BOWLS: County men’s team


Opening victory in Francis Burton Trophy

Warwickshire’s Senior Squad started this season’s Francis Burton Trophy win a 116-102 win away to Lincolnshire. Three winning and one drawn rink saw the Bears claim 17 of the available 22 points.

Andy Smith skipped his son Adam, fellow Avenue Leamington player Matt Wordingham and Ian Harrison (Nuneaton) to a 12-5 halfway lead. Over the next five ends they nearly doubled their tally to gain a 23-8 advantage with six ends left to play. Lincolnshire restricted Smith and co to just one more shot but could only halve the deficit. Final score 24-17 to the Bears. Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Pete Harwood (Wolvey), Steve Merrett and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry) found themselves a shot adrift after ten ends but turned that into a one shot advantage with six ends to go. A strong finish helped Jacox’s rink open up their advantage and secure a 20-14 win.

Nuneaton father and son duo Trevor and Andy Manning together with Dan Ward (Whitnash) and Rob Robinson (Erdington Court) took the third rink win for Warwickshire but had to stage a late comeback to do so. 11-10 down became 14-12 down with just six ends left to turn it around. A fine display saw them restrict Lincs to one more shot while scoring eight of their own, 20-15 the final score. Avenue Coventry’s Steve Taylor along with Phil Green (Norgren), Neil Brereton (Entaco) and Paul Finch (Kings Heath) also had to stage a late comeback. After 15 ends they trailed 15-9 but cut the deficit down to one shot heading into the final three. Despite their best efforts Taylor and co had to settle for a share of the spoils as the teams ended on 17 all.

The all-Rugby rink of Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman, Matt and Clavin Wells saw their early advantage turn into a half time deficit of four shots. Wells and co managed to pull within a shot but the hosts held them at bay to seal a 20-19 win. Lincolnshire made an excellent start and ran up a 12-3 midway lead over Martin Murley (Rugby), Rob Maries (Norgren), Craig Carter and Tom Millership (both Rugby). The Bears had the better of the remaing ends but could not stop their opponents clinching a 19-16 victory.

* The Under 25s reclaimed the Avonmore Associates Trophy with a 89-68 victory over Worcestershire at Entaco BC. Rink scores (in playing order): Hannah Smith, Tom Ward, Dan Jones & Adam Smith 16-18; Jordan Merrett, Callum Huckfield, Mark Smith & Luke Moore 32-20; Tom Wheeler, Georgina Cooper, Mark Huckfield & Tom Millership 14-21; Harry Billingham, Kay Sabin, Jordan Ward & Dan Ward 27-9.

* In their opening Inter-County Friendly fixture Warwickshire lost 118-109 away to Middlesex. Rink scores (in playing order): Lee Maughan (Grange), Graham O’Donohue (President), Dick Allibon (Royal Leamington Spa) & Dave Cooke (Executive) 13-20; Keith Austin (Three Spires), Arnold Goad (Secretary), Keith Francis (Lillington) & George Palmer (Bilton) 21-18; Ian Parton Smith (Erdington Court), Michael Jackson (Treasurer), David Harrison (Bilton) & John Slinn (Highway) 21-16; Peter Hooper (Avenue Leamington), Arthur Stretton (Tamworth), Stan Orton (Past President) & Mike Blackmore (Stratford) 16-16; Dave Washbourne (Warwick Boat Club), Mike Wallace (Royal Leamington Spa), Steve Willey (Three Spires) & Brian Mace Humphries (Snr Vice President) 14-26; Peter Lewis (Rugby), Peter Higgins (Royal Leamington Spa), Ron Podesta (Wolvey) & Aubrey Brookhouse (Past President) 24-22.