By Alan Jackson
Avenue BC Leamington played host as Kings Heath and Welford contested the Wardrop Cup Final. While the temperature was cooler than it had been recently the players produced a sizzling performance.
In the Two Wood Singles Simon Davies (Welford) took on Len Pates (Kings Heath). Pates made the early running, 6-1 up after 6 ends, Davies pulled back to 6-5 only for Pates to reach 12 ends 9-5 up. A pair of singles and doubles saw Davies take the lead for the first time only for Pates to level the game 11 all with four ends left. Davies hit a double and two singles to take first blood first blood for Welford, 15-11 final score. The Four Wood Singles between Welford’s Mick Hawkins and Paul Finch (Kings Heath) was a fairly one sided affair. Hawkins had the better start to lead 4-3 but then only dropped one more shot on his way to a 21-4 win, Welford now 2-0 up.
Kings Heath’s Fours of Keith Payton, George Morrison, I Follett and Ian Brown hit the ground running, 14-2 up after eight ends against Fred Coleman, M Holloway, Brian Lees and Peter Bryan (Welford). Meanwhile in triples Des Workman, Lew Whitehouse and Vince Warren (Kings Heath) also started well to lead Mario Rosso, Andy Francis and Martin Timms (Welford) 10-3 with eight ends gone.
So it looked like the Pairs could be the deciding point, with nine ends played Dave Hobbis & Neil Brereton (Welford) and Dave Greaves & Jim Freeman (Kings Heath) were level six all. Kings Heath increased their lead in the Fours, 23-4 up with seven ends left and also in the Triples, 17-9 up after 14 ends. In the Pairs the team from Birmingham also went ahead, opening up a 12-8 advantage with 14 ends gone.
Welford then started fighting back on all three matches. After 17 ends it was all level in the Pairs, with one end left Welford trailed by one in the Triples and they had reduced the deficit to seven in the Fours. A five saw Welford jump ahead in the Pairs, while at the same time they completed their comeback in the Triple to win 18-17 and take the decisive third point overall. With the victory sealed both the Fours and Pairs stopped playing, Welford taking the Pairs 17-12 while Kings Heath won the Fours 23-16.
So, in the space of a few ends the game swung from a potential 3-2 win for Kings Heath to a 4-1 victory for the men from Welford to give the club its fifth Wardrop Cup title, the other four being 1982, 1995, 1997 and 1999.