WESTLECOT men have qualified for the Wessex League end of season play-offs after a thrilling battle in their final east regional group match against Carterton which went down to the wire.
With the other three rink matches all completed and Dave Godwin’s home rink leading 21-20 with one end to play, the whole of the 2013/14 Wessex League campaign for Westlecot and Carterton came down to just one end as the aggregate scores were tied at 71-71.
The rewards were simple - the winner would book a place in the play-offs and extend their league season, the loser would go away empty handed.
In the final match Godwin was holding a crucial one shot lead on the last end. Carterton skip Paul Sharman played with weight but ran through and then fired with his last wood but missed again giving Godwin’s rink victory.
It was perhaps fitting that Godwin’s rink should be the ones to seal the win, as in their game with Carterton they raced into a 7-0 lead after four ends before their opponents took charge.
The Carterton rink were 19-7 up after 13 ends, but Godwin’s rink closed the gap to 19-17 after 18 and grabbed a vital count of four on the 20th to go ahead 21-20 and then grab a single on the last to seal the overall win.
Alongside it was far calmer as Ian Jefferies quartet led 10-6 at 10 ends and 15-13 after 15 before eventually winning 21-17.
Away in Carterton both games were tight until the final stages. Chris Cheesley’s rink were tied 3-3 at five ends and 7-7 at 10 before edging in front 14-11 after 18 before finally winning by three shots.
Neil Smith’s four trailed 9-5 after 10 ends but pulled it to 14-12 at 18.
However, they dropped seven shots and only scored one in the final three ends, but despite this setback Westlecot still just scrapped home to victory.
The Old Town club took the honours on three of the four rinks to take 14 points out of the possible 16 which took them into second in the east region table and an automatic play-off place.
Westlecot pipped West Berks on shots difference for second spot but the Newbury side still were awarded a wild card as one of the four best non-qualifiers.
In the play-offs first round, Westlecot will face Plymouth a week tomorrow on the neutral green at Taunton Deane (10am).
RESULTS Home - Rink 1: Keith Williamson, Mike Bowden, Kevin Embling & Ian Jefferies beat Rob Clanfield 21-17. Rink 2: John Anderson, Tom Pittuck, Mike Titcombe & Dave Godwin beat Paul Sharman 22-20.
Away - Rink 1: John Thomas, Dave Matthews, Steve Remington & Chris Cheesley beat Paul Justin 16-13. Rink 2: Lawrence Smith, Mike Shawyer, James Nobbs & Neil Smith lost to Tim Jupp 13-21.
Score: Westlecot beat Carterton 72-71 and by 14pts to 2.
SCORES Sun Feb 23: Banbury Cross 68 (2pts) Rivermead 95 (14pts) (Reading); Oxford & District 65 (2pts) West Berks (Newbury) 82 (14pts); Carterton 71 (2pts) Westlecot 72 (14pts); Chipping Norton 72 (2pts) Oxford City & County 108 (14pts).