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BOWLS: Late slump costs beaten Westlecot
6:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in Sport
WESTLECOT men blew a great opportunity to go top of the table in the East Region of the Wessex League and virtually book their place in the end-of-season play-offs.
They were comfortably leading arch-rivals West Berks (Newbury) by 15 shots across the board with only six ends remaining in all four matches.
But then they slumped badly, only scoring eight more shots and conceding 29 to go down by six shots in a 79-73 defeat and lose their unbeaten record this season.
It was a shock turnaround with only Chris Cheesley’s home rink managing to win their last six ends 5-3, but Tom Walkley’s quartet at Westlecot conceded 10 and only scored one.
It was even worse away as Dave Snell’s rink did not score another shot but dropped 10, while Ian Jefferies’ quartet, who had struggled for most of their match, scored twice but conceded six shots.
Westlecot had made a fine start at home with Walkley’s rink 12-1 up at five ends, 17-3 at 10 and 22-6 at 15 before they faded.
Alongside Cheesley’s quartet were 8-3 ahead at five ends and 15-5 at 10, but then dropped a six to only lead 22-13 at 15. However, they increased their final advantage to 11 shots.
Away at Newbury Snell’s rink fought back from 11-3 adrift at five ends and 16-11 down at 10 to only trail 17-16 at 15, but they eventually lost by 11 shots.
Jefferies’ foursome were only 4-3 down at five ends and 8-4 at 10 but struggled in the second half of their game.
The late slump meant Westlecot drew the rinks 2-2 but lost on shots overall and only collected four points out of 16.
Westlecot will be looking to put the unexpected West Berks loss firmly behind them when they face Oxford and District tomorrow.
The side chosen shows three changes but contains a host of positional switches. Tom Walkley is unavailable so John Thomas moves to skip while Tom Pittuck and Michael Titcombe Jnr return. Keith Williamson and Maurice Byron revert to the reserves bench.