Westlecot star on track for yet another county title

Westlecot star Mel Biggs

Westlecot star Mel Biggs

First published in Sport by

MEL BIGGS is still on course to add another Wiltshire men’s county singles title to his record breaking tally of five.

The Westlecot star was in awesome form on Monday evening in the fourth round of this year’s county men’s national singles championship at Wootton Bassett.

Biggs, who has won five national, one national team and a host of county championship titles during his illustrious career, whitewashed his unfortunate opponent Mike Crane from Wilton 21-0 in just 10 ends.

The former England international led Crane 10-0 after five ends and then added a single and three twos before finishing off his demoralised opponent with a maximum count of four on only the 10th end.

In sharp contrast, alongside Biggs on the next rink local player Chris Cheesley put up a gallant stance against England international Graham Shadwell but lost out 21-16 in a match that lasted a mammoth 27 ends.

There was also an impressive performance at Bassett from young Gary Jackson (Westlecot), son of county bowler Mike Jackson, who beat Downton’s Bob Tanner 21-9 in only 17 ends.

Undoubtedly the performance of the night in the last 16 at Devizes came from Town Gardens’ Tom Pittuck who beat ex-Somerset county player resident Andy Colebrooke (Spencer Moulton) 21-8.

Pittuck was 5-1 down after four ends but restored parity on the next with a maximum count of four and never looked back. He led 12-5 at ten ends, 14-8 at 15 and sealed a 21-8 success with a two on the 19th end.

Wootton Bassett’s Neil Smith enjoyed a comfortable 21-10 success over Paul Macdonald (Chippenham Town) in a match he always controlled.

However, despite a tremendous fightback fellow Wootton Bassett player James Nobbs was edged out 21-20 by Wilton player Steve Lynn.

Nobbs only scored on three ends to trail 17-7 at 16 but roared back to lead 20-19 after 23 only to drop a two on the next and lose the match.

The quarter-finals will be played next Monday at Chippenham Town.

LAST 16 RESULTS

At Wootton Bassett: Wayne Snook (Holt) beat Nick Revell (Amesbury) 21-11; Gary Jackson (Westlecot) beat Bob Tanner (Downton) 21-9; Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) beat Chris Cheesley (Wootton Bassett) 21-16; Mel Biggs (Westlecot) beat Mike Crane (Wilton) 21-0.

At Devizes: Andy Colebrooke (S Moulton) lost to Tom Pittuck (Town Gardens) 8-21; James Nobbs (WB) lost to Steve Lynn (Wilton) 20-21; Neil Smith (WB) beat Paul Macdonald (Chip Town) 21-10; David Johns (Calne) lost to Wayne Simmonds (Holt) 18-21.

DRAW

Quarter-finals Monday July 7 at Chippenham Town (6.30pm) Wayne Snook v Gary Jackson; Graham Shadwell v Mel Biggs; Tom Pittuck v Steve Lynn; Neil Smith v Wayne Simmonds.

THE COUNTY Middleton Cup selectors have made two changes, both at lead, to the Wiltshire men’s side that beat Worcestershire for their vital group match away against Warwickshire today at Rugby.

Wootton Bassett’s England Under 25 trialist Kyle Anderson, who has been sitting his university final exams recently, comes into the side in place of fellow Bassett teammate Barry Sictorness in Mel Biggs’s rink.

The other change is also at lead with Westlecot’s Paul Kistle coming into Mike Jackson’s four with Michael Richards moving down from lead to two and Holt’s Kevin Oliver switching to the substitutes bench to create an all-Westlecot rink with Ian Jefferies at three and Jackson skipping.

Wiltshire must beat Warwickshire on shots and win on four rinks to claim at least 14 points or more of the 22 points on offer to guarantee top spot in their west group and book a spot in this year’s quarter-finals for a fourth successive season.

Currently in the group table, all four counties have played two games - Wiltshire lead on 32 points, Worcestershire are second on 23, Gloucestershire have 22 and last are Warwickshire on 11.

TEAM

Rink 1: Kyle Anderson (Wootton Bassett), Justin Davis (Holt), Graham Hatherall & Mel Biggs (both Westlecot).

Rink 2: Kevin Embling (West), Keith Bailey (Holt), Gary Morphet & Neil Smith (both WB).

Rink 3: Tom Warner, Nick Revell (both Amesbury), Wayne Snook & Ben Gadd (both Holt).

Rink 4: Wayne Simmonds (Holt), Chris Cheesley, Dave Godwin (both WB) & Russell Francis (Spencer Moulton).

Rink 5: Paul Kistle, Mike Richards, Ian Jefferies & Mike Jackson (all West).

Rink 6: Gary Jackson (West), Craig Doughty (Holt), Steve Snell (WB) & Graham Shadwell (S Moulton).

Reserves: Barry Sictorness, James Nobbs (both WB), Billy McCay, Paul Macdonald (both Chippenham Town), Kevin Oliver, Kevin Rowden (both Holt) and Craig Hatherall (West).

WILTSHIRE men have won their latest home friendly match.

They beat Hampshire by 12 shots as they ran out as 113-101 victors at Purton last weekend.

Wiltshire took the honours on four of the six rinks with Ramsbury and Aldbourne’s Keith Evill leading his rink, which included Supermarine’s Richard Gardiner, next season’s 2015 county men’s president, to the team’s biggest victory of 18 shots.

Although Wiltshire won on four rinks they suffered big losses on the other two which considerably reduced their overall winning margin.

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