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County Semis: Last-end drama for Romford triple

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 July 2017

Lee Chaplin (centre) with his county triples finalists team

Lee Chaplin (centre) with his county triples finalists team

Archant

Chaplin’s no charlie as Romford cling on for victory over great rivals

After the success of the Romford four earlier in the day, the club made it two out of two as they came from well behind to overcome great rivals Wanstead Central in the semi-finals of the triples.

It proved to the last match of an action-packed day at the semi-finals of the county championships in Westcliff on Saturday and this game went down to the wire.

Going into the final end, Central were four behind, but holding three and asking for a measure for a fourth and the chance of an extra end.

The one common denominator for the Romford teams was Richard Bolton who takes up the story.

“It was a little bit nervy on that last end,” admitted Richard. “I was confident that we had the fourth wood.

“I’m very pleased and also very relieved after the game as we were quite a few up with three ends to play and then let them get back with two threes.”

Central had started like an express train and opened up a whopping 11-2 lead which seemed to signal defeat for the Romford boys of Trevor Sayer, Bolton and skip Lee Chaplin.

But it was the sudden drop in form of Central skip James Rippey that was to turn the game Romford’s way.

“Jams was clearly tiring which was good for us,” said the ever-smiling Bolton. “In the first four or five ends, he was devastating and that is why they were 11-2 up, but they weren’t outbowling us up front, it was just the skip.

“The main thing is we didn’t let our heads drop even at 11-2.”

They didn’t and soon found their groove as they won the next six ends in style to go 19-11 in front.

“They were noisy early on, but as soon as we heard them quieten down, I said ‘You’re not so noisy now’ and we got into them a bit,” smiled Richard.

They did and despite the dramatic finish, they held on for a 20-19 win to book a place in the final on July 29 at Westcliff.

They will take on Steve Dunn, Jason Burgess and Russell Harmour from the Silver End club.

They have already qualified for Leamington though and Bolton is delighted – sort of!

“It was a good day for Romford, but it is going to be an expensive couple of weeks in Leamington,” he laughed.

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