Murley and Ashby in county pairs finale

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Rugby’s Martyn Murley and Graham Ashby will contest the final of Warwickshire’s pairs championship against Avenue Coventry’s Greg Sampson and Colin Jacox.

In the semi-finals at Wolvey BC Murley and Ashby beat Erdington Court’s Rob Robinson and Richard Brittan 25-12 while Sampson and Jacox accounted for Rugby’s Karl Finch and Stuart Thomas by 23-16.

The game between Rugby and Erdington was a close affair up to the 11th end when at that stage the Rugby duo led 11-8, but they then weighed in with 5, 1, 4, 2, 1 to go 24-9 ahead to set them up for their eventual win which was completed when their opposite numbers conceded after 19 ends.

It could have been very much different, however, for during Rugby’s latter five ends winning spell Erdington were twice holding five shots and on each occasion Ashby beat them all with brilliant draw shots.

In the Jacox-Thomas tie the Avenue duo got off to a good start with a 9-2 lead at five ends and with 15 ends played they had increased their advantage to 15-6. A late four was more than enough to ensure them a seven-shot victory.

n In the quarter-finals, also at Wolvey, Murley and Asbby were 20-3 winners against Whitnash’s lad and dad Nick and Bill Ward. Although the Rugby pair bowled exceptionally well throughout the game it was not the same for Bill Ward who unfortunately slipped on the mat during the early stages and hurt his back and was then unable to play up to the form of which he is capable. The Wards conceded without playing the last eight ends.

Sampson and Jacox did almost everything right on their way to a 29-6 success over LMRCA’s Mick Howkins and Charlie Wright as they led 4-2, 15-4 and 27-4 after five, ten and 15 ends respectively.

Robinson and Brittan had a strong finish to thank for their 29-17 win against Nuneaton’s Mark Glover and Tom Millership when after the Erdington pair had trailed 17-16 at 13 ends they scored on six of the last eight ends with one treble, three doubles and two singles against two singles.

The game was played on an earlier date as Millership was unavailable on the scheduled day as he was involved in an England junior practice session before playing in the forthcoming under-25s international series.

Finch and Thomas got off to a cracking start with a 13-0 lead at five ends and were never extended as they streched their lead to a 26-5 final win after 15 ends against Nuneaton’s Michael Burr and Ian Harrison.

n Warwickshire completed their Middleton Cup qualifying programme on a high note with an emphatic 135-110 victory over Worcestershire. Playing at Worcester BC the county side returned five winning cards and a draw to collect all but one of the 22 points on offer.

That all means it will be Worcestershire and not Warwickshire who will finish bottom of the round robin section after the two counties had previously lost to both Devon and Cornwall.

Brian Lees, Lawson Bailey, Pete Hobbs and Stuart Thomas returned the Bears’ highest winning card when after leading from start to finish they finally finished with a 23-14 win. Liam Pearcey, Simon Davies, Tom Millership and Alan Apsey were 8-5 down at ten ends, scored an 11th end six to go 11-8 up and with 20 ends played they were still in front at 19-16 before dropping a last-end treble to finish all square at 19-19.

Matt Wells, Neil Brereton Mick Hawkins and Calvin Wells registered a five on the fifth end and a six on the 16th and that was the deciding factor in their eventual 26-20 success.

After hanging in with a 15-14 lead at 15 ends Craig Carter, Greg Sampson, Neil Hancock and Colin Jacox conceded a 20th end six to trail 22-20 and then made amends with a last end four to win 22-20.

Martin Hammond, Steve Taylor, Kevin Tandy and Andy Smith were in trouble with a 20-10 deficit at 15 ends but then made a remarkable recovery to score 12 unanswered shots over the remaining exchanges to win 22-20. Graham Box, Steve Merrett, Chris Barton and Dan Box led 4-2, 13-5 and 19-13 at five, ten and 15 ends respectively before signing off 21-15 ahead.

n Warwickshire ladies have had a most busy time of late with their Johns Trophy, Mid-England and friendly games. They completed their Johns Trophy campaign with a first win in the event when at Norgren BC they beat Wiltshire by 126-103.

Di Wilkinson, Wendy Holloway, Sue Hornsby and Moira Parsons won 27-12, Gill Maund, Lilian Hope, Jamie-Lea Winch and Maureen Edwards won 28-16 and Kirsty Richards, Aileen Shuttleworth, Trish Jarvis and Elaine Taylor won 20-15.

Losing rinks were Margaret Grosvenor, Helen Harris, Jacqui Cook and Jenny Corn (18-23), Di Medhurst, Di Thurlbeck, Di Green and Maureen Tims (16-19) and Patsy Tandy, Lynne Innes, Liz Westell and Janet Scott (17-18). After the match Wolvey’s Trish Jarvis and Sherwood Park’s Gill Maund were awarded their Johns Trophy flashes and Wolvey’s Elaine Taylor was awarded a Walker Cup flash.

n In their latest Mid-England League match the ladies chalked up a 127-99 win against Oxfordshire at Oxford City & County BC. And with three winning rinks and a draw added another 12 points to their overall tally. The Bears’ rink results were Chris Harding, Di Thurlbeck, Di Green and Maureen Tims (27-10), Margaret Andrew, Elaine Cresswell, Liz Westell and Liz Chedgzoy (28-13), Margaret Andrew, June Hands, Jean Petty and Jenny Corn (21-15), Chris Ward, Pat Bax, Jamie-Lea Winch and Maureen Edwards (19-19), Janet Greenwell, Pat Harvey, Aileen Shuttleworth and Janet Scott (16-25), Di Wilkinson, Carol Norton, Sue Hornsby and Moira Parsons (16-17).

n Warwickshire’s rink results in their friendly against Pen-Y-Glyn County ladies were Jane Crawley, Shirley Tucker, Aileen Shuttleworth and Pat Bax (34-10 Chris Harding, Terri Hitchcox, Pat Harvey and June Hands (19-11), Susan Harson, Barbara Harsant, Mo Yeomans and Jenny Corn (27-15), Patsy Tandy, Chris Cooke, Barbara Jeffrey and Elaine Taylor (20-13), Janet Pooler, Carol Norton, Helen Harris and Maureen Edwards (23-13), Margaret Andrew, Audrey Stephens, Wendy Holloway and Trish Jarvis (10-26), Warwickshire 133 Pen-Y-Glyn 88.