TEN local players from six clubs were members of the 24-strong Wiltshire Ladies bowls team that registered the county’s best result in the Johns Trophy for 23 years.

The trios from Purton of Chris Mitchell, Julie Jones and Alison Fail and Highworth of Maggie Jordan, Joanna Hicks and Linda Young, plus Royal Wootton Bassett’s Charlie Godwin and Wanborough’s Deanne Davis as well as Stratton Churchway duo Wemdy Anderson and Janet Willis helped Wiltshire to beat Devon in the quarter-finals of this ladies inter-county championship contest at the neutral venue of Castle Cary (Somerset) last Saturday.

West Group A winners Wiltshire beat Devon, who topped West Group B, 115-108 to book a place in the semi-finals of the Johns Trophy for the first time for 23 years.

The match against Devon, who fielded seven current or former internationals to Wiltshire’s none, was a close affair throughout, although Wiltshire led for practically the entirety of the 21 ends.

They made a fine start and led overall narrowly after five ends 30-28. They increased that to 58-54 after 10, with the lead still 84-80 at 15 ends.

This was increased to 101-93 after 18, with Wiltshire eventually claiming a superb 115-108 victory at the conclusion.

Wiltshire took the honours on three of the six rinks and drew on another, with the top foursome being Avon pair Georgina Newman and Marcia Hartley playing alongside Box duo Jean Collier and Debbie Shadwell, who won 23-17.

Wiltshire will play Yorkshire in the semi-finals at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa on August 4 – the opening day of the month long English national championships and competitions.

The other semi-final will feature Surrey against Northamptonshire.

  • THE following day, Wiltshire women’s excellent unbeaten run in national and regional team competitions this season came to an end.

They were beaten by 46-3 by reigning champions Somerset in the semi-finals of the west regional final of the Walker Cup – inter-county double rinks competition – at Victoria Bowls Club, Weston-Super-Mare.

Wiltshire made a very poor start and never recovered. They were 29-17 down overall at 10 ends, 36-29 adrift at 15 but the gap was extended to 42-33 at 18 ends before Somerset wrapped up a 46-38 win.

The foursome of Avon pair Georgina Newman and Marcia Harley alongside Box duo Kathryn Yeoman and Debbie Shadwell fought back well from 10-3 down to draw their game 19-19.

  • PLACES at the women’s national championships and competitions at Leamington will be up for grabs in two events being staged today at Spencer Melksham Bowls Club.

The Beanacre Road club will host the semi-finals and final of both the ladies O55 fours as well as Ladies Junior Pairs events.

In each case, the winner will secure a place at Royal Leamington Spa to represent Wiltshire.

The semi-finals of the Ladies Junior Singles will also be staged at Spencer Melksham, with the final taking place on ladies county finals day at Avon a week later.

Sisters Lucy and Katy Smith, from the Royal Wootton Bassett, will be defending the U25 singles and U25 pairs titles.

Lucy, 23, has won the singles for the past five seasons, and together with younger sister Katy, 21, has won the pairs for the past five seasons too.

They begin the defence of the pairs crown in the semis against Kara Little (Box) and Georgina Newman (Avon), with the other semi-final featuring Maisie Daniell (Bassett) and Jo Hicks (Highworth) facing Trowbridge Westbournes duo Emily Ambridge and Emily Jacobs.

The Stratton Churchway foursome of Deborah Hitchcock, Kathryn Riach, Wendy Anderson and Janet Willis face Salisbury in the first O55 fours semi-final, while Chippenham Town meet Box in the other.