BOWLS: British Isles title for Rugby pair

Craig Carter and Tom Millership
Craig Carter and Tom Millership

Carter and Millership champions in Scotland

Bowls by Alan Jackson

When County Pairs winners Craig Carter and Tom Millership (Rugby BC) won the National Pairs title last August they also booked their place in the British Isles Bowls Council Championships to be played at Eddlewood BC, Hamilton, Scotland.

Their first opponents were the Jersey pair of Michael Baudin and Mervin Richardson. After nine ends the scores were level on 7 all. A good spell saw the English pair build up a commanding lead which Jersey could not overcome, final score 25-16 to Carter and Millership. The Welsh duo of Ryan Boots and Brian Howard awaited in the semi finals, an excellent start by England looked to put the game out of reach, 20-5 up after 13 ends. Wales fought back and clawed the score back to 21-19 with two ends left. The English pair took those ends by two shots to seal a 25-19 victory.

The final would be a clash between England and Scotland, with Jimmy Anderson and Johnnie McLean representing the Scots. Another good start saw Carter and Millership 14-4 up with 11 ends played. The Scottish pair cut the deficit down to three shots but the men from Rugby dug in to double their advantage and take the title with a 21-14 scoreline.

* Rugby BC again welcomed under 25s from around the county as they hosted the County Under 25s Singles Day.

Due to numbers two preliminary rounds were required to determine the last 16. Craig Carter beat Luke Moore 21-11 and Harry Billington beat Luke Gardner 21-10. The last 16 games set the scene for the remainder of the day, excellent bowlers locked in battle with each other. Full results Tom Ward 21-16 Mark Huckfield, Mark Smith 21-17 Harry Billington, Craig Carter 21-16 Adam

Smith, Jordan Ward 21-14 Dan Ward, Jordan Merrett 21-12 Callum Huckfield, Scott Ashby 21-8 James Finch, Dan Ellicott 21-16 Aiden Maries and Matt Wordingham 21-4 Tom Wheeler.

The quarter finals produced two sets of results, two fairly comfortable wins and two more harder battles (both of which stretched into 30 odd ends). Craig Carter 21-4 Jordan Ward, Matt Wordingham 21-3 Dan Ellicott, Mark Smith 21-11 Tom Ward and Jordan Merrett 21-13 Scott Ashby. The semi finals, played in glorious sunshine, saw two absolute crackers with the only disappointment being two players had to lose.

Matt Wordingham made a very good start, opening up a 10-3 lead but Jordan Merrett fought back to jump ahead 12-11. Wordingham again moved in front 18-15 and then sealed his finals berth with a double and single, 21-15. It looked like newly crowned British Isles Pairs Champion Craig Carter could be on his way out as Mark Smith took an 11-4 lead. Carter quickly got back into the tie and soon both players had 15 shots. Carter hit a pair of singles, Smith replied with one of his own but a treble and single took Craig carter over the line with a 21-16 win.

If the Under 25s Final on County Finals Day, Sunday, August 2 at Grange BC, is even half as good as some of the ties played during the day then the spectators are in for a treat.