Somerset’s women bowlers performed a dramatic escape and earned a place in the quarter-finals of the Johns Trophy when they took 18 points from their 115-102 win over group favourites Gloucestershire at Yeovil last Saturday.
When they lost to Wiltshire in the opening match of the season, Somerset’s hopes seemed forlorn – but with Gloucestershire taking Wiltshire’s scalp, the group was blown wide open – though results last Saturday still had to fall Somerset’s way.
Not only did they have to beat Gloucestershire, they had to win on at least four rinks, and even then they were relying on Warwickshire beating Wiltshire at Norgren – which they did.
Somerset, who last won the Johns Trophy in 1996, are now focusing on this Saturday’s quarter-final with Nottinghamshire, which is being played at Shepshed Town in Leicestershire.
“It’s a long way to go for us, while Notts are virtually on their doorstep,” said Somerset team manager Hilary May. “But we will not let that deter us, and the team will be as committed to the cause as they have so far.”
May had a special word for Taunton’s Jill Young, who was playing her 50th John Trophy game for Somerset: “She played like a woman possessed,” May smiled.
“But, what a game,” she added. “We led for most of the time, but we were two down at 19 ends, so to win by 13 was a great performance.”
Rinks skipped by Mo Monkton and Joan Walmsley won by 16 and eight shots respectively, while Young and Kirsty Hembrow both got home by a single shot.
With Wiltshire installed as group winners in the men’s championship, Somerset and Gloucestershire are treating Saturday’s Middleton Cup ‘dead rubber’ clash at Barnwood as a team-building exercise for next year’s campaign.
Somerset team manager Don Fowkes could not hide his disappointment at losing out to Wiltshire, but was generally pleased with his team’s showing in 2012, especially against Herefordshire and Dorset.
His opposite number in Gloucestershire, John Horsted, has had a rough ride in his first season in charge, and will be hoping for better things next summer.
There were signs of a green shoots recovery last week, when Gloucestershire won by 20 shots against Herefordshire at Barnwood.
Wiltshire, with new team manager Dave Snell making a great start to his term of office, are now looking forward to their quarter-final against Berkshire or Surrey, who are involved in what is, in effect, a knockout clash this weekend. The quarter-final is set to be at the City & County of Oxford club on Saturday, July 21.
Worcester’s Adrian Burbridge, who clearly has a soft spot for the Optika Weston-super-Mare Open tournament, won the singles title for a magnificent seventh time. He beat Victoria’s Mike Cooper, 21-10, in the final.
Burbridge’s son Gareth and Gloucester City’s Doug Lewis won the pairs title, but had to make an amazing comeback against the Bristol St Andrews duo of Julian Dyer and Jason Sparkes, who were 11-0 ahead after six ends.
With Dyer and Sparkes 17-15 up with one end to play, St Andrews looked home and dry, but Burbridge, who fired with all four of his woods, put the jack in the ditch, then took out his opponents’ nearest to claim three shots and win by 18-17.
As usual, the tournament was dominated by a powerful Midlands squad from Worcester’s Brotherhood and Barbourne clubs, and Vines Park (Droitwich).
But G B Britton duo Liz Hunter and Mike Humphries struck a blow for the Bristol area when they beat Clarence ace Audrey Harris and Terry Duggan of Vines Park, 23-16, in the mixed pairs final, which produced some spectacular bowling.
A brand new singles championship for ambitious young bowlers is being launched, with entries expected from the West of England’s nine counties.
Winners of the men’s and women’s under 25 county titles in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire are eligible for the event, which will be staged at the Lake Grounds in Portishead in September.
Sponsorship has been agreed with Avon Sportsground Maintenance, who look after bowling greens throughout the region, and there will be a first prize of £400 for the winner.
Somerset’s juniors turned in an outstanding display to beat Cornwall 63-49 at Torpoint, where they gained revenge for the 16-0 thrashing they sustained last year, winning on two of the three rinks for a satisfying 14-2 result.
