BOWLS: Midland Counties win for Warwickshire men


By Alan Jackson

After a narrow defeat in their opening Midland Counties fixture Warwickshire welcomed Lincolnshire to Wolvey BC. The Bears proved to be the stronger side, securing all 22 points with a six rink 139-65 victory.

Captain Alan Apsey (Rugby) along with Lee Maughan (Grange), Martin Hammond (Three Spires) and Martin Timms (Welford) took an 11-4 midway lead. Ten shots in five ends saw Apsey and co extend their advantage further, while Lincolnshire nearly trebled their tally by the end the win went to the hosts 33-11. Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Neil Brereton (Welford), Rob Maries and Andy Smith (both Avenue Leamington) took an early 7-3 lead which became 10-6 after ten ends.

Fourteen shots over the next eight ends helped Smith and co develop a very healthy lead. Despite losing the remaining three ends the Bears had a comfortable 24-11 win.

The all Rugby rink of Craig Carter, Brian Boardman, Matt and Calvin Wells turned their tenth end 13-6 lead into a 26-9 lead with three ends to play. While the visitors finished stronger they couldn’t deny Wells and co their 27-14 victory. After a poor start Lincolnshire fought back to trail Peter Winn (Oakfield), Paul Finch (Kings Heath), Mick Hawkins (Welford) and Tom Millership (Rugby) 11-17 after fifteen ends. However Millership and co finished stronger to win 26-16.

Thirteen shots in five ends saw Andy Prickett (Norgren), Graham Box (Little Compton), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry) and Neil Hancock (Little Compton) get off to an excellent start. Lincolnshire were marginally the stronger for the rest of the game but the Bears walked away with a healthy 23-13 scoreline.

Brian Lees (Welford), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Steve Merrett and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry) trailed by three shots at the halfway stage but reached parity five ends later. Although it remained tight throughout it was Jacox and co who finished with the advantage, final score 20-19.

* Grange played host to the battle of the sexes as Warwickshire’s Men took on Warwickshire’s Women in a rain shortened 15 end game. It was the Men with the biggest grins during the after match meal as they took the game 78-58, County President Brian Mace-Humphries together with Malcolm Wickens (Royal Leamington Spa), Malcolm Welch (Lillington) and Bruce Truman (Rugby) led the way for the Men, winning 12 out of 15 ends to seal a 27-3 victory. An all Executive rink of Derek Wattison, Junior Vice President Len Faulconbridge, Development Officer Mal Raper and David Cooke were level six all midway through. But Cooke and co restricted the women to just two more shots, winning 16-8. Immediate Past President Graham O’Donohue, Past President Mike Brayne, Ron Davies and Ian Kendall got off to a very good start, 11-2 up after ten ends. The women hit back scoring five in the remaining ends but couldn’t deny the men a 12-7 win.

Senior Vice President Clive Faulkner, Roger Sirett (Executive), Frank Gibbs (Grange) and Past President Aubrey Brookhouse hit a sixth end four to take a 7-2 lead. From there the two sides cancelled each other out, Brookhouse and co winning 15-11. Dave Commons (LMRCA), County Treasurer Michael Jackson, Roy Lawrence (Avenue Coventry) and Allan Hockin (LMRCA) found themselves 6-3 down after five ends. They fought back to take a tenth end 9-7 lead but the women shut them out to take the game 14-9.

After seven ends Malcolm Bromwich (Thornfield), Bob Morris (Executive), Jack Carroll (Grange) and Assistant Secretary Gareth Willcock trailed by six shots. Three ends later they reached parity but three twos and a single were enough for the women to win 15-9.