Lucy retains her Wilts junior title

Wiltshire ladies under 25 champion Lucy Smith

Wiltshire ladies under 25 champion Lucy Smith

First published in Sport by

THREE titles were won by players from local clubs at the Wiltshire Ladies 2014 county championship finals day staged at Westlecot last Saturday in the sweltering heat.

Wootton Bassett, Stratton Churchway and Purton were the successful clubs, despite locals having an interest in all of the six finals that were contested.

Lucy Smith (Wootton Bassett) retained her junior singles (U25) title beating Highworth’s Joanna Richman who took time to settle on the fast greens in the baking sun.

Smith had raced into a 14-4 lead after only ten ends but Richman fought back brilliantly winning the next six to draw level at 14-14 and it stayed tight with Smith only 16-15 up at 18 ends.

However on the next two ends she collected counts of three and two for a 21-15 victory to successfully defend her crown and make it three junior singles titles in the last four seasons.

Richman also suffered a second defeat in the afternoon when in the fours final Highworth went down by six shots to Purton.

The match was close to halfway with the lead swapping several times although Highworth led 6-5 at five ends and 9-8 at ten.

Purton, aided by five on the 13th end, roared ahead to lead 18-10 at 15 and 19-14 at 18 before finally winning 22-16.

It was a change in fortunes for three of the Purton team, Chris Mitchell, Julie Jones and Alison Fail - Sue Crouch replacing Carole Holland this year - who lost in the 2013 final.

The third local triumph came in the pairs where Jacki Pearce and Janet Willis (Stratton Churchway) beat Devizes.

They led 5-2 at five ends but lost the next five to trail 12-10 and were still down 13-12 at 15.

However, a five on the next swung the match in their favour and they did not look back to win 24-15.

It means a first pairs appearance representing Wiltshire at Leamington for Pearce and Willis.

Wootton Bassett’s Maureen Rogers, Charlie Harding and Doris Woodley just missed-out in their bid to win a ladies county triples title for the first time for the club.

They were beaten in the final by Spencer Melksham who won the triples title for only the second time in their club’s history.

Bassett trailed the trio of Jenny Couch, Marilyn Jay and Delia Godwin 15-5 after ten ends but collected a five on the 14th end to cut the gap to 17-14 after 15 but finally lost 19-17.

The nearest Bassett have come to lifting the triples trophy before was when Rogers and Woodley were members of the 2008 losing triples finals team along with Wendy Thrush.

However, for the triumphant Spencer Melksham trio it will be the first time that all three, Couch, Jay and Godwin will have gone to Royal Leamington Spa to represent Wiltshire in the nationals.

Babs Salter (Wroughton) went down in the two wood singles final losing to Sue Cooke (Box) 16-5 in only 16 ends.

But in sharp contrast the four wood singles final was a hard fought battle between Westlecot’s Geraldine Reade and county player Rose Ellis (Amesbury) that lasted a mammoth 27 ends.

Reade led for long periods of the match, going 7-1 up at five ends, 8-7 at ten, 13-11 at 18 and 15-12 at 21. But lost the next three to trail 17-15 and could not pull it back again and finally fell 21-16 after 27 ends despite a brave battle.

All of the players who took part in the six finals at Westlecot last Saturday now move forward to the national championships and to represent Wiltshire at Royal Leamington Spa.

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