But disappointment in Middleton Cup
Bowls by Alan Jackson
Warwickshire defence of the Balcomb Trophy started with a trip down to Bristol BC to take on Dorset. Dorset had recently beaten the Bears in the Middleton Cup so the fixture had an extra edge. Revenge was well and truly taken as a rampant Bears side won 39-15.
An even start saw Matt Wells, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) leading by one after five ends.
However Martin Murley (Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Tom Millership and Alan Apsey (both Rugby) got off to a flying start, hitting 11 unanswered shots in their first five ends. Apsey and co traded shots with their opponents to reach midway 15-5 up and Wells’ rink put on a spurt to reach the tenth end 10-4.
In the next five ends both rinks achieved identical scores, six shots for and one against. Apsey leading 21-6 and Wells 16-5, giving an overall lead of 26. With a big lead and ends running out it wasn’t long before Dorset conceded. Apsey winning 23-6 after 16 ends and Wells 16-9 with 17 ends played.
* After the narrow defeat in their opening Middleton Cup game Warwickshire knew that the visit of Wiltshire to Rugby BC took on extra importance. This game also saw Martin Timms become a Middleton Cup centurion and Chris Barton awarded his 50th Cap. Unfortunately Wiltshire proved too strong for the Bears, claiming a 131-110 victory and leaving the hosts with only four points.
Andy Prickett (Norgren), Neil Brereton (Entaco), Neil Hancock and Dan Box (both Little Compton) started at a canter, 10-0 up after five ends. With six ends to play the lead had increased to 14 shots. Restricting their opponents to just one more shot Box and co increased their tally by ten to complete a 32-9 win. A full house helped Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Luke Beech (Avenue Coventry), Matt Wordingham and Andy Smith (both Avenue Leamington) take a 16-5 midway lead. They still held that 11 shot advantage heading into the final three ends. Wiltshire finished strong but could not deny Smith’s rink a 23-19 victory.
Martin Murley (Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Martin Timms (Welford) and Alan Apsey (Rugby) trailed 11 nil after five ends and also trailed by 11 with six ends left. Apsey and co had the better of the remaining ends but still fell to a 13-22 defeat. The all Rugby rink of Craig Carter, Brian Boardman, Matt and Calvin Wells were all square at the halfway mark. Despite nearly doubling their tally Wells and co ended up on the losing side because Wiltshire trebled their score to win 27-17.
A poor start saw Greg Sampson (Avenue Coventry), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Steve Merrett and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry) 22-7 down with six ends left. During those ends Jacox’s rink doubled their score but it was only damage limitation as Wiltshire ran out 27-15 winners. Brian Lees (Welford), Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Mick Hawkins (Welford) and Tom Millership (Rugby) were soon out of contact with the visitors who raced away winning 27-10.