BOWLS: Midland Counties win for Bears over Worcestershire

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County President’s team takes on his own club in annual friendly fixture

Warwickshire’s penultimate Midland Counties League fixture saw the visit of Worcestershire to Three Spires BC. A good afternoon for the Bears saw them picking up 17 of the available 22 points in a 138-112 victory, writes Alan Jackson.

Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Rob Maries (Avenue Leamington), Matt Wells (Rugby) and Alan Apsey (Welford) raced away to a tenth end 20-4 lead and added another twelve over the next six ends. Worcestershire hit three consecutive singles but a single and last end treble saw Apsey and co claim a 36-8 win. Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Paul Finch (Kings Heath), Darren Ward (Rugby) and Mark Ireland (Erdington Court) scored an unanswered fifteen shots in the first five ends and still held that advantage with six ends to play. The visitors cut the deficit down to ten and that remained the winning margin for Ireland’s rink, final score 24-14.

Tom Wheeler (Grange), Graham Box, Dan Box (both Little Compton) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) led by ten after fifteen ends and also with three end to play. Wells and co took a double but Worcestershire replied with a four and single but couldn’t deny the Bears their 28-21 victory. Jordan Ward (Rugby), Mal Evans (Erdington Court), Brian Boardman (Rugby) and Martin Timms (Rugby) were all square after fifteen ends. Four singles over the next four ends, three for Worcestershire and one for the Bears saw Timms’ rink two down with two to play. The Bears took two singles to give them a share of the spoils, 16 all final score.

Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Lee Maughan (Rugby), Andy Sparkes (Avenue Leamington) and Neil Hancock (Little Compton) turned a fifth end one shot deficit into a halfway two shot advantage. With sixteen ends gone Worcestershire again had taken the lead, the Bears took the next two ends to reduce the deficit to three shots. Worcestershire replied with a double before the sides exchanged trebles, final score 25-20 to the visitors. James Finch (Kings Heath), Harry Smith, Dave Fallon (both Nuneaton) and Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry) were nine shots down after ten ends and also after sixteen ends. A strong finish for the visitors saw them complete a 28-14 win.

# The latest game for County President Don Darby was the one most President’s look forward to, playing against their own club. At a very sunny Avon BC the President’s side almost completed a clean sweep, winning five out of six rinks, in a 108-83 victory. Due to the hot weather the game was only 18 ends.

David Knee (Grange), Rick Hayes (Avenue Leamington), John Hibbert (Wolvey) and Senior Vice President Geoff Moran started fast, reaching ten end 15-7 up. By fifteen ends the lead had increased to eleven shots, final score 25-13. Lee Ingleston (Bilton), Bob Sands (Wolvey), Assistant Secretary Bob Allcock and Alan Barker (Kineton) were five up after seven ends but had to settle for parity with five ends to go. A trio of singles bookended by three saw Barker and co take the game 20-11.

Barry Connolly (Avenue Leamington), Bryn Poore (Nuneaton), Martin Preedy (Lillington) and Ian Basnett (Stoke) led by two after six ends but trailed by two after eleven. A strong run in saw Basnett’s rink secure an 18-9 victory. Bob Page (Grange), President Don Darby, Tom Wheeler and Phil Bale (Grange) were all square at the halfway stage. A five helped the President move ahead and a strong finish meant a comfortable 20-11 win.

Junior Vice President Clive Faulkner, Clive Burbage (Solihull Municipal), Secretary Michael Jackson and George Smith (Wellesbourne) limited their hosts to just one shot in the opening seven ends but could only manage seven shots themselves. A five on the twelve end took Smith and co eight clear but Avon cut that down two with one end left. The Bears took a treble on the final end to seal a 17-12 win. Ken Tredgold (Southam), Match Secretary Mike Hall, Colin Daly (Lillington) and Past President Aubrey Brookhouse trailed by two shots after ten ends. A treble, six and double by Avon took the game beyong Brookhouse and co, final score 27-8 to Avon.