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Pool: Leicestershire teams crowned regional champions


Early celebrations have begun for Leicestershire after two of their teams won their Inter-County League Region Eight titles ahead of schedule.

The men's B and women's team have both clinched their respective divisions with wins against Derbyshire.

The men's A, junior and senior teams can make it a clean sweep of titles in the final match of the season next month.

The County B team successfully retained the title they won last year, but it is the women's triumph that stands out as the more remarkable achievement.

In the 30-year history of Leicestershire pool, it is only the second time they have won the regional title, and they now head to Great Yarmouth in March for the national finals – their first as champions.

Derby gave them a run for their money at Leicester's Club 147, but a pumped-up County, knowing they needed only a draw, were good value for their 26-18 win.

They took the first leg 8-3, but Derby fought back in the next two to leave the score finely poised at 18-15 in the home side's favour.

With victory in their sights, it was not long before County sealed the draw, with Stacie Ackland winning the fourth of the final 11 frames.

And it could not have been more fitting that Carolyn Bowkett, in her 30th year playing for Leicestershire, stepped up to clinch the winning frame.

Captain Michelle Brown paid tribute to her team-mates' success.

She said: "Myself and the rock that is the vice-captain Karen Wesseldine couldn't be more proud of the team.

"My inspiration to win this season was always the women who have played with so much commitment during the past 30 years, so to win it for them means the world.

"It's been a great, solid season by all, and I am confident we can take this form into the national finals and be worthy competitors."

Charlene Gibson won the player-of-the-match award with a hat-trick of wins, while Brown, Julie Mackintosh, Amy Beauchamp, Stacie Ackland and Tracey Randall also won three apiece.

Leicestershire B's 26-18 win against Derby means they cannot now be caught, and they too will head back to Yarmouth for the national finals.

Shane Moore was the star player with four wins, while Danny Davies, Steve Strawhorn, Neale Bassford and Scott Taylor all picked up three for Martin Hinchliffe's men.

County A romped to a 27-17 win against Derby but, with closest rivals Humberside also winning to stay level on points, Leicestershire must win their final match at Lincolnshire if they are to retain their title.

Shaun Payne's maximum haul earned him the top-player award, while world eight-ball champion John Roe, Dave Wileman, Harry Patel, Gavin Lomax and Lee Ross all won three.

The seniors lost their match 7-2 against Derby but can still win the title if they beat Lincolnshire, and Derby lose to Nottinghamshire. All three teams are locked on 15 points.

Leicestershire juniors, who did not play at the weekend, need to stay unbeaten to finish the season as champions and keep hold of their title.

Two teams from Leicestershire are gunning for glory in the national women's Inter-League Knock-out Cup in Yarmouth this weekend.

Leicester Ladies and Foxy Ladies will both be hoping to bring back the trophy back to the county for the first time, while a host of local players are also taking part in the National Singles Knock-out.

Club 147 A and Midland Railway are in the draw for the men's Champion of Champions event, which is also taking place in Yarmouth this weekend.

Pool: Leicestershire teams crowned regional champions

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