BOWLS: Third Midland Counties defeat for Warwickshire

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By Alan Jackson

Warwickshire went into their first home fixture of the Midland Counties League campaign hoping to kickstart their challenge. Unfortunately it became three loses after three as Lincolnshire won 136-94 at Wolvey picking up 17 points.

A strong start by Darren Ward, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Steve Merrett (Avenue Coventry) and Dan Box (Little Compton) turn an early nine shot lead into a midway fifteen shot lead and eventually a sixteen lead with six ends to play. While the visitors trebled their tally Box and co held on for a comfortable 27-17 win. Liam Pearcey, Lee Maughan (both Rugby), Martin Timms (Welford) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) held a 12-9 advantage after ten ends but surrendered it over the next five ends to trail by one. A strong finish saw Wells’ rink reclaim the lead and win 22-19.

Matt Wells (Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Millership (Rugby) saw their tenth end three shot deficit turn into a seven shot deficit with six ends to go. The Bears dug in and cut the deficit down to two heading into the final three. Despite their best efforts Millership and co could only tie the match, final score 18-18. Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Russ Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Richard Brittan (Erdington Court) and Alan Apsey (Welford) were five adrift at the midway stage but a strong second half by Lincolnshire double their advantage to claim a 22-10 win.

Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Neil Brereton (Welford) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) saw Lincolnshire take a 16-1 tenth end lead, Lincs had the better of the remaining ends to win 28-10. Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Neil Hancock (Little Compton) trailed 7-14 halfway through and failed to add any more shots, final score 32-7 to Lincolnshire.

# County President Graham O’Donohue made a good start to the inter-county friendly matches in his second spell as President. While he lost the opening game against Surrey at Royal Leamington Spa BC 114-116 it was a good attempt at beating a strong county where the Bears rarely record a victory. Wins against Middlesex are almost as rare as wins against Surrey but at the Grange BC President O’Donohue not only recorded the first win in the fixture in over 20 years (151-94) but also managed a clean sweep, winning all six rinks.

Rink scores for Surrey match (in playing order): President Graham O’Donohue, David Knee, Dave Cooke & Ray White 25-12; Dave Harrison, Michael Jackson, Graham Cluff & Derek Bidwell 18-24; Rick Hayes, Don Darby, Dick Allibon & Gary Wilkinson 26-16; Colin Baldwin, Mick Hall, Nigel Hewitson & Mick Kelly 20-25; Tony Parsons, Arnold Goad, Stan Orton & Terry Fuller 10-25; Colin Prestwich, Malcolm Wickins, Tom Duggins & John Hibbert 15-14.

Rink scores for Middlesex match: President Graham O’Donohue, Fred Bannister, Nigel Roach & Aubrey Brookhouse 29-22; Dave Scobie, Dan Hampson, Ian Kendall & Brian Mace Humphries 20-19; Mike Tansy, Don Darby, Ron Wilson & Geoff Moran 35-10; Ron Davies, Mike Hall, Stan Cheshire & Terry Fuller 24-19; Royston Andrews, Frank Gibbs, John Marshall & Tony Dawson 23-14; Mike Davies, Bob Sands, Roger Powell & Les Husband 20-11