County Semis: Marathon day is mixed one for Wanstead Central bowler

PUBLISHED: 14:50 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:51 20 July 2017

James Rippey and Mitch Brenner study the head in their county pairs clash with Colchester duo Sam and Jason Roberts

James Rippey and Mitch Brenner study the head in their county pairs clash with Colchester duo Sam and Jason Roberts


Rippey runs out of steam after four games in one day

Mark Nullmeyers (left) with triples partners Mitch Brenner and James RippeyMark Nullmeyers (left) with triples partners Mitch Brenner and James Rippey

Semi-final day in the county championships is a long one. Beginning at 9.30am and stretching on until seven in the evening, it was a day that Wanstead Central bowler James Rippey experienced most of.

And in the end it caught up with the Scot as he seemed to run out of steam in Central’s triples battle with great rivals Romford which ended the day’s action.

The marathon had started well for Rippey as he beat Karl Lodge of Silver End in the quarter-finals of the two-wood singles, only to lose to Ed Morris of hosts Essex County in the semis.

There then followed a three-hour battle in the county pairs.

Mitch Brenner and James Rippey shake hands after their county pairs victoryMitch Brenner and James Rippey shake hands after their county pairs victory

Rippey teamed up with Mitch Brenner for the semi-finals as they took on Colchester West End brothers Sam and Jacob Roberts.

And it looked like it was not going to be theire day as the Colchester duo held the advantage to lead 19-12 with ends running out.

“We really shouldn’t have won this match,” confessed Rippey, though it was largely down to him that they did.

Trailing by seven and down on the next end, Rippey’s last wood superbly trailed the jack to score four and that seemed to inspire the Central boys and leave their opponents reeling.

They eased back to 19-18 and on the next, got their noses in front for the first time with a four count, before they held on to win 25-20.

That meant a final against Graham Easterbrook and Martin Spencer of Braintree in the final on July 20.

That left Rippey and Brenner teaming up with Mark Nullmeyers for the triples against Romford and it looked like it was going to be another victory.

“In the first seven ends of the triples I bowled really well,” said Rippey, who helped his side to a healthy 11-2 lead.

“But then I just hit the wall, my concentration and tiredness just went and in the last couple of ends, I just couldn’t get anywhere near it.

“I think if this had been the first game of the day, we would have won comfortably.”

It was Romford who took advantage of Central tiring as their team of Trevor Sayer, Richard Bolton and skip Lee Chaplin moved through the gears, winning six ends on the trot to open up a 19-11 lead.

But there was still drama to come as with two ends to go and Central seven down, they grabbed a three-count to take it to the last end.

And then having earned three they had a measure for four to take it to the extra end, only for Romford to get the nod and hold on 20-19.

After a long day, Rippey is still looking forwards.

“We are through in the pairs and we have another chance in a couple of competitions, but it is not just about getting to Leamington,” he insisted.

“It is nice to get there, but I don’t want to do just that, you really have to work hard and hopefully Leamington is as good for us as this was.”

The Central triples will now take on a team from Happy Valley in the third place play off on July 30.

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