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BOWLS: Westlecot's Wessex bid
6:00am Saturday 9th March 2013 in Sport
WESTLECOT men open their bid tomorrow to try and win the prestigious Wessex League overall title for the fifth time since the competition first began 30 seasons ago.
They failed to finish in the top two in the East Region of the competition and gain an automatic play-off spot after losing their final group match to Carterton a fortnight ago 80-65 and only winning on one rink.
However, they were given a reprieve and awarded one of four wildcards into the Wessex League play-offs and last 16 as they had one of the four best points per game average of the non-qualifiers.
Westlecot though will certainly need to step up and improve on their lack-lustre showing against Carterton in the first round (knock-out stage) of the play-offs as they have been paired against Moonfleet.
The Weymouth club won the Coastal Region with an unbeaten record taking the honours in all nine of their group matches.
It will be a tough assignment against Moonfleet but Westlecot certainly have plenty of players and experience in the side named to succeed.
They make four changes in personel to the team that lost to Carterton and a host of positional switches.
Neil Smith, after his victory two weeks ago in the Desborough Open Singles tournament, returns at skip with Chris Cheesley stepping down to number three to Smith. While John Thomas reverts to skip in place of the unavailable Tom Walkley.
The other two changes in players sees Joe Mazzotta and Michael Titcome Jnr coming into the side in place of the unavailable Rod Holborow and Kyle Anderson.
The match tomorrow against Moonfleet starts slightly later at 10.30am at both venues.
If Westlecot overcome the Dorset side in the first round they would face either Bristol or Carterton in round two on March 17.
TEAM Home - Rink 1: Kevin Embling, Joe Mazzotta, Chris Cheesley & Neil Smith. Rink 2: John Anderson, Terry Walton, Tom Pittuck & Dave Snell.
Away - Rink 1: Denis Holborow, James Nobbs, Dave Matthews & John Thomas. Rink 2: Paul Kistle, Mike Titcombe Jnr, Mike Shawyer & Ian Jefferies.
Reserves (in alphabetical order): Maurice Byron, Brian Coles, Kevin Lee, Geoff Snowball & John Wilson.
PLAY-OFFS 1st Round, Sunday, March 10 A: Rugby (winner midland) v Cotswold (Stroud, wildcard) B: Dolphin (Poole, r-up coastal) v Clarrie Dunbar (Frome r-up central) C: Malvern (winner north) v Exonia (Exeter r-up west) D: West Berks (winner east) v Bromsgrove (w/card) E: Bristol (winner central) v Carterton (r-up east) F: Moonfleet (Weymouth winner coastal) v Westlecot (w/card) G: Church Gresley (r-up midland) v MidGlos (r-up north) H: Plymouth (winner west) v Bournemouth (w/card) Quarter-finals, Sunday, March 17 Winner A v Winner B; Winner C v Winner D; Winner E v Winner F; Winner G v Winner H.