BOWLS: By Alan Jackson


Bears open Francis Burton and White Rose campaigns

The Bears’ Francis Burton campaign started with a trip to Leicestershire. In a very close encounter it was the home side that took an 118-115 win, leaving the Bears with only seven of the available 22 points.

Captain Alan Apsey along with Martin Murley (both Rugby), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court) and Martin Timms (Welford) led the way for the visitors. A close start saw them reach ten ends 8-7 up but then they kicked on, increasing the lead to ten shots with six ends to play. Apsey and co continued to push onwards to win 26-10. Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Matt Wordingham and Andy Smith (both Avenue Leamington) blitzed the Foxes early on, reaching the midway point 17-7 in

front. Leicestershire rallied, doubling their tally in the next five ends. Both sides added four in the remaining ends to give the Bears a 24-18 victory.

The all Rugby rink of Craig Carter, Brian Boardman, Matt & Calvin Wells needed to launch a second half fightback after they found themselves 12-5 down after ten ends. Five ends later they had trebled their score to lead 16-12, an even finish helped Wells and co finish 20-17 up. A very tight encounter saw Andrew & Trevor Manning (both Nuneaton), Mick Hawkins (Welford) and Tom Millership (Rugby) recover from a midway 8-6 deficit to lead 14-10 with six ends left.

Leicestershire took a two shot lead with three ends left, with little to separate the teams it was fitting that the rink ended level on 17 all.

Dan Box (Little Compton) skipped Phil Green (Norgren), Greg Sampson (Avenue Coventry) and Neil Hancock (Little Compton) to a 12-4 tenth end lead. Leicestershire cut that lead to one shot before Box and co rebuilt it to lead by four with three ends to play.With one wood left in the game the Foxes skip turned two shots down into three shots up to snatch the game 22-20.

Brian Lees (Welford), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Steve Merrett and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry) had an afternoon to forget. Trailing 22-8 after fifteen ends they could add no further shots, final score 34-8 to the Foxes.

* Warwickshire’s Under 25s faced a stiff challenge in the preliminary round of the White Rose Trophy (two fours), with a journey to Bristol BC to face Devon.

Matt Wordingham’s rink of Adam Smith, Jordan Merrett and Luke Moore got off to a good start, eight ends in and they led 9-5. There was also four shots difference in the other rink but unfortunately for Mark Smith, Luke Beech, Tom Pritty and Craig Carter it was in Devons favour. With thirteen ends played Carter was even further adrift, 13-5 down and Wordingham led by one. There is never a good time to drop a six but Wordingham and co did so to break a three end run of picking up shot but they rallied cut the deficit to one with four ends to play. Over on Carter’s rink a four end spell saw the Bears take a big chunk out of Devons lead, reducing it to three shots with two ends left. Both sides added a single to finish Warwickshire 12-15 Devon.

With the other rink finished Wordingham’s rink knew they need to recover those three shots plus the three they were down. But a brace of twos and a single put the win out of reach and the teams shook hands after the twentieth end. Rink score 23-17 to Devon, overall score sees Devon win 38-29.