Highworth Ladies have a right royal time of it at the nationals

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HIGHWORTH Ladies’ fours team and Alex Jacobs (Box) were the star performers for Wiltshire as they kept the county flag flying during the opening two weeks of the English National Championships currently being staged at Royal Leamington Spa.

The Highworth quartet of Maggie Jordan, Joyce Evans, Joanna Richman and skipper Linda Kingston – who only finished as runners-up as they were beaten in the Wiltshire Ladies fours final by Purton – enjoyed a great run in the national fours championship.

They won four matches but missed out on a place in the final after losing their semi 25-15 to Kingsthorpe (Northampton).

Highworth beat Burradon (Northumberland) 21-12 and in the second round accounted for Eastnor (Herefordshire) 21-13.

They followed this up with an easy third round 22-4 success over Sawtry (Hunts) and then defeated Swanmore (Boscombe East, Hants) 20-17 in the quarter-finals.

The run unfortunately ended in the semi-finals with defeat to Kingsthorpe.

Despite that loss, it was still a marvellous achievement to reach the semi-finals in a national championship event.

Meanwhile Box’s Jacobs powered to success in the Ladies Senior Singles (over 55) competition, beating Gloucestershire’s Sue Latham 21-9 in the final.

Only once in her five matches did an opponent manage to score more than nine shots against Jacobs, that coming in the semi-final when she had to come from behind to beat England international Sue Davies (Broadway, Worcs) 21-19.

Although there is still one more ladies competition, the Amy Rose Bowl (county 31yrs & under double rinks), to be played next weekend, August 29-31, the attention at Leamington has now switched for the last fortnight to the men’s national championships.

The Wiltshire side chosen for their opening Amy Rose Bowl game next Saturday (10am) against Cambridgeshire is made up of Lucy Smith, Charlie Harding, Katy Smith (all Wootton Bassett), Rachel Martin (Purton), Thabina Hussain (Supermarine), Joanna Richman (Highworth), Georgina Newman (Trowbridge Westbourne) and Kara Little (Chippenham Town).

In the men’s championship events so far this week, both Michael Richards (Westlecot) and James Richman (Highworth) went out of the junior singles (U25) early, while Wootton Bassett’s Gary Morphet was knocked out of the champion of champions competition, losing 21-17 in the last 16 to Grant Burgess (Worcester).

Holt’s two teams lost on extra ends in their opening games in the fours championship.

However, in the triples championship currently being played, Holt and Spencer Moulton sides are both through to the third round.

Elsewhere, Dave Snell (Wootton Bassett) sets out in the senior singles this lunchtime (1pm). He faces Martin Smith (Herefordshire) in his opening game (last 32).

Westlecot’s Mike Jackson and Mel Biggs begin their bid for glory in the pairs tomorrow afternoon and Graham Hatherall in the two wood singles on Tuesday.

Biggs is back in action in the singles championship on Thursday morning.

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