BOWLS: Victory in final Midland Counties League game

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Warwickshire’s men beat Northamptonshire 129-116

Bowls by Alan Jackson

A blustery Abington BC greeted the Bears for their final game in this season’s Midland Counties League. Despite only winning two rinks Warwickshire were victorious against Northamptonshire by a 129-116 scoreline, picking up 14 of the available 22 points.

Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Gary Langford (Solihull Municipal), Darren Ward (Rugby) and Neil Hancock (Little Compton) got off to a good start, ten shots clear after ten ends. Hancock and co doubled that advantage over the next seven ends, the hosts made a brief rally but couldn’t deny the Bears a 29-13 victory. Tom Wheeler (Grange), James Finch (Kings Heath), Adam Smith and Andy Smith (both Avenue Leamington) had a slender shot lead after five ends but hit the accelerator to take that to a sixteen shot lead with five ends left. Both sides added five shots in the remaining ends, giving Smith and co a 29-13 win.

Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Rob Maries (Avenue Leamington), Steve Smith (Nuneaton) and Alan Apsey (Welford) trailed by a shot at the midway point, which increased to six after fifteen ends. Apsey’s rink fought back and took a two shot advantage heading into the final end. Unfortunately the hosts took a treble on the final end to snatch a 23-22 win. Harry Smith (Nuneaton), Paul Finch (Kings Heath), Stuart Smith and Dave Fallon (both Nuneaton) recovered from a poor start to reach ten ends one up. Northants turned the game around to take a five shot lead, Fallon and co knocked a couple of shots off but lost 17-20.

Jordan Ward (Rugby), Rob Robinson, Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (all Erdington Court) led by four with five ends left. The hosts staged a comeback, cutting the deficit down to one before shutting out the Bears to win 22-18. Graham Box (Little Compton), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Dan Box (Little Compton) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) trailed by three after ten ends. With two ends left the deficit had reached nine, Northants took two singles to win 25-11.

# The two latest inter county friendlies saw a win and a loss. The game against Buckinghamshire at Stratford BC was reduced to 15 ends due to a delay while a member of the opposition was taken ill due to the heat, Buck winning 85-81.

Bucks rink scores: Dan Hampson (Bidford), Match Secretary Mike Hall, Mike Nettleton (Handsworth Wood) and Senior Vice President Geoff Moran 23-4; Bob Page (Grange), Boris Boulstridge (Executive), Secretary Michael Jackson and Terry Fuller (Rugby Railway) 16-15; Mike Tansey (Three Spires), Rick Hayes (Avenue Leamington), President Don Darby and Michael Reardon (Rugby Police) 14-16; David Close (Stratford), Brian Lindley (Bilton), Derrick Williams (Thornfield) and Past President Brian Mace Humphries 9-13; Roy Henfrey (Tamworth), David Payne (Stratford), Mick Foster (Highway) and Dave Owen (Rugby Police) 11-19; Derrick Wattison (Executive), David Cottle (Stoke), Tom Duggins (Executive) and Pete Storer (Grange) 8-18.

An away trip to Herefordshire saw the Bears winning 142-103.

Rink scores: Chris Wright (Solihull Municipal), Jim Ward (Sherwood Park), President Don Darby and Keith Hornsby (Three Spires) 33-10; John Slater (Thornfield), Bill Yates (Rugby), Doug Bott (Solihull Municipal) and Senior Vice President Geoff Moran 31-12; Tony Parsons (Corley), Dave Print (Lillington), Secretary Michael Jackson and Malcolm George (Snitterfield) 28-11; Immediate Past President Graham O’Donohue, Colin Baldwin (Avenue Leamington), Nigel Roach (Lillington) and Colin Hall (Thornfield) 17-17; Rick Hayes (Avenue Leamington), Tony Smith (Avenue Coventry), Adrian Johnson (Rugby) and Assistant Secretary Bob Allcock 19-24; Bill Brown (Thornfield), Past President Stan Orton, Keith Francis (Lillington) and Gary Wilkinson (Grange) 14-29.