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Hutton Poplars maintains it hopes for promotion.

In the Brentwood Division 2 League match on Monday 6th July HPBC maintained its hopes for promotion to the First Division. The occasion was the start of the return matches of the season, this being a home match against Bantham and Ongar. Going into the match HPBC were lying second in the division whilst Bantham and Ongar were languishing at the bottom.

The match did not start well for our opponents, as one player failed to arrive, so they automatically lost 2 points and 10 shots. The remaining players had a lively friendly game.

All the playing rinks made a good start for HPBC and all rinks were leading after 5 ends with Dennis leading 9 - 1 and John 8 – 3.

At the half way point HPBC led in 2 matches and was just behind in the other. The scores at this point of 9 ends were: Dennis Ray 10  -  3; Keith Painter  7 - 10; John Coote 17 -  3

John Coote’s rink went from strength to strength in the second half consistently stopping their opponents from scoring, whilst themselves picking up 2 or 3 shots. They finished clear winners by 20 shots.

On Dennis’ rink they made a good 4 on the 10th end to give them a lead of 14 to 3 however things began to go wrong in the second half of the match. Dennis’ team of Carl and John were often long or short on the jack and allowed their opponents to pick up 1 or 2 shots and a 4 on the 13th end. On the last end the difference was down to 4 shots but although HPBC lost 2 shots on the last end they just held on to win.

In the meantime Keith’s team had fought their way back to 14 all at 15 ends and they scored a magnificent 3 on the 17th end to lead by one shot going into the final end. However on this final end they allowed their opponents to get 2 shots right on the jack, which despite his best efforts Keith could not shift and they ended losing the match by a disappointing 1 shot.

Score:  71 – 40

Points:   7 – 2

Carl Stott, John Constable, Dennis Ray   16 - 14

Alan Turnbull, Steve Hicks, Keith Painter  17 - 18

Martin Aldridge, Alex Maitland, John Coote  28 - 8

Ken Key, Basil Grimwade, Ken Kemish      10 – 0 Ongar 1 player short