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BOWLS: Westlecot handed play-off reprieve
6:00am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Sport
WESTLECOT men still reached the Wessex League end-of-season play-offs despite losing their crucial top three East Region match against Carterton 80-65.
They were awarded one of four wild cards as a result of having one of the best points per game averages among the clubs who did not finish in the top two in their respective regions.
The club did manage to achieve their objective of making the play-offs, but if they had won on one more rink against Carterton in their final match they would have pipped the Oxfordshire side for second place in the east table and gained an automatic play-off spot.
Across the board, Westlecot led Carterton 22-19 after five ends but with the two away rinks struggling from that point onwards Westlecot were always adrift.
They trailed 39-30 at 10 ends, 54-43 at 15, 65-56 at 18 and finally went down by 15 points.
Away in Carterton, Ian Jefferies’ rink were 11-4 down at 10 ends and 19-7 down at 18 but managed to cut the final gap to six shots.
Alongside, Chris Cheesley’s four were 12-5 adrift at 10 ends, 17-8 at 15 and finally lost by seven shots.
At home at Westlecot Tom Walkley’s rink were 11-5 up at 10 ends and 14-8 at 15, but were then killed by a minimum length mat as they only scored one more shot in the last six ends and lost 19-15.
Westlecot’s one success came from Dave Snell’s quartet, as they battled hard after being 9-6 up at five ends, 11-10 down at 10 and tied 15-15 at 15 ends.
They collected a five on the 17th and a two on the next end to lead 22-16 and just held on for a 23-21 victory.
As one of the wild cards a tough draw was always expected, and Westlecot have certainly been given a difficult fixture in the first round (last 16) of the play-offs.
They will face Moonfleet (Weymouth) who topped the Coastal Region with nine wins out of nine and 126 points out of a possible 144.