Wiltshire crushed in Middleton Cup semi final

Wiltshire team boss Dave Snell

Wiltshire team boss Dave Snell

First published in Sport

WILTSHIRE men's bowls team boss Dave Snell could not disguise his disappointment as his side’s Middleton Cup journey came to a crushing end in last weekend’s semi final.

The Moonrakers were thrashed 136-89 by Hampshire at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa to end their interest in the men’s National Inter-County Championship this year.

The rinks of Neil Smith (Wootton Bassett) and Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) provided the sole bright spots for Snell’s side with victories Snell admitted: “The defeat by Hampshire was extremely disappointing.

“Over the group matches and against Devon (in the quarter final) we played with a fighting spirit with good individual and team performances, but that was not the case against Hampshire.

“Although it hurts me to say it, we had too many below-par individual performances which put the team under pressure for a large percentage of the game.

“The conditions were not great and some of the rinks had difficult lines, but our concentration levels did not seem high enough to cope with the situation, where Hampshire’s did and out played us on the day.’’ After five ends, Wiltshire were a mere shot behind but it was downhill from then on in.

Mel Biggs’ rink was soundly beaten 36-15 by Leo May and although Russell Francis was edged out by one by Chris Daniels, Ben Gadd’s team was thumped 25-6 by Peter Ward.

Smith and Shadwell won 19-15 and 24-17 against Matt Marchant and Russell Morgan respectively but Mike Jackson’s rink was downed 26-9 by Jim Marsland.

Snell added: “We did have two winning rinks and one rink only lost by one, but the other three rinks between them lost by 55 shots and at this level, that is hard to take.’’ Hampshire went on to win the trophy, convincingly defeating Norfolk, the 2012 champions, 127-106 in the final.

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