BOWLS: Friendship Cup and Len Taylor Triples titles decided

Len Taylor Triples winners Bilton's John Greer, Steve Wilson and Lee Ingleston
Len Taylor Triples winners Bilton's John Greer, Steve Wilson and Lee Ingleston

Rugby Railway and Bilton teams celebrating RBA successes

After 11 weeks of competition, the Rugby Bowling Association Friendship Cup once again went down to the last game of the season to decide the winning team, writes Keith Oakes.

And Rugby Railway were those winners, crowned champions for the fourth consecutive year.

There were some hard-fought battles for all the teams and the Rail had to overcome some of these, losing three matches on the way, one of which was to the second placed team in the league, Oakfield who finished with 88 points overall.

Losing their first and third matches to Thornfield by 6 points and the Grange by 4 points, they eagerly awaited the return match against Oakfield (possibly their Achilles heel this season) on August 1 when they could have clinched the title then if they had won. But Oakfield came out with more gusto and pushed the Railway team on to a slow track giving Oakfield 10 points and Rail 4 points.

The Rail would have to wait for their last encounter with Rugby Club (who themselves were in with a chance of the title), to see how Bilton faired in their last game with Rugby Club.

With Rugby Club taking all but 1 point (13-1) from Bilton, there was still a strong chance that if the Rail were slow out of the sidings on their next encounter, then they could become champions.

Oakfield were hoping this match would end with the points being shared so they could retain their lead and take the title as it was virtually impossible to be caught on shot difference.

Rugby Railway didn’t contemplate losing so it was full steam ahead and romped home with a win of 12 points to 2 points, 84 shots to 61 shots and the title of Friendship Cup champions for the fourth year in a row with 91 points.

The Len Taylor Two Wood Triples competition was played at Rugby Railway club on Sunday amid early sunshine and late downpour of rain. All the bowlers kept going throughout the heavy showers to complete the round robin competition, being a one-day event.

There were 22 teams divided in to two groups, each team of three playing four games of seven ends, each game taking approximately 45 minutes.

The winner of Group 1 and the winner of Group 2 would play a grand final play-off of seven ends. The team that gains most shots in a game is determined to be the winner and takes the points.

Each winning team gained 5 points or if a draw 1 point.

In Group 1 there were four teams with two wins (10 points) and in Group 2, two teams on 10 points. After the third round in Group 1 there were three teams with a clean sheet and one in Group 2 (15 points). The rain may have had an effect on the green.

By the end of the fourth game the Grange’s Dave Robinson trio were the clear winners in Group 2 with a clean sheet, 20 points and 31 shots. In Group 1 it was closer with two teams, Bilton’s Steve Wilson trio and Grange’s Brian Beere trio on 16 points, but Steve Wilson took it by just 2 shots, 28 to 26 respectively.

Equal third places were awarded to next two teams with the highest points and shots from all others.

Brian Beere, Brenda Beere & Janet Miller from the Grange had 16 points and 26 shots and Colin Stanton, Bruce Truman & Dave Mobbs from Rugby Railway had 16 points but with the best shots count by far for the day of 45.

The final, played on a neutral rink suited Bilton’s Steve Wilson, Lee Ingleston and John Greer as they soon overpowered the Grange’s trio of Dave Robinson, Stuart Miller & Grenville Watton who conceded the game after end six, giving Steve, Lee & John the title and the (new) Len Taylor championship trophy.

Also, thanks must go to the ladies who did the catering all day for us and the Rugby Railway BC for the use of their facilities.