A couple of big counts made a big difference, Aaron Poolman’s rink picking up a seven on the 10th end, and the rink skipped by Reece Williams claiming six on the 14th.
“The camaraderie and spirit was a joy to behold,” said team manager Don Fowkes. “Perhaps some of their senior counterparts would benefit from going to watch, and witnessing their never-say-die attitude.”
Barnwood’s Becky Ricketts won the ‘Battle of the Beckys’ when the go-ahead Gloucestershire Bowls Youth Development Scheme staged girls’ singles competition at Frampton-on-Severn last weekend.
Beating Becky Bradford from Yate 9-2 in the final, she won the 15-18 age group title. Yate’s Jessica Adams defeated Daisy Daniels, from Bishop’s Cleeve, to win the under 15 section.
British Isles men’s individual championships in Llandrindod Wells – Singles quarter-finals: M Kelsey (S) bt D Bolt (E) 21-20; M Le Ber (G) bt J Greenslade (W) 21-19. Semi-finals: P Daly (I) bt L Nixon (J) 21-5; Le Ber bt Kelsey 21-19. Final: Daly bt Le Ber 21-7. Pairs, Quarter-finals: C Hogg & M Wilson (I) bt A & I Merrien (G) 25-13; M McLees & S McLellan (S) bt J Rowcliffe & C Renouf (J) 26-14. Semi-finals: D Hemming & R Stanley (E) bt B Thomas & J Wilkins (W) 16-13; McLees bt McLellan bt Hogg & Wilson 22-13. Final: McLees & McLellan bt Hemming & Stanley 21-11. Triples, Quarter-finals: D Smith, G Nisbet, A Caldwell (S) bt G Collins, D de la Mare, M Le Ber (G) 16-9; P Daly, S McKinley, B Thompson (I) bt L Quemard, J Lowery, A Quemard (J) 25-9. Semi-finals: Ireland bt D James, N Popham, S Bonetta (E) 16-15 (after extra end); Scotland bt C Blake, G Thomas, R Horgan (W) 19-11. Final: Scotland bt Ireland 19-15. Fours, quarter-finals: B J Byles, M Hyde, S Jones, A Price (E) bt G Pringle, C Aitken, R Tough, J Hogg (S) 31-12; M Bickerstaff, D Ashwood, D Donaghy, C Craig (Balmoral) bt B, S, D & R Weale (W) 18-14. Semi-finals: I Partridge, D Clark, K Le Long, D Le Falher (J) bt K Bichard, T Priaulx, R Brehaut, D de la Mare (G) 17-16; England bt Ireland 21-18. Final: Jersey bt England 17-15. Under 25 singles, Quarter-finals: J Walker (E) bt M Rive (J) 21-12; P Taylor (W) bt K Bichard (G) 21-8. Semi-finals: Walker bt A Tattersall (S) 21-3; Taylor bt A Duncan (I) 21-20. Final: Taylor bt Walker 21-9.
Men’s home international series in Llandrindod Wells – Wales bt Ireland 124-99 – Rink scores (Wales skips first): W Thomas 18, C Craig 20; M Wyatt 20, M McHugh 17; R Weale 27, N Graham 19; S Harris 28, I McClure 12; J Tomlinson 17, N Booth 14; J Greenslade 14, M McKeeman 17. Scotland bt England 115-96 – Rink scores (Scotland skips first): P Foster 17, S Farish 11; D Burnett 18, S Tolchard 22; N Speirs 23, R Catton 12; G Logan 19, S Airey 15; G Archer 25, N Brett 17; A Marshall 13, J Chestney 19. Eng bt Ire 111-103 (Eng first): Brett 13, Booth 18; Chestney 21, McKeeman 19; Farish 18, Craig 12; Tolchard 12, McHugh 21; Catton 27, Graham 16; Airey 20, McClure 17. Wal bt Sco 128-93 (Wal first): Tomlinson 39, Archer 6; Greenslade 14, Marshall 20; Thomas 21, Foster 11; Wyatt 17, Burnett 16; Weale 19, Speirs 17; Harris 18, Logan 23. Wal bt Eng 121-116 (Wal first): Weale 23, Catton 20; Harris 19, Airey 27; Tomlinson 26, Brett 14; Greenslade 25, Chestney 15; Thomas 14, Farish 16; Wyatt 14, Tolchard 24. Sco bt Ire 119-101 (Sco first): Speirs 21, Graham 18; Logan 24, McClure 19; Archer 15, Booth 16; Marshall 11, McKeeman 20; Foster 18, Craig 10; Burnett 30, McHugh 18. Final standings: 1 Wal 6pts (+65 shots); 2 Sco 4pts (+2); 3 Eng 2pts (-16); 4 Ire 0pts (-51).
