BOWLS: By Alan Jackson

Under 25s
Under 25s
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Under 25s in White Rose Trophy

# The picture shows Matt Wordingham running in to take the congratulations from Adam & Mark Smith (left), Luke Moore (central) and Assistant Manager Nicky Walker on bank.

Warwickshire’s Under 25s took an early morning coach trip down to Bath BC to take part in the White Rose Trophy (Two Fours) Regional Finals. Their opponents in the semis would be old foes Devon, the team that has knocked them out of the competition the past two seasons.

Under 25s Manager Andy Smith and his assistant Nicky Walker name the following rinks: Adam Smith, Mark Smith (both Avenue Leamington), Luke Moore (Bournville) and Matt Wordington (Avenue Leamington); Dan Jones (Avenue Coventry), Luke Beech (Stoke), Dan Ward (Whitnash) and Tom Pritty (Bournville); Travelling reserve Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry).

The Wordington rink got off to a solid start, reaching the midway point with a 13-4 advantage. Despite dropping a six on the first end Pritty and co kept pace with their Devon opponents, trailing by five shots after eleven ends.

Wordington and co continued to put the pressure on Devon, steadily building up a twelve shot lead with five ends remaining. Knowing that the other rink was doing well meant that Pritty’s rink just had to make sure they kept the score tight rather taking on risky shots to build a lead, good bowling helped that also reach 16 ends with the scores level 14 all.

A couple of killed ends meant that Pritty and co would be the first to finish, while they briefly took the lead it was Devon that finished better to secure a 19-17 win. Wordington and co traded a double and single with their opponents

who then shook their hands rather than play the last end, the final score of 23-11 ruled out any remaining Devon hopes. The final overall score of 40-30 meant that the Bears had finally broken the hoodoo Devon had held over them as well as booking their place in the final where they would take on Worcestershire.

The final would see a close tight encounter and what could only be described as a freak result where everything that could go wrong for the Bears did.

Pritty and co got off to a cracking start, 9-1 up after five ends. Devon pulled the scores back to parity after 13 ends and eventually finished on 18-20 with two ends remaining, The Bears shook hands as the match situation was salvageable. Wordington’s rink just could not get onto the board, excellent Worcestershire bowling combine with some poor luck saw the deficit build and build. The biggest cheer of the afternoon from the Warwickshire team and supporters came as finally on the sixteenth ends they snatched a shot.

With four ends to play they shook hands, Worcestershire’s 29-1 rink win gave them an overall 49-19 win and sees them through to the National Finals at Leamington.

Team manager Andy Smith told his players that he was very proud of them, they represented Warwickshire with pride and passion, as well as showing true team spirit even under very difficult circumstances. With the oldest team member having two years left at this category and a lot learnt from both games the future looks good for Warwickshire’s youngsters.

* A late Gloucestershire fight back ended any hope of success in the Middleton Cup as the Bears sank to a 102-113 defeat, gaining 4 out of 22 points.

Rink scores: Martyn Murley (Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Tom Millership & Alan Apsey (both Rugby) 20-19; Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Dan Ward (Whitnash), Matt Wordingham & Andy Smith (both Avenue Leamington) 21-16; Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman, Matt Wells & Calvin Wells (all Rugby) 12-19; Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Phil Green (Norgren), Trevor Manning (Nuneaton) & Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry) 21-24; Graham Box (Little Compton), Neil Brereton (Entaco), Neil Hancock and Dan Box (both Little Compton) 13-18; Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Steve Merrett & Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry) 15-17.