BOWLS: Friendship Cup latest and county scene

County President Graham ODonohue presents Calvin Wells with his 100 Flash for 100 Middleton Cup appearances
County President Graham ODonohue presents Calvin Wells with his 100 Flash for 100 Middleton Cup appearances

Disappointment for Middleton and Balcomb teams

Friendship Cup

Tom Millership receives his 25 Flash

Tom Millership receives his 25 Flash

Rugby Rail gave no quarter in their tie with the Grange at the Hillmorton Road ground winning all four rinks, 85 shots to 31 shots and taking the maximum 14 points on offer improving their total points lead in the table to 35.

Bilton playing at home to Rugby Club was a closer encounter, with both sides winning two rinks each with shots of 64 to 66 respectively, so Rugby obtained 10 points to Bilton’s 4 points.

Oakfield suffered against Thornfield as they could not contest the full four rinks on this occasion, and although they did manage to win one rink the overall result was Thornfield 12 points to Oakfield 2 points.

In the Friendship Cup fixture, it is imperative that all four rinks are completed irrespective of how many bowlers turn up at the venue. Please make sure you have a full squad.

Warwickshire Vice-Presidents

Warwickshire Vice-Presidents beat Buckinghamshire VPs by 18 shots, 117-99.

The match was played at Rugby Bowls Club last Thursday and proved to be a most enjoyable and competitive game.

The highest winning rink comprised M Preedy, T Rheams, M Lipscombe and A Bister.

Bowls by Alan Jackson

Middleton Cup

After a good start to their Middleton Cup campaign the Bears had another long trek, this time to Tilehurst BC in Reading to play Dorset who are the form team in the group. Warwickshire fell to a 93-129 defeat, picking up just two points on a disappointing afternoon. Before the game County President Graham O’Donohue awarded Tom Millership and Calvin Wells (both Rugby) with flashes to reflect the number of Middleton games, Millership marking 25 and Wells becoming the latest centurion.

Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) were level six all at the midway point but took a one shot lead into the final six ends. A steady and strong finish saw Jacox and co pick up the Bears only winning rink, 20-14. Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Neil Brereton (Welford), Steve Merrett (Avenue Coventry) and Dan Box (Little Compton) trailed by a shot after ten ends. Dorset extended their lead to four but Box and co fought back to lead by two heading into the last end. Dorset had the last laugh, taking a treble to secure a 19-18 win.

Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Martin Timms (Welford) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) dropped two fives in the opening five ends to reach fifteen ends trailing by eight shots. Wells and co finished the stronger but could only half the deficit to end up 19-23 down. Martyn Murley (Avenue Coventry), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Rob Robinson and Richard Brittan (both Erdington Court) recovered from a poor start to lead 7-6 after ten ends. Dorset trebled their tally to secure another win, this one 19-13.

Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) scored an early six on their way to a tenth end one shot lead. With three ends left to play the sides were all level, though Dorset shut out the Bears to win 24-15. Matt Wells (Rugby), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Millership (Rugby) had a tough afternoon, after fifteen ends trailing by fourteen shots. Dorset added another nine shots with only one in response to finish 30-8.

Balcomb Trophy

Warwickshire travelled to Bristol BC to take on Devon in the opening round of the Balcomb Trophy. The two rinks were Matt Wells, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Martin Timms (Welford) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) with the other being Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Craig Carter (Rugby), Steve Merrett and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry). Wells’ rink had a slow start but reached the tenth end two shots up, while Jacox and co led by five at the same stage. After fifteen ends Wells and co had increased their advantage to six with Jacox now four ahead.

A four and five saw Devon take the lead against Jacox but he replied with a single and Wells increased his tally by eight to leave the Bears ten up overall with three ends left on both rinks. One end later Devon cut the deficit dramatically, Wells dropping a three, Jacox a four. Wells and co dropped a five on the next end giving the momentum to Devon, the opponents now two ahead, Jacox with two ends left, Wells with just one. Jacox dropped two singles to finish 16-26 and Wells dropped a double to win 22-18 but the Bears losing 38-44 overall and left ruing the final quarter of the game.