National women’s inter-county championship (Johns Trophy) at Yeovil – Somerset bt Gloucestershire 115-102 (18-4) (Somerset skips first): M Monkton 25, S Latham 9; S Branfield 14, C Winter-Alsop 24; M Dyer 14, R Hughes 17; J Young 21, P Gunn 20; K Hembrow 18, A White 17; J Walmsley 23, M Hale 15. At Norgren – Warwickshire bt Wiltshire 126-104 (16-6) (Warks skips first): J Corn 18, C Grenfell 23; M Tims 16, D Godwin 19; E Taylor 20, F Mace 15; M Edwards 28, M Alexander 16; J Scott 17, A Jacobs 19; M Parsons 27, W Anderson 12. Other results: Notts bt Derbys 124-122 (18-4); Berkshire bt Isle of Wight 133-106 (18-4); Kent bt Hants 110-104 (14-8); Bucks bt Middx 122-96 (17-5); Leics bt Norfolk 161-107 (22-0); Cambs bt Herts 123-107 (18-4); Essex bt Hunts 116-115 (14-8); Cornwall bt Dorset 104-99 (14-8). Draw for quarter finals (7 July): At Goodwood: Lincs v Kent. At Dorchester: Devon v Surrey. At Shepshed Town: Somerset v Notts. At Cambridge & County: Cambs v Leics.
Optika Weston-super-Mare Men’s Open tournament at Clarence Park, finals – Singles: A Burbridge (Worcester) bt M Cooper (Weston Victoria) 21-10. Pairs: D Lewis (Glos City) & G Burbridge (Worcester) bt J Dyer & J Sparkes (Bristol St Andrews) 18-17. Mixed Pairs: L Hunter & M Humphries (G B Britton) bt A Harris (Clarence) & T Duggan (Vines Park) 23-16. Triples: J Cambridge, D Ellery (Brotherhood), B Evans (Barbourne) bt M Edlin, R Crawford, D Stott (Clarence) 24-5. Gala Fours: S Gough (Worcester), T Farmer (Avenue, Leamington Spa), W Brown (Vines Park), T Bourne (Worcester) bt M Butler, A King (Barbourne), M Laight (Pershore), T Arnold (Barbourne) 23-10.
Bowls Wiltshire men’s singles championship – Last 12: P Kistle (Westlecot) bt J Haselton (Chippenham Town) 21-9; Bill McCay (Chippenham Town) bt M Roberts (Westlecot) 21-16; N Revell (Alderbury) bt P Stinchcombe (Malmesbury) 21-19; A Gough (S Churchway) v B Gadd (Holt) (to be played on Sunday); N Grenfell (Box) bt J Brewer (Salisbury) 21-11; I Jefferies) (Westlecot) bt R Fredericks (Salisbury) 21-14; M Tyler (Amesbury) bt D Snell (Wootton Bassett) 21-15; M Biggs (Westlecot) bt G Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) 21-7.
Gloucestershire men’s fours championship at Churchdown – Semi finals: M Edwards, G Baker, G Ayres, B Liddington (Royal Forest of Dean) bt M Cox, P Nelmes, M Perry, L Williamson (Cheltenham) 20-19; S Townsend, J Parry, R Cobb, R Bird (Tetbury) bt D Bennett, C Davis, M Dyer, C Davis (Coleford) 17-16.
