By Alan Jackson
Warwickshire welcomed Somerset to Welford BC in the Middleton Cup looking to break a losing streak stretching several years. In a game with a few twists and turns the Bears won 114-112 despite only winning on two rinks. This game also saw Erdington Courts Rob Robinson awarded his 100th cap and Adam Smith, Matt Wordingham (both Avenue Leamington) and Andy Manning (Nuneaton) awarded their Middleton Cup Flash for playing their sixth game.
The performance of the day came from Mark Burdett (Welford), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Steve Merrett and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry). A very strong start saw them reach ten ends 19-2 up, with three ends left that advantage had risen to 29-7. An even finish saw Jacox and co seal a 33-11 victory. Trailing by four shots at the midway point Andy Prickett (Norgren), Neil Brereton (Entaco), Neil Hancock and Dan Box (both Little Compton) fought back to parity with six ends to go. Box’s rink kept chipping away to claw out a 14-12 win.
Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Matt Wordingham and Andy Smith (both Avenue Leamington) looked to be heading for another rink win for the Bears, six shots ahead with three ends left. Seven unanswered shots saw Somerset snatch a last end 20-19 win. Lee Maughan (Grange), Brian Boardman, Matt and Calvin Wells (all Rugby) held a slender lead after ten ends. Somerset turned that around to lead by two going into the final six. Wells and co couldn’t pull back, losing 16-19.
Martin Murley (Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Martin Timms (Welford) and Alan Apsey (Rugby) trailed by two at the midway point. Their opponents increased their advantage to run out 24-18 winners. Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Paul Finch (Kings Heath), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Mick Hawkins (Welford) were kept at arms length by Somerset, who put on a late surge to win 26-14.