SWINDON’S two Wessex League clubs, Manor and Westlecot, both struggled on the penultimate weekend of group matches in the east region of competition last Sunday.

Rodbourne Cheney-based Manor slumped to a 41-shot loss to Oxford City & County, while Old Town club Westlecot trailed basement club Banbury for almost three-quarters of their game before a concerted final push saw them edge ahead and then pull away to a 20-shot victory.

Manor, in their last game of the 2017/18 campaign, were looking for a win over Oxford C &C to beat last season’s best finish of eighth since switching playing venues from the Oasis to Rodbourne.

But they missed out badly as their opponents took all 16 points in a 104-63 win to climb up the table to fifth, having only led Manor by a meagre three points going into the match.

Manor finish on 46 points and should end in eighth spot.

Westlecot looked, on paper at least, to have an easy match against bottom club Banbury but it did not turn out that way after a slow start to proceedings at home in Old Town and in Oxfordshire.

They were down on both home rinks and on one away and after seven ends overall Westlecot were 22-17 adrift.

This improved to only 32-31 down at 10 ends but at 15 Banbury had stolen a march and moved 54-48 ahead. This seemed to finally spark Westlecot into life as they won all of the 16th ends across the board except for a one-shot reverse at home to edge in front 56-55 and never looked back from that point onwards to go 69-61 up at 18 and pull away further to an 87-67 victory.

They took the honours on three of the four rinks, John Thomas’ away foursome registering the biggest win of 18 shots, but Kyle Anderson’s team on the green alongside went down by 15 shots.

At home, Mike Titcombe’s rink won by 15 shots and Chris Cheesley’s rink edged home by two.

The hard-fought win reaped 14 of the 16 available points for Westlecot to set up a cracking last-day finale to the east region season.

Four teams still have a realistic chance of finishing in the top two and claiming an automatic slot in the end of season play-offs for the overall Wessex League title that start on March 4.

Currently Loddon Vale head the east table on 110 points, Westlecot lie second on 100 points with West Berks third on 95 points and Carterton fourth on 86 points.

The last day (tomorrow) sees Loddon Vale (top) play West Berks (third) while second-placed Westlecot face Carterton who lie in fourth spot.

Westlecot must beat Carterton to have any chance of a top two finish otherwise they will have to rely on one of four wild cards on offer to get into the end of season play-offs.


Manor v Oxford City & County (Wessex League)

Home - Rink 1: Terry Plumb, Chris Payne, Tony Rivers & Geoff Porte lost to Chris Earl 14-18. Rink 2: Robbie Ferguson, Graham Richards, Ben Choules & Stuart Murray lost to John Heapy 21-25. Away - Rink1: Jim Ennis, Danny Harvey, Kevin Mitchell & Keith Hillier lost to Ray Gaskins 13-29. Rink 2: Steve Townsend, Chris Mussen, David Murray & Paul Cooper lost to Sam Watts 15-32.

Score: Manor lost to Oxford C&C 63-104 and by 0pts to 16pts.

Westlecot v Banbury (Wessex League)

HOME - Rink 3: Denis Holborow, Shaun Hicks, Terry Walton & Chris Cheesley beat Tom McKenna 18-16. Rink 4: Brian Coles, Dave Snell, Mel Biggs & Mike Titcombe beat Andrew Docherty 24-9. AWAY - Rink 1: Geoff Smith, Keith Williamson, Paul Kistle & John Thomas beat Neil Spencer 31-13. Rink 2: Joe Mazzota, John Anderson, Tom Pittuck & Kyle Anderson lost to Nigel Galletly 14-29.

Scores: Westlecot beat Banbury 87-67 and by 14pts to 2pts.