WILTSHIRE held a full-scale Middleton Cup trial match against Hampshire at home at Royal Wootton Bassett last weekend.

The Moonrakers recorded a 13-shot success as they ran-out 118-105 victors winning on four of the six rinks.

“It was a good win against Hampshire on a fast tricky Bassett green,” said player/manager Neil Smith.

“We won on four rinks and lost on two with a decent overall win.

“The two end rinks were probably the trickiest, the dry weather has changed the green dramatically so made conditions very difficult, but pleased with the win,” added Smith.


Wilts v Hampshire at Royal Wootton Bassett (Middleton Cup trial), Rink 1: Ben Gadd beat Craig Patterson 23-16; Rink 2: Russell Francis beat Russell Morgan 25-15; Rink 3: Neil Collett lost to Chris Daniels 13-16; Rink 4: Neil Smith beat Adrian Snook 22-15; Rink 5: Graham Shadwell beat Colin Thresher 22-21; Rink 6: Mel Biggs lost to Jim Marshland 13-22.

Score: Wiltshire beat Hampshire 118-105.

WILTSHIRE'S men have named the two sides to open their inter-county challenge this season in the two main team competitions, Middleton Cup and Balcomb Trophy.

However, the draw has not been very kind to the Moonrakers as they have been paired against Devon in both competitions.

Devon are the Middleton Cup holders having won the event for the past three seasons.

In the Balcomb Trophy (men’s national county top two fours competition), Devon were beaten finalists last season losing out to Essex but won in 2015 when beating Kent .

Wiltshire travel to Topsham BC (Exeter) to face Devon in the Balcomb Trophy on Sunday (May 27, noon).

They make the same journey to Topsham next Saturday, June 2 (2pm) for their opening Middleton Cup west group A match.

Wiltshire will also face Worcestershire (away) on June 16 and will host Gloucestershire at Bassett on Saturday July 7.

Only the group winner will progress to the quarter-finals.

The selectors have named 24 players for the opening Middleton Cup tie.


Balcomb Trophy v Devon @ Topsham, Sunday May 27 (noon), Rink 1: Paul Kistle (Westlecot), Graham Hatherall (Royal Wootton Bassett), Russell Francis (Spencer Moulton) & Neil Collett (RWB). Rink 2: Gary Jackson (West), Wayne Snook, Ben Gadd (both Holt) & Graham Shadwell (S Moulton).

Reserves: Tom Warner (Salisbury) and Mike Titcombe (Westlecot).

Middleton Cup v Devon @ Topsham, Sat June 2 (2pm), Rink 1: Gary Jackson, Mike Jackson (both Westlecot), Gary Morphet & Mel Biggs (both Royal Wootton Bassett). Rink 2: Wayne Simmonds (Holt), Craig Hatherall (RWB), Wayne Snook & Ben Gadd (both Holt). Rink 3: Kyle Anderson, Craig Morphet, Steve Snell (all RWB) & Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton). Rink 4: Phil Gregory (RWB), Tom Warner (Salisbury), Graham Hatherall & Neil Collett (both RWB). Rink 5: Paul Kistle (West), Chris Cheesley, Dave Godwin (both RWB) & Russell Francis (S Moulton). Rink 6: James Nobbs (RWB), Mike Titcombe, Ian Jefferies (both West) & Neil Smith (player/manager, RWB).

Reserves: James Richman, Mike Richards (both West), Tony Keating (Holt), Barry Sictornes and Andy Blake (both RWB).

BOWLS Wiltshire men, under the stewardship county president Stewart Allison (Chippenham Park) this season, played their annual friendly match against the West Wiltshire Bowls Association at Avon BC (Melksham) last weekend.

Despite rink honours being shared 3-3, Bowls Wiltshire men still won by 37 shots as they ran out comfortable 136-99 winners.

This was mainly due to a massive 42-9 success by the rink skipped by Wroughton’s Martin Salter and the rink skipped by Spencer Melksham’s former county president Peter Sanders who recorded a 22-8 victory.

Bowls Wiltshire’s other success was a 23-16 win for the all-Chippenham Park rink led by men’s president Stewart Allison.


Bowls Wiltshire Men v West Wiltshire Bowls Association Friendly match @ Avon BC (BW names first)

Rink 1: Don French, Nigel Curtis (both Trowbridge Westbourne), Alan Penfold (Supermarine) & Dave Richards (Trow West) lost to Peter Fitch (Trow West), Mike Mortimer, Dave Betteridge (both Trow Town) & Barry Smith (Trow West) 18-20. Rink 2: Tony Walford, Mark Richardson (both Calne), Bob George (Wroughton) & Peter Sanders (Spencer Melksham) beat Richard Hosking (Winsley) Andy Chapman (Trow Police), John Noyce (Trow West) & Marcia Hartley (Avon) 22-8. Rink 3: Alan Roberts, Maurice Porter, Peter West & Stewart Allison (all Chippenham Park) beat Malcolm Hole, Ken Bray, Colin Easton & John Crowder (all Avon) 23-16. Rink 4: Alec Burden (Amesbury), John Snell (Alderbury), Richard Francis (Trow T) & Martin Salter (Wroughton) beat Mike Lane (Corsham), Alan Humphries (Trow Police), Stephen Faulkner & Richard Buckland (both Avon) 42-9. Rink 5: Peter Young (Malmesbury), Brian Dimmick (Avon), Gordon Black (Blue Circle) & Philip Wells (Avon) lost to Brian Godwin, John Crew, Iain Cameron & Colin Stockley (all Spen Melk) 20-21. Rink 6: Michael Jones (RWB), Brian Hollands (Pewsey), Dave Williams (SVP Chip Park) & Jim Ford (Blue Circle) lost to Colin Dando, Derek Elkins, Tudor Parry & Alfie Maslen (all Winsley) 11-25.

Score: Bowls Wiltshire men beat West Wilts BA 136-99.