WILTSHIRE’S men produced a stunning finish to topple holders Devon in their first Middleton Cup (inter-county championship) game of 2017 at home at Royal Wootton Bassett last Saturday.

The Moonrakers pulled off a remarkable five-shot win in their West group match against the cup winners for the past two seasons to run out 115-110 victors and stamp their authority on the four-team pool.

Rink honours were shared 3-3 but with Wiltshire ahead on aggregate scores, they collected 16 of the 22 points on offer for the win.

New player-manager Neil Smith (Royal Wootton Bassett) led from the front, opening with six shots on the first end and leading all the way for a seven-shot victory.

Russell Francis’ foursome won by eight shots, while his Spencer Moulton team colleague Graham Shadwell was successful by four.

Bassett’s Mel Biggs lost by two shots, while Holt duo Ben Gadd and Justin Davis went down by eight and four shots respectively.

Team manager Smith said: “I’m very proud of the whole squad. The two rinks that were behind early on played a massive part in the win by bringing their matches back to single figures.

“Although the win puts us 10 points ahead of Devon, we are likely to need further strong wins from our remaining two games to win the group and qualify for the quarter-finals.”

Wiltshire selectors have named an unchanged team for their next game against Worcestershire on Saturday, July 17, with 15 out of the 24 players being from Westlecot and Bassett.

  • WILTSHIRE host Worcestershire at Royal Wootton Bassett on Sunday morning (10am) in a Balcombe Trophy (national county top two fours) first round west group tie, bidding for a place in the west regional final on Sunday, June 25 at Bristol BC (Somerset).