County matches – Under 25 match at Torpoint: Somerset bt Cornwall 63-49 (14-2) (Som names first): J Goodland, D Aldridge, T Adams, D Taylor 18, H Anning, B Smith, T Beale, A Brodki 13; J Groves, L Townsend, S Steel, R Williams 18, C Stephenson, A Smith, A Braund, B Cotton 23; L Hembrow, R Hooper, T Shattock, A Poolman 27, J Gilbert, J Sanders, C Smith, D Iddles 13.
Middle England Women’s League – at Kislingbury: Glos bt Northants 131-114(Glos skips first): A White 30, S Granham-Holt 14; C Winter-Alsop 26, H Sharpe 14; J Sheward 22, B Bishop 13; L Collin 19, A Pettbucci 20; P Marsh 20, P Lewis 27; C Magee 14, D Brumwell 26.
At North Wilts (Chippenham) – Wilts men bt Surrey124-116 (Wilts skips first): W Collier 26, B Cave 12; C Easton 18, G Robinson 23; R Fredericks 16, M Haigh 16;GHenderson 17, J Mason 26; N Gould 19, M Reed 17; S Gedge 28, B Ayling 22.
At Amesbury – Wilts men bt Hants 117-105 (Wilts skips first): R Fredericks 28, S Kerley 19; S Jay 17, K Kingsford 14; S Mitchell 16, K Graham 12; P Naish 22, H Owen 23; G Gedge 15, E Bates 20; W Collier 19, D Sims 17.
At Ross-on-Wye – English Civil Service bt Glos 133-102 (ECS skips first): C Lynch 29, F Hodder 13; R Snook 25, D Hopkins 13; A Liddington 20, A Elliott 12; T Sawyer 21, C Riccio 21; B Cudlip 21, F Parker 21; J Wilson 17, I Deakins 22.
At Chippenham Town – Glamorgan women bt Wilts 120-119 (Glam skips first): M Newman 15, J Coleman 39; A Dainton 21, I Button 15; G Southcombe 20, J Corbett 15; A Greenaway 20, N Oliver 13; B Stanton 19, B Salter 23; R Jones 25, M Menzies 14,
Somerset Bowls League – Premier 1: Bristol A bt Bloomfield A 64-48 (10-2); Clevedon A bt Portishead RBL A 53-45 (9-3); Ilminster A bt Banwell A 72-53 (10-2). Premier 2: North Petherton A bt Wyrral Park A 62-60 (8-4); Clevedon Promenade A bt Purnell A 66-53 (12-0); Chew Stoke A bt Minehead A 45-43 (10-2). East 1: Bath B bt Frome Park A 76-54 (10-2); Norwest A bt Knowle B 56-40 (12-0); Fosseway bt Alexandra A 72-50 (12-0); Keynsham A bt Purnell B 72-45 (10-2); Stothert & Pitt A bt City of Wells 69-58 (10-2). East 2: Paulton bt Sydney Gardens 83-42 (12-0); Alexandra B bt Bloomfield B 68-40 (12-0); Keynsham B bt Norwest B62-51 (11-1); Bloomfield C bt Weston (Bath) B 58-52 (8-4); Bath C bt Weston (Bath) C 64-58 (10-2); Frome Selwood bt Prattens 68-47 (12-0). East 3: Imperial B bt Purnell C 75-44 (10-2); Knowle C bt Norwest C 55-54 (9-3); Stothert & Pitt B bt Keynsham C 94-30 (12-0). North 1: Burnham-on-Sea A bt Congresbury A 63-46 (12-0); Bristol B bt Isle of Wedmore A 63-41 (12-0); West Backwell bt Clevedon B 62-28 (12-0). North 2: Isle of Wedmore B bt Mark Moor 61-48 (10-2); Winscombe B bt Wrington 75-49 (12-0); Weston St Andrews A bt Yatton B 88-38 (12-0); Yatton A bt Portishead RBL C 52-27 (10-2). North 3: Weston St Andrews B bt Bristol D 60-50 (10-2); Congresbury B bt Nailsea B 65-58 (9-3); Bristol D bt Clevedon Promenade C 69-45 (10-2); Weston St Andrews B bt Nailsea B 63-50 (10-2). South West 1: Yeovil C bt Crewkerne 62-55 (10-2); Taunton Deane A bt Wellington A 62-46 (12-0); Yeovil B bt Bridgwater A 75-62 (9-3); Donyatt bt Westland Sports A 56-54 (8-4); Ilminster B bt Taunton Deane B 57-54 (10-2); Bridgwater B bt North Petherton B 61-50 (10-2). South West 2: Taunton B bt Yeovil D 73-45 (10-2); Watchet B bt Eastover Park 78-48 (10-2); Street B t/w Bridgwater Victoria Park 49-49 (7-5); Ilminster C bt Wyrral Park B 64-43 (12-0); Taunton C bt Wellington B 64-46 (10-2); Minehead B bt Westland Sports B 57-55 (10-2); Taunton C bt Minehead B 51-47 (11-1).
