BOWLS: First win for Midland Counties men

Warwickshire's White Rose Trophy team
Warwickshire's White Rose Trophy team

Defeat for White Rose youngsters in Gloucestershire

Bowls by Alan Jackson

Warwickshire playing Derbyshire in the Midland Counties League

Warwickshire playing Derbyshire in the Midland Counties League

White Rose junior team: Back row: Andy Smith (Jnr Manager), Mark and Adam Smith (both Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry) and Luke Moore (Erdington Court). Front Row: Jordan Ward (Rugby), Tom Wheeler (Grange), Harry Billington (Whitnash) and James Finch (Kings Heath).

Playing in the Midland Counties league game against Derbyshire: Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Neil Hancock (Little Compton), Steve Taylor and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry)

After three loses in a row Warwickshire welcomed Derbyshire to Welford on Avon BC looking to register their first victory in the Midland Counties League. At one stage it looked like the Bears were heading for a comfortable win but the visitors had other thoughts.

Matt Wells (Rugby), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Millership (Rugby) hit two fours and a trio of threes on their way to a 19-9 halfway lead. A five and six helped them double their advantage with four ends to go, final score a comfortable 36-17 victory for Millership and co. Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Harry Billington (Whitnash), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) limited the visitors to four shots in the opening ten ends while scoring fifteen of their own. Derbyshire hit ten unanswered shots to reduce the lead to just one shot. With two ends to go Smith’s rink led by two and finished with a brace of singles to win 21-17.

Liam Pearcey, Lee Maughan (both Rugby), Martin Timms (Welford) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) trailed 6-1 after five ends but hit midway level. They opened up a six shot lead over the next six ends but dropped a two and six to trail by two with three ends to play. Back to back twos turned the advantage to the Bears and they held on to win 21-20. Darren Ward, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Neil Brereton (Welford) and Dan Box (Little Compton) held a slender one shot lead after thirteen ends. Two ends later they had extended that to eight shots but Derbyshire fought back to reduce it to one heading into the final end, with his last wood the Derbyshire skip took the shot to earn his side a 21-21 draw.

Alan Prickett (Little Compton), Martyn Murley (Avenue Coventry), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court) and Alan Apsey (Welford) trailed 8-0 after five ends. By twelve ends the Bears had reduced that to two and after seventeen ends the gap was three. A three, pair of twos and single saw Derbyshire canter over the finish line, winning 24-13. Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) were locked in a tight tussle with their opponents, seven all after six becoming eleven all after fourteen. Derbyshire doubled their tally in the next six ends, leaving the game delicately poised, the Bears leading by three overall with just one end to play in the entire game. By the time Hancock delivered his second wood the visitors were holding three, a very lucky deflection saw the Bears get shot wood. The Derbyshire skip tried to move the shot wood with his first wood but failed, Jacox then drew a second shot. The visiting skip again tried to retake the shot but again failed, with the final wood of the game Jacox knew he didn’t need to try and add another so fell a couple of yards short, losing his rink 17-21 but more importantly ensuring the Bears won the game 125-121, gaining 17 out of 22 points.

* Warwickshire’s Juniors travelled down to Frampton on Severn BC in Gloucestershire to play Somerset in the White Rose Trophy. The Warwickshire rinks were Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Ward (Rugby), Luke Moore (Erdington Court) & Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Wheeler (Grange), James Finch (Kings Heath), Harry Billington (Whitnash) and Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington).

A six in the third end helped Merrett’s rink reach six ends 9-7 up but a five, two and four swung the rink in Somerset’s favour, the score now 10-18. Smith’s rink was also close after six ends, the Bears trailing by two, but Somerset doubled their tally to leave them leading 12-6 after ten ends. With fifteen ends played Merrett and co had reduced the gap to five shots but Smith’s rink couldn’t get any closer to their opponents.

Merrett’s rink fought their way back to parity with two ends to go though Smith and co drifted further behind, trailing by thirteen shots. Both rinks played one more end, both taken with a single to Somerset before shaking hands. Final scores were Merrett 22-23, Smith 12-26 and overall Warwickshire 34-49 Somerset.