By Alan Jackson
Heavy rain greeted Rugby and Avenue Leamington as they clashed at Three Spires in the Wardrop Cup Final.
In the two wood singles the Avenue’s Nicky Walker started well, leading Darren Ward (Rugby) 6-2 after six ends. Ward jumped into the lead with a brace of singles and three doubles. Walker hit back with a single and double to trail 10-9 after thirteen ends. Ward again reeled off a run of winning ends, the the score 18-9 Walker ran out of ends to stage a comeback. First blood to Rugby.
The four wood singles pitted Craig Carter (Rugby) against Rob Maries (Avenue). It looked like it was going to be finished quickly as Carter raced away to a 17-3 lead. Maries dug in and fought back strong, scoring seven shots at the cost of two in reply, the score now 19-10. A Carter double put an end to any remaining fightback, allowing Rugby to claim their second point
with a 21-10 win.
The Rugby four of John Codling, Nigel Carter, Bruce Trueman and Nigel Townsend found themselves 10-0 down against Pete Hooper, Bill Port, Adam Smith and Matt Wordingham (Avenue) after five ends. Rugby got on the scoreboard but Avenue replied with a five, four, two and three to give them a 24-1 tenth end lead. After a bit more free scoring by Avenue the sides shook hands on 31-4 to give Leamington their first point. The cup would now be decided by the pairs and triples.
After six ends Keith Mason, Brian Boardman and Tom Millership (Rugby) and Luke Edwards, Phil Wadland and John Harris (Avenue) were level on nine all.
Rugby scored a five to gain the lead but Avenue retaliated to reduce the deficit to two shots. Meanwhile in the pairs an early five saw Martyn Murley and Calvin Wells (Rugby) put the pressure on Mark and Andy Smith (Avenue). After six ends Avenue had moved within a shot but Rugby again went on a run, taking the score to 15-9. With the rain getting even heavier Avenue fought back to parity after 16 ends. By this time in the triples Rugby had surged ahead to lead 27-12. Back in the pairs a double and treble saw Rugby move ahead again. With the intensity of the rain increasing a lot more both sides agreed to call it quits. Rugby winning the pairs 21-16 and the triples 27-13.
Those results saw Rugby win the Wardrop Cup with 4 points to 1, both sides deserve credit for putting on a fine display in pretty terrible conditions.
* After the day full of excellent bowling on the County Junior Singles Day only Craig Carter (Rugby) and Matt Wordingham (Avenue Leamington) were left in the competition. Originally scheduled for County Finals Day this game was brought forward due to Matt qualifying for four finals and Craig three.
A dismal wet Three Spires welcomed the young bowlers and it was Carter who made the better start, reaching six shots before Wordingham opened his account. Carter extended his lead to 11-4 but a treble and single saw Wordingham cut that to three shots. The pair exchanged blows, the score reaching 14-12 to the man from Rugby who hit five in three ends to move within two shots of victory. While Wordingham took the next end it was Carter who got the required double to secure his second Junior Singles title with a 21-14 scoreline.
* Warwickshire suffered back to back loses in the Midland Counties League as Northamptonshire beat the Bears 128-112, securing 17 points.
Despite a good start Keith Mason (Rugby), Neil Brereton (Welford), Matt Wells and Tom Millership (both Rugby) led by only a shot at the midway point. A good second half helped Millership and co take a 27-22 victory. Andy Prickett (Norgren), Phil Bale (Grange), Craig Carter and Calvin Wells (both Rugby) trailed by a shot after ten ends. With six ends to play the scores were level on 14 all but the Bears finished stronger to win 22-19.
With fifteen ends played Mark Ireland (Erdington Court), Paul Finch (Kings Heath), Martin Timms (Welford) and Alan Apsey (Rugby) were down by five shots but scored eight in three to take an 18-15 lead. Northants fought back, snatching parity on the last end, final score 21-21. Other rink scores: Adam Smith, Mark Smith, Matt Wordingham and Andy Smith (all Avenue Leamington) 19-23; Graham Box (Little Compton), Rob Maries (Avenue Leamington), Neil Hancock and Dan Box (both Little Compton) 12-19; Martyn Murley (Rugby), Malcolm Evans (Erdington Court), Steve Merrett (Avenue Coventry) and Brian Boardman (Rugby) 11-24.