Bristol & District League – Div 1: G B Britton A bt Knowle A 49-41 (9-1); Bristol St Andrew’s bt Knowle B 74-33 (10-0); Yate A bt Willmott Park 51-39 (9-1); Bristol A bt Greenbank 65-43 (10-0); BAC bt Redland Green 50-47 (8-2); G B Britton A bt Bristol St Andrew’s 46-40.5 (8-2); Knowle A bt BAC 56-39 (10-0); Bristol A bt Redland Green 53-42 (7-3); Greenbank bt Willmott Park 67-32 (10-0); Knowle B bt Yate A 51-39 (8-2). Div 2: Ardagh bt Imperial 31-22 (7-3); Avonmouth bt Bristol Arrow 43.8-43 (6-4); Henleaze A bt St Anne’s Park 44-13 (10-0); Bristol B bt Avonvale 46-42 (7-3); Weston (Bath) bt Keynsham A 61-36 (10-0); Ardagh bt Avonmouth 62-47 (6-4); Weston (Bath) bt Imperial 51-40 (8-2); Keynsham A bt Avonvale 50-40 (8-2); Henleaze A bt Bristol B 45-41 (8-2); Bristol Arrow bt St Anne’s Park 57-25-3 (10-0). Div 3: Severn Vale bt Begbrook A 60-28 (10-0); Greenbank B bt City & Port of Bristol 46-40 (7-3); Olveston bt Canford 55-29 (9-1); Page Park A bt Kingswood & Hanham 46-42 (8-2); Severn Vale bt Greenbank B 53-29 (10-0); Kingswood & Hanham bt Begbrook A 61-43 (8-2); Page Park A bt Page Park B 40-37 (9-1); Olveston bt Long Ashton 55-37 (8-2); City & Port of Bristol bt Canford 60-36 (10-0). Div 4: Fry’s bt Victoria Park 68-34 (8-2); Begbrook B bt Henleaze C 51-44 (6-4); Keynsham B bt Bradley Stoke 63-28 (8-2); Knowle C bt St Andrew’s Park 49-38 (8-2); Henleaze B bt Yate B 72-40 (10-0); Fry’s bt Henleaze C 80-35 (10-0); Yate B bt Victoria Park 48-44 (6-4); Henleaze B bt St Andrew’s Park 45-33 (8-2); Knowle C bt Keynsham B 60-39 (10-0); Bradley Stoke bt Begbrook B 45-44 (8-2).
Bristol & District Knockout championship (Lloyd Trophy) First round: Page Park bt Begbrook 52-34; Fry’s bt Willmott Park 61-51; Bristol St Andrew’s bt Yate 45-43; Greenbank bt Canford 62-38; Keynsham bt Bradley Stoke 65-30; Imperial bt Henleaze 43-41; Avonmouth bt Ardagh 49-42; Bristol bt Victoria Park 47-46; Bristol Arrow bt Severn Vale 58-47; Weston (Bath) bt City & Port of Bristol 62-43; Avonvale bt St Anne’s Park 48-44; Olveston bt Redland Green 65-24.