BOWLS: Midland Counties victory for county ahead of Middleton Cup campaign

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By Alan Jackson

Warwickshire’s last Midland Counties League match before they start their Middleton Cup campaign saw them travel to Long Eaton BC to take on Derbyshire. A hot afternoon saw the Bears secure 16 points with a 112-108 victory.

Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Brian Boardman (Rugby), Steve Smith (Nuneaton) and Martin Timms (Welford) made an excellent start, reaching ten ends 17-3 up. Timms and co continued to steadily build their lead, opening it to 19 with four ends to play, Derbyshire chipped away at the deficit but couldn’t deny the Bears a 24-13 win. Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Gary Langford (Solihull), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) were 7-0 down after five ends but turned it around to lead by one at the midway point. With six ends left Smith’s rink led by five and they doubled their advantage in the remaining ends to win 25-14.

Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Rob Maries (Avenue Leamington), Alan Apsey (Welford) and Dave Fallon (Nuneaton) led by four after ten ends, in the remaining ends Fallon and co kept increasing their advantage only for Derbyshire to peg them back. Final score 23-18 to the Bears. Harry Smith (Nuneaton), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Matt Wells (Rugby) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) got off to a slow start, six shots down after ten ends. Neither side could make much headway, the difference remaining pretty steady, Derbyshire took the game 20-15.

Karl Finch (Avenue Coventry), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) recovered from an early deficit to reach parity after fifteen ends. With one end left the scores were still level, 20 all but Derbyshire hit a last end six to win 23-17. Andy Prickett (Welford), Darren Ward (Rugby), Dan Box (Little Compton) and Mark Ireland (Erdington Court) led by a shot after ten ends but with fifteen gone were 11-8 down. Derbyshire added nine unanswered shots to win the game 20-8.

# After a successful county tour Warwickshire resumed their inter-county friendly fixtures with a trip to Dunstable BC to play Bedfordshire. With it already raining before the game the teams agreed to play 18 ends. The rain got steadily heavier and with most rinks only completing ten ends the game was ended, the score at the time giving Warwickshire an 80-35 win.

Immediate Past President Graham O’Donohue, Keith Austin (Three Spires), Tom Gilbert (Ambleside) and Nigel Hewitson (Rugby) won 27-5. Rick Hayes (Avenue Leamington), Neil Webb (Grange), Chris Vipond (Highway) and Past President Phil Green won 15-2. Lee Ingleston (Bilton), Martin Preedy (Lillington), President Don Darby and Senior Vice President Geoff Moran won 14-9.

Bill Brown (Thornfield), Colin Baldwin (Avenue Leamington), Secretary Michael Jackson and Bruce Truman (Rugby Railway) won 14-11. Graham Clarke (Highway), Match Secretary Mike Hall, Keith Francis (Lillington) and Ray White (Royal Leamington Spa) won 8-5. Past President Clive Faulkner, Peter Mabbs (Highway), Mick Allsopp (Nuneaton) and Roger Percival (Ambleside) lost 2-9.