BOWLS: Round up of the county scene and VPs

County presidents Graham O'Donohue and Maureen Edwards
County presidents Graham O'Donohue and Maureen Edwards
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By Alan Jackson and Megan Gilks

Warwickshire made it two wins out of two in the Francis Burton with a 131-92 victory away to Northamptonshire. Four winning rinks saw the Bears claim 18 out of 22 points.

An excellent start by Graham Box (Little Compton), Neil Brereton (Entaco), Neil Hancock and Dan Box (both Little Compton) helped them reach ten ends 19-4 up. Box and co outscored their opponents two to one in the remaining ends to complete a 31-10 victory. In a match of two halves Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) together with Craig Carter (Rugby), Chris Barton (Kings Heath) and Steve Merrett (Avenue Coventry) trailed 10-12 at the midway point. A display of ruthless bowling followed as the Bears hit 21 unanswered shots on their way to a 31-12 win.

If the Jacox rink was a display of strong fightbacks the rink consisting of Captain Alan Apsey skipping Martin Murley (both Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court) and Tom Millership (Rugby) was one of steady control. 8-4 after ten ends became 14-8 with three ends left. Final score 19-9 to the Bears. The all Rugby rink of Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman, Matt and Calvin Wells were comfortably 11-5 up at the halfway mark but Northants surged back to take a 17-16 lead with just the final three ends to play. Six shots with no reply saw Wells and co reclaim the lead and take the rink 22-17.

A stuttering start by Steve Taylor together with Karl Finch, Greg Sampson (all Avenue Coventry) and Paul Finch (Kings Heath) saw them 8-2 down early on but claw back to trail by a shot after ten ends. Northants again took charge on the way to a 20-14 win. Adam Smith, Matt Wordingham (both Avenue Leamington), Ian Harrison (Nuneaton) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) trailed 9-11 halfway through. Things got worse for the Bears in the second half as a strong display gave the hosts a 24-14 victory.

Warwickshire Men’s President Graham O’Donohue will be sleeping better after overcoming one of the most dreaded fixtures, the match against the Warwickshire Women. Rugby Thornfield played host as the Men completed a five winning rink 140-94 victory.

Dave Cooke (Executive) skipped Bob Paige (Grange), Len Faulconbridge (Executive) and George Palmer (Bilton) to the coveted highest winning rink award. A good start saw the Gents lead 19-5 after ten ends. They continued to increase their lead to finish with a 29-10 win. Barry Lines (Rugby), Bob Hessey, Ian Kendall (both Grange) and Senior Vice President Brian Mace Humphries held a four shot advantage with six ends to play. They restricted the Ladies to one more shot while adding ten of their own to secure a 27-14 victory.

A golden five end spell helped Malcolm Dexter (Stratford), County Treasurer Michael Jackson, Tim Messinger (Wolvey) and Bob Hope (Welford) reach midway with a 20-4 lead. While the Women chipped away at the deficit they could not deny the Men another rink win, 25-14 the final score. Derek Wattison (Executive), County Secretary Arnold Goad, Boris Boulstridge (Executive) and Norgren’s Geoff Moran took an early three shot lead that they held until the final three ends. They finished with a spurt to end up with a 19-14 victory.

Past President Gareth Willcock skipped Mike Tansey (Three Spires), Dennis Wilkinson (Stoke) and Arthur Stretton (Tamworth) to the last and closest rink win for the Men. After ten ends Willcock and co lead by six shots but the Ladies reduced that to one five ends later. With three ends to play the Gents again opened up a five shot lead and again that was cut down to just one, final score 22-21. While her side lost the day Ladies President Maureen Edwards did have the last laugh by beating Gents President Graham O’Donohue, Trevor Wells (Rugby), Dick Allibon (Royal Leamington Spa) and Past President Aubrey Brookhouse. With six ends to play the Men trailed by eight shots, three ends later that was down to six shots but O’Donohue and co could only halve that to finish 18-21 down.

* The latest inter county friendlies produced mixed results, a heavy 99-123 loss away to Surrey was followed by a 138-93 win away at Gloucestershire.

Surrey rink scores: Barry Sheasby (Oakfield), County President Graham O’Donohue, David Harrison (Bilton) & Gary Wilkinson (Grange) 12-31; Dennis Wilkinson (Stoke), County Secretary Arnold Goad, Richard Ashley (Royal Leamington Spa) & Doug Thorpe (Wolvey) 16-17; John Hibbert (Wolvey), John Buggins (Lillington), Ron Davies (Grange) & Snr Vice President Brian Mace Humphries 18-18; Len Faulconbridge (Executive), County Treasurer Michael Jackson, Ian Kendall (Grange) & Dave Cooke (Executive) 11-27; Dennis Lee (Lillington), Earl Dunton (Ambleside), Arthur Stretton (Tamworth) & Past President Gareth Willcock 28-8; Colin Baldwin (Avenue Leamington), Rodger Sirett (Executive), Mick Foster (Highway) & Bob Hope (Welford) 14-22.

Gloucestershire rink scores: Kevin Tredgold (Southam), County President Graham O’Donohue, Jack Langman (Three Spires) & Past President Phil Green 29-9; Nigel Carter (Rugby), County Secretary Arnold Goad, Ted Coupe (Southam) & John Greves (Nuneaton) 15-16; Mike Tansey (Three Spires), John Labrum (Warwick Boat Club), Gerald Goodman (Entaco) & Snr Vice President Brian Mace Humphries 29-23; Bob Allcock (Tamworth), County Treasurer Michael Jackson, Mike Westall (Entaco) & Past President Aubrey Brookhouse 20-14; Roy Foster (Bilton), Jeff Hall (Nuneaton), Immediate Past President Mike Brayne & Geoff Wyatt (Solihull Municipal) 21-19; Kelvin Rice (Entaco), Ron Bourton, Gez Huxley (both Nuneaton) & Bob Smith (Executive) 24-12.

Warwickshire VPs reports by Megan Gilks

Warwickshire Vice Presidents travelled to Leatherhead for an enjoyable game, but all lost, going down 119-61 overall. Rink scores were: Derek Wattison, Les Boulton, Tony Parson and Mike Gilks 13-23; Jim Gardner, Fred Bannister, Tony Bennett and Alan Bister 13-21; Royston Andrews, Bob Hunt, Ian Bassnett and Roy Lawrence 14-17; Peter Mabbs, John Pallett, Graham Taylor and Keith Rawlins lost 13-22; Peter Lichfield, Ted Amos, Ted North and George Palmer 8-36.

Against Beeston at Long Eaton, two rinks won in an 88-75 defeat, but the result didn’t show the quality of the game. Rink scores: Philip O’Shea, Dave Goodman, Michael Sibbick and Roy Swift won 23-17 and barry Connolly, Tony Ridpath, Mike Soloman and John Greves won 20-13, the others were: Royston Anders, Mike Westell and Allan Kinge 8-22; John Slater, Keith Foster, Mick Foster and Alan Bister 14-20 and Bernard Crowther, Ted North, Mike Wilkes and Roy Lawrence 10-16.