BOWLS: Rugby quartet are county champions

County Fours champions, Rugby's Tom Millership, Craig Carter, Liam Pearcey and Brian Boardman
County Fours champions, Rugby's Tom Millership, Craig Carter, Liam Pearcey and Brian Boardman

County finals round-up by Alan Jackson

After two thrilling semi-finals the County Singles had a tough act to follow, Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry) was looking for his second win while his opponent Dan Box (Little Compton) was seeking his first title. Box scored an early four to move 8-1 ahead but Merrett brought that back to 8-6 and then swung things round to lead 13-11. Box replied with three doubles and a treble to put his one shot shy of the crown. Merrett took the next end with a double but Dan Box got the shot he needed to complete a 21-15 win and take his first title.

This year's Junior Singles final was a rerun of last years Junior Singles final, Scott Ashby (Nuneaton) playing Craig Carter (Rugby). There was little between the pair early on but a good run took Ashby 13-4 up, Carter answered with a pair of singles but Ashby increased his lead to 18-6. Carter again scored a pair of singles, Scott Ashby response was three singles to complete his 21-8 win.

The County Two Wood Singles pitted Erdington Court’s Mark Ireland against Martin Heitzman (Avenue Leamington). With seven ends played Heitzman led by two but had to settle for parity after twelve. Ireland moved ahead but again the scores were level, this time with seventeen ends gone. The pair exchanged singles, leaving two ends to play, a penultimate end double for Ireland meant nothing but a double of his own would see Heitzman miss out, even a double would just see the game go to an extra end. Mark Ireland took the final end with a single, winning an exciting final 14-11. Allan Hockin (Rugby Railway) and Paul Jones (Solihull Municipal) competed for this year's Unbadged Singles. Hockin got off to a good start but a four helped Jones turn things around to lead 8-4, a treble for Hockin cut the deficit but Jones again pulled away to a 14-9 advantage. Paul Jones then ran off the shots he needed to win his County badge, winning the Unbadged Singles 21-9.

After six ends the score was all square between Rob Robinson & Richard Brittan (Erdington Court) and Graham & Dan Box (Little Compton) in the County Pairs. The Box’s moved seven shots clear after eleven ends and took that to twelve three ends later. With the score on 24-8 after eighteen ends Robinson & Brittan shook hands to give Graham & Dan Box the Pairs title. The County Triples final was a very one-sided affair, Andrew Francis, Mick Hawkins and Simon Davies (Welford) limited to just two shots by Scott Ashby, Calvin Wells and Graham Ashby (Nuneaton). Ashby and co winning 18-2.

Despite scoring an early five Robert Corp, Hugh Dunachie, Alex Lewis and Mal Evans (Sherwood Park) trailed by three after ten ends in the County Fours against Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman, Craig Carter and Tom Millership (Rugby). Evans and co then took another five ends but Millership’s rink replied well, adding nine shots over five ends to lead by seven. A nineteenth end four for Evans meant that they trailed by two with two ends left, the Rugby quartet took those ends to win 24-19 and take the crown.

John Bentien, N Walker, Rob Wilson and Gary Langford (Solihull Municipal) were a shot up against Andy Prickett, Ken Chedgzoy, Martin Timms and Alan Apsey (Welford) in the Senior Fours after six ends but four ends later trailed by six. With fourteen ends gone the scores were level, a single and double took Welford ahead, Solihull replied with a single but Apsey and co took a final end single to win 16-13.

The area winners for this years Ivens Cup were Sherwood Park “B”, Avenue Coventry, Thornfield “A” and Royal Leamington Spa “A”.

In the first semi-final Sherwood Park (J Nicklin, P Hughes, R Smith and A Lewis) took on Royal Leamington Spa (D Allibon, J Tighe, G White and D Williams). Royal Leamington Spa made a very good start, leading by twelve after nine ends but a six on the fourteenth end saw Sherwood Park cut the deficit to two. With three ends to go Royal Leamington Spa held a slender shot lead, the sides exchanged singles and Royal Leamington Spa took the last end to move on to the final with a 21-19 win. With six ends played the game between Thornfield (C Hall, J Kilsby, T Duggins and F Bastock) and Avenue Coventry (P Birch, M Harriman, N Merrett and L Beech) was all square. With ten ends played Thornfield had moved three shots clear but Avenue replied with a good spell to lead by eight with three ends to go. Only two of those were needed, Thornfield’s single was followed by a four for Avenue, final score 25-14.

The beaten semi-finalists Sherwood Park (P Hughes, M Taylor, J Nicklin and R Smith) and Thornfield (C Hall, J Kilsby, T Duggins and F Bastock) faced each other to see who would finish third in this year's Ivens Cup. At the midway stage the scores were level on ten all, Thornfield moved three ahead but Sherwood Park replied to lead by five with four ends to go. With one end left Thornfield had cut the deficit to two but could only get one of the required shots, Sherwood Park finishing third with a 20-19 win.

This years Ivens Cup final pitted Avenue Coventry (P Birch, M Harriman, N Merrett and L Beech) against Royal Leamington Spa (D Allibon, J Tighe, G White and D Williams). Royal Leamington Spa made a good start but the game was all square after ten ends. With seventeen ends played Royal Leamington Spa led by a shot but scored a single, four and treble to win the Ivens Cup with a 23-14 scoreline.