The final weekend of the BICC season produced several shock results, with counties coming from within the pack to get promoted, and others being surprisingly relegated!
Yorkshire have been crowned Premier Division Champions, but only just! Lancashire crossed the Pennines and came away with an overall victory - but Yorkshire Mens ‘A’ team held their nerve to secure the title by just two points.
Lancashire had done enough on the Saturday to secure both ‘B’ team titles, but Yorkshire did enough on the Sunday to secure the Mens ‘A’ title.
Essex regained the Ladies ‘A’ title, with Stacey Ellis celebrating her 18th birthday by winning her 10th match of the season. Lancashire’s Lisa Ashton was another to go through the season unbeaten in the Ladies. However it was Oxfordshire’s Deta Hedman who finished top of the Ladies Averages.
In the Men’s Averages, Yorkshire players finished first and second, with Scott Waites just beating his England team mate John Walton to top spot.
Over the weekend, Glamorgan’s Keirion Carter playing in the ‘B’ division, picked up the highest average with 33.46, while Yorkshire’s Lorraine Farlam with 25.91 took the ladies.
At the foot of the table, Kent were at their Sunday best as they picked up 15 of the 18 sets available, and in doing so left Hampshire to join Cambridgeshire in Division One next season.
In Division One, Surrey’s victory over London secured them the Championship, while at the same time relegating London.
Alongside Surrey in the Premier Division next season will be Devon, who produced an impressive away win at already relegated Bedfordshire.
Surrey picked up both ‘A’ leagues, while West Midlands took the mens ‘B’ and Dorset the Ladies ‘B’. Individually, West Midlands’ Ian Jones took the weekend top average with 31.01, which also secured him pole position as the overall top man.
In the Ladies, Cornwall’s Nicola Furse hit 22.80 to top the weekend, but overall Devon’s England International Meryl Dennis was the top lady.
In Division Two, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire both had big home wins to secure promotion. Meanwhile, at the foot of the table, Middlesex and Worcestershire were relegated.
Staffordshire’s Andy Beardmore, with 31.98, took both the weekend and the divisional overall top averages, while in the Ladies, Lincolnshire’s Tammy Montgomery, with 24.24, picked up the weekend average. However, she was just beaten to the overall position by Middlesex’s Tina Neylon who was unbeaten through the season.
In the team leagues, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire picked up the Men’s A and B respectively, while Somerset took the Ladies ‘A’ and Hertfordshire the Ladies ‘B’.
Norfolk are the Division Three Champions, picking up both Women’s Divisions along the way, while Wiltshire finished runners-up, picking up both Men's Divisions. At the bottom of the table Pembrokeshire, dropped into Division Four alongside West of England.
Terry Nash of Montgomery and Radnor hit a 30.67 to take the weekend average in the Men’s, while Cleveland’s Claire Stainsby and Wendy Booth of Gloustershire shared the Ladies with 24.24. Cleveland’s Glenn Durrant was the overall top man, with Pembrokeshire’s Julie Gore as the unbeaten top lady.
Four other players went through the season unbeaten: Pembrokeshire’s John Clayton and Cleveland’s Alan Edwards in the Men and Ann Wakefield of Buckinghamshire and the only ‘B’ player throughout all Divisions, Montgomery and Radnor’s Rita Jones.
In Division Four, Leicestershire went through the whole season unbeaten to win the title, and the only division they didn’t win was the Ladies ‘B’ which was won by Clwyd.
Shropshire are promoted with Leicestershire.
The Isle of Wight finished at the foot of the table, however Brenda Dyer finished the season as top lady. Shropshire’s Steve Richie finished as top man. Ian Gleeson of Northumberland, Keith Allman of Shropshire and Leicestershire’s Darren Tyler all went through the season unbeaten, as did Cumbria’s Lorraine Green in the Ladies.
The battle at the top of Scotland North was won by Fife, who overcame their nearest challengers Grampian in a final match showdown. Grampian picked up the Ladies ‘B’ while Fife’s draw in the Mens ‘B’ secured them that title.
It was East Stirlingshire and Tay Valley who picked up the ‘A’ team titles.
Perth’s Colin Nicoll hit a 31.98 to take the weekend best in the men, while Tay Valley’s Kate Smith hit 21.17 to take not only the weekend, but also the overall best. Smith went unbeaten through the season, as did Central’s Jenni Tully, Highlands Olive Byamukama and Fife’s Stephanie Gilmour.
In the Men, Highland’s Euan Callander and East Stirlingshire’s Andy Murray also went unbeaten.
In Scotland South, East Renfrewshire won both the overall and the Mens ‘A’ , while Lothian picked up the Mens ‘B’. It was Ayrshire who dominated the Ladies picking up both sections.
West Ayrshire’s Andy Boulton went unbeaten to take the top spot in the averages, his team mate Gary Spedding, the East Renfrewshire pair of Ross Montgomery and Gary Stone, along with Lothian’s evergreen Harry Todman all went unbeaten in the ‘A’ Division. Lothian’s Callum Smith went unbeaten in the ‘B’ section.
In the Ladies, Louise Hepburn of Renfrewshire took the honour, with Ayrshire’s Ann Kirk, East Renfrewshire’s Lynn Cowan and Lothian’s Amanda Cox all unbeaten.
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