WILTSHIRE’S men collected a big scalp when winning away against Devon, one of the top counties in the country, on Sunday in their opening Balcomb Trophy match.

They beat the 2015 champions and last season’s losing finalists 34-27 in this men’s national county top two fours competition tie.

Rink honours were shared one each, but the 21-9 success recorded by Royal Wootton Bassett player Neil Collett’s foursome easily covered the 18-13 loss by Holt’s Ben Gadd’s quartet.

Wiltshire were forced into a late change after Graham Shadwell pulled out with a shoulder injury, bringing in reserve Tom Warner (Salisbury) and re-jigging one rink and moving Gadd to skip.

Overall, Wiltshire were tied 7-7 after five ends and led 17-11 at 10 and had increased that to nine shots 23-14 after 13.

But then Devon produced their best spell of the match, winning seven of the next nine ends to reduce the Moonrakers’ lead to only 27-24.

However, Wiltshire responded to take five of the last six ends to run out 34-27 winners.

Wiltshire now move forward to west region round one of the Balcomb Trophy and a home match against Gloucestershire at Royal Wootton Bassett on June 10.

The county men now make the same journey to Topsham (Exeter) today to face holders Devon in their opening Middleton Cup match.

Besides Devon, the Moonrakers also have an away match against Worcestershire on June 16 at Stourport and end by hosting Gloucestershire at Bassett on Saturday July 7.

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

The selectors have named an 24-strong side against Devon that is drawn from only five clubs around the county.

It is dominated by players from local clubs Royal Wootton Bassett (13 players) and Westlecot (five players), while Holt supply three, Spencer Moulton two, and Salisbury have a lone representative.

  • SWINDON & District men’s association continued its programme of friendly matches beating Bournemouth & District 144-90 in a mixed game at Amesbury last Sunday.

S&D dominated proceedings, although started slowly and only led across the board 29-23 after five ends.

They increased the advantage to 64-45 at 10 ends and then proceeded to pile up the shots, moving 107-71 ahead at 15 and 126-78 at 18 before finally running out 144-90 winners.

S&D took the honours in four of the six matches, with the rink skipped by James Richman winning by 28 shots.

Next best were the Supermarine rink skipped by Jerry Kemble-Young with a 13-shots success, followed closely by a Marlborough squad skipped by Kenny Hedges by 11 shots, while Trevor Hermons’ Garrards rink won by five.

S&D’s next game is a mixed friendly away against Southampton & District at Pirrie Park BC on June 24.