WILTSHIRE men’s county championship events in singles and pairs and the Middleton Cup take centre stage over the next few days.

The last 16 of the men’s singles were held on Monday night which produced the eight players for next Monday's quarter-finals at Royal Wootton Bassett while the last 16 in the pairs were due to be played last night (Friday) at various venues around the county.

They will produce the eight quarter-finalist for Chippenham Town next Friday, July 14.

Today sees the Moonrakers lock horns with Gloucestershire for their vital third and final group match in the Middleton Cup.

The singles last 16 on Monday night produced one big surprise.

Six-times winner Mel Biggs (Royal Wootton Bassett) went out to Salisbury’s Danny Russell losing on the last end 21-20, while another Wiltshire Cup skip Ben Gadd (Holt) just edged home on the last end to beat Graham House (Amesbury) 21-20.

Mike Titcombe won the all-Westlecot clash against Mike Jackson by six shots, while Graham Hatherall beat Paul Kistle in another all-Westlecot meeting 21-12.

The only other local winner was Swindon Town Garden’ s Tom Pittuck who booked his Bassett quarter-final spot with a 21-15 victory over Alex Wickham (Chippenham T).

Gary Jackson (Westlecot) also suffered a last 16 defeat like his dad Mike going out to Spencer Moulton’s Russell Francis.

There were also routine singles wins for Spencer Moulton’s Graham Shadwell and Holt’s Justin Davis.

The singles quarter-finals will be held next Monday at Royal Wootton Bassett (6.30pm) with the semi-finals planned for Devizes on Sunday, July 16.

The pairs quarter finals are planned for Chippenham Town next Friday, July 14 (6.30pm) with the semi-finals at Devizes on Sunday July 16 along with the singles semis.

At Devizes on July 16, the outstanding triples semi-final between Craig Morphet, Kevin Embling and Gary Morphet (Royal Wootton Bassett) against former winners Wayne Simmonds, Wayne Snook & Ben Gadd (Holt).

It had to be re-arranged as the original date of the semi-final June 18 clashed with Craig Morphet playing for Wiltshire U25s in the White Rose Trophy regional final at West Backwell (Somerset).


Singles (last 16): Mike Titcombe (Westlecot) beat Mike Jackson (West) 21-15; Danny Russell (Salisbury) beat Mel Biggs (RWB) 21-20; Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) beat Keith Bailey (Holt) 21-12; Justin Davis (Holt) beat Keith Hutchens (Chippenham Park) 21-14; Graham Hatherall (West) beat Paul Kistle (West) 21-12; Ben Gadd (Holt) beat Graham House (Amesbury) 21-20; Tom Pittuck (Town Gardens) beat Alex Wickham (Chippenham Town) 21-15; Russell Francis (S Moulton) beat Gary Jackson (West) 21-11.


Quarter-finals at RW Bassett on Monday July 10 (at 6.30pm): M Titcombe v D Russell: G Shadwell v J Davis; G Hatherall v B Gadd; T Pittuck v R Francis.

WILTSHIRE men face Gloucestershire today in a must-win final group match in their west section of the inter-county championship for the Middleton Cup at Cheltenham (2pm).

Currently in their four-team group the Moonrakers have beaten Middleton Cup holders Devon and Worcestershire and head the table on 32 points, six clear of Devon.

To be certain of winning their group and claiming a quarter-final place, Wiltshire must beat Gloucestershire today on shots and win on three of the six rinks, draw another to muster 17 points.

The Moonrakers make one change, with Bassett’s Kyle Anderson coming in as lead on Russell Francis’ rink to replace James Richman who is unavailable.


Rink 1: Mike Richards, Jamie Titcombe (both Westlecot), Gary Morphet & Mel Biggs (both Royal Wootton Bassett). Rink 2: Wayne Simmonds (Holt), Craig Hatherall (West), Wayne Snook and Ben Gadd (both Holt). Rink 3: Gary and Mike Jackson, Graham Hatherall (all West) & Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton). Rink 4: Craig Doughty (Holt), Colin Easton (Avon), Steve Snell (RWB) & Justin Davis (Holt). Rink 5: Kyle Anderson, Chris Cheesley, Dave Godwin (all RWB) & Russell Francis (S Moulton). Rink 6: Tom Warner (Amesbury), Mike Titcombe, Ian Jefferies (both Wes) & Neil Smith (player/manager, RWB).

Reserves: Craig Morphet (RWB), Tom Pittuck (Town Gardens), Fraser Boynton (Salisbury), Barry Sictorness & Kevin Embling (both RWB).

SWINDON & District Men’s Bowling Association's winning run came to an end as the representative side were beaten last Sunday in Witney by Oxfordshire VPs.

They lost by seven shots as they went down in the five-rink match 98-91 to their hosts.

S&D took the honours on two of the five rinks with top spot going to the all-Faringdon foursome skipped by SVP Maurice Simpson who enjoyed a comfortable 26-12 success.

The other S&D winners were the rink of Alan Terry (Westlecot), Pete Stewart (secretary), and Highworth duo of Mark Richman (match sec) and skipped by Stuart Murray who won by five shots.

S& D side trailed across the board throughout the entire match.

They were 22-19 down after five ends and 47-40 adrift after ten.

The gap was extended to 70-61 after 15 ends and 82-74 at 18 with the S&D rep side finally losing 98-91.

The S&D side’s rinks for this Oxfordshire VPs game was only drawn from five clubs Supermarine, Westlecot, Highworth, Wanborough and Garrards.

The next S&D scheduled game is home at Highworth to Ealing & District on Sunday, July 16 and will be a mixed match played over five rinks.


Rink 1: Robin Haines, Trevor Durrant, Darren Strowger & Maurice Simpson (SVP, all Faringdon) beat Glynn Middleton 26-12. Rink 2: Alan Terry (Westlecot), Pete Stewart (secretary), Mark Richman (match sec) & Stuart Murray (Highworth) beat Mick Morris 21-16. Rink 4: Geoff Blackwell, Doug Haig, Chris Payne (all Garrards) & Roy Major (president) lost to Alan Wase 16-21. Rink 5: Tony Glasscoo, Ray Hammond, Ron Merry & Dave Woodbridge (all Wanborough) lost to Ian Whelpton 11-27. Rink 6: Ken Garratt, Peter Richardson, Trevor and John Hermon (all Garrards) lost to Chris Weller 17-22.

Score: Swindon & District men’s BA lot to Oxfordshire VPs 91-98.