BOWLS: Last county final of the season decides Wardrop Cup

Nuneaton's captain Dave Fallon (left) receiving the trophy from competition secretary Rob Maries
Nuneaton's captain Dave Fallon (left) receiving the trophy from competition secretary Rob Maries

By Alan Jackson

The last County Final of the season would be the Wardrop Cup, two teams playing each of the main disciplines (fours, triples, pairs, four wood singles and two wood singles). After the downpour that was the main finals day a baking Whitnash BC welcomed Avenue Leamington and Nuneaton.

The two wood singles gives the teams and early chance to strike first, Lee Rowland represented Avenue while Martyn Murley played for Nuneaton. A tight start saw the score level after seven ends and also fourteen ends. Neither player could break clear, with two ends to play they were still locked together, Murley took the penultimate end with a single only for Rowland to reply with a single to take the game into an extra end. Murley stuck his first wood right on the jack and Rowland couldn’t shift it, first blood to Nuneaton with a 14-13 win.

While the two woods was tightly locked together the same couldn’t be said about the fours and pairs. In the pairs Andy Manning and Dave Fallon (Nuneaton) held an eight end 13-1 lead over Avenue’s Dean Whyte and Phil Wadland, while Rick Hayes, John Hughes, Mike Kelly and Rob Maries (Avenue) were 20-0 up after seven ends against the Nuneaton four of Alan Jephcote, Gez Huxley, Harry Smith and Steve Smith. The triples was a lot closer Scott Ashby, Stuart Smith and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) one shot up over Peter Hooper, Gary Newton and Andy Sparkes after seven ends.

The four wood singles features Avenue’s Adam Smith and Ian Harrison (Nuneaton), Smith secured a four to move 10-5 ahead but Harrison rallied to turn that around to 16-11 in his favour. Back in the pairs the sides exchanged shots to leave the game nine shots in Nuneaton’s favour with five ends to play. Avenue’s dominance in the fours continued the lead had increased to seventeen with fourteen ends gone.

In the triples a good spell helped Nuneaton open an eight shot lead. Avenue cut that down to five with one end left, Nuneaton skip Calvin Wells had to ensure he got at least fifth wood to avoid an extra end, a tense measure saw Avenue only pick up four shots, Nuneaton taking the triples 16-15 and a 2-0 lead overall. Hot on the heels of the triples result the pairs also came to a close, with two ends to play Nuneaton’s lead was fourteen, leaving Avenue needing two big ends. On the penultimate end Avenue scored five, which was not enough to take the game into the final ends, Nuneaton winning 25-16 and more importantly taking an unbeatable 3-0 overall lead.

With the game effectively over the fours and four wood singles completed the ends they were currently playing, Avenue taking the fours 33-13 with nineteen ends played and Nuneaton winning the singles 18-16. Final overall score 4-1 to Nuneaton.

# Avenue Leamington were missing two of their regulars as father and son duo Andy and Mark Smith had successfully got through the semi finals of the National Family Pairs at Victoria Park, Leamington with a 24-19 win over Tim & Sam Winter (Yorkshire). In the final they faced Cambridgeshire brothers Adam and Jamie Barker, it was the Smith’s that came out on top, a 23-18 scoreline securing them the title.