THE foursome of Barry Sictorness, Terry Walton, Chris Cheesley and Mel Biggs (skip) made a successful start representing England in the British Isles men’s championships at Royal Leamington Spa yesterday.

The Royal Wootton Bassett quartet earned the right to represent England in the championships after winning the inaugural senior fours (over 55s) title at the national championships at Leamington last season.

In the six country British Isles senior fours event, comprising Guernsey, Jersey, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England, the Bassett team avoided the preliminary rounds being seeded straight through to the semi-finals.

They faced Channel Islanders Jersey, who had eliminated Wales 19-18 in the preliminary round yesterday afternoon, in a tense semi-final battle with the lead changing hands several times.

The result was in doubt until the last end had been completed with the Bassett boys producing a late flurry to take victory.

Biggs' rink were 5-1 down after four ends but led 7-6 after eight. They were 8-9 down after 10 ends but then conceded a big count of five on the 11th end to trail 13-9.

The pendulum swung the other way as back came Biggs’ four with scores of three and three singles to lead 15-13 after 15 ends.

Jersey responded superbly to fightback to lead 18-15 after 18 ends and see victory in sight.

But they were not accustomed to the recovery powers of the Bassett foursome who snatched a 20-18 win with a two and a single to draw level 18-18 at 20 ends and set up a last-end decider that the Bassett boys took with a double to win 20-18 and qualify for the final on late Friday afternoon.

Ireland beat Scotland only 19-17 in the other semi-final despite having a big 15-3 lead after nine ends.