gregory P Turvey
    5. S Orton E Orton
    6. R Pert S Toop
    7. I Wallis B Pegg
    8. S Munson M Spalding
    9. S Ruthen T Fletcher
    10. A Charity B Rees
    11. C Franklin D Froud
    12. G Aggry L Waller
    13. T Rubin J Waller
    14. M Taylor D Hudson-Wood
    15. R Sanders V Allen
    16. D Whitehead C Roberts

    Can anyone out there come up with the team for 98?

    Did Michael Cook, Steve Gregory, Shaun Munson, Steve Ruthen and Rob Sanders get their hat tricks?

    Also of note, Michael Clapham and John Peters, members of this years winning team were also winners in the U125 team of 95.

    What was remarkable about the U125 team was that the majority of the players were juniors! Fairly unusual in those days.

    1. Hi Bob & Ian

      Here are details of the match from 1998 where Suffolk defeated Herts 10.5 – 5.5 to win the Minor Counties Final –

      Suffolk 4.7.98 Herts*
      Nick Pert 222 (B) ½ ½ Simon JB Knott 226
      Richard Pert 221 1 0 Steve Swanson 201
      Karl Bowden 223 1 0 Philip Borman “201”
      Mike Cook 191 ½ ½ Phil G Maguire 198
      Ian Wallis 188 0 1 Paul V Byway 196
      Shaun Munson 183 1 0 Andrew Gilfillan 187
      Edmund Player 181 1 0 Kevin R Clark 188
      Steve Gregory 180 1 0 Howard L Tebbs 182
      Paul Botham 176 ½ ½ JN Fraser-Mitchell 179
      David Spence 175 1 0 John R Denton 177
      Alex Charity 165 1 0 Chris E Majer 180
      John Feavyour 164 0 1 Steve J Tovey 168
      Stephen Ruthen 164 0 1 Philip J Gregory 169
      Mike Taylor 163 ½ ½ D Ross Brennan 175
      Tim Lunn 161 ½ ½ Barry Morris 161
      Tony Rubin 154 1 0 David E Bower 159

      If I have got it correct, Shaun, Steve G, Steve R, Mike and Rob have played in all three winning Suffolk teams – well done guys!

      Details of the 1998 match came from the SCCU bulletin via John Philpott, Acting Office Manager of the ECF.


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