LOCAL clubs Royal Wootton Bassett, Westlecot and Highworth all endured mixed fortunes in the quarter-finals of the Wiltshire Men's Four Rink League play-offs last Sunday in the appalling weather, which reduced the number of ends played in each match.

Bassett thrashed Salisbury 74-39, Westlecot snatched a last gasp 66-65 win against Avon Melksham, while Highworth did not play as their match at Chippenham Town was washed out.

The match, weather permitting, was re-arranged for last night.

In the other quarter-final that went ahead, Holt thumped Marlborough 64-27.

Bassett, winners of the league play-offs for the past two seasons, made a confident start against Salisbury and were 40-24 up across the board at 10 ends. This lead was extended to 66-34 at 15 ends, mostly due to the 26-3 lead gained by Steve Snell’s rink.

The game was conceded shortly afterwards with Bassett ahead 74-39 and winning on three of the four rinks.

Westlecot's match against Avon, which had been agreed would only be played over 18 ends owing to the torrential rain, was a nail-biting affair, with the 10-times champions since the turn of the century being taken to the wire by surprise package Avon.

They only scrambled home 66-65 on the last end due to a four-shot haul from Mickey Titcombe’s rink.

Skip Titcombe’s rink were tied 13-13 after 15 ends but came storming through to grab a match-winning victory on the next three.

They pulled a big count of six shots on the 16th end and a single on the next to set up the last-end decider.

Westlecot, who were seven shots down with only four ends remaining across the board, still trailed by three shots going into the last end.

However, Titcombe and his rink rose to the task, with the skip trailing the jack with his first wood for three shots. The Salisbury skip fired and missed, while Titcombe drew in another shot with his last wood to grab a decisive count of four and lead Westlecot to a dramatic victory.

The semi-finals are scheduled for this Sunday, with Westlecot facing the winners of Chippenham Town and Highworth – venue to be decided.

However, the Bassett against Holt game will have to be re-arranged as Bassett are contesting a last 16 inter-county final against Boscombe Cliff at Bannister Park, Eastleigh, Hampshire, in the Top Club competition.

The Wiltshire Four Rink League final is set for Sunday, September 9 during Bowls Wiltshire finals weekend at Devizes.

  • ROYAL Wootton Bassett are on the verge of qualifying for Royal Leamington Spa in the men’s national Top Club quarter-finals, due to be played over the weekend of September 15-16.

They have the final hurdle, inter area final, to negotiate against Boscombe Cliff at Bannister Park, Eastleigh, Southampton this Sunday morning to book a last-eight spot at Leamington for the third season in a row.

Bassett reached the inter-area and last 16 stage against Hampshire and Isle of Wight sectional winners Boscombe Cliff with a 3-2 win over Wellworthy (Weymouth) in the final of the Dorset and Wilts section.

Graham Hatherall lost in the two-wood singles 12-9, but Dave Godwin won the four-wood singles 21-8.

Neil Smith and Neil Collett were 18-16 down in the pairs when they conceded as Bassett were 3-1 up.

Phil Gregory, Gary Morphet and Mel Biggs won the triples 18-8, while James Nobbs, Chris Cheesley, Kyle Anderson and Steve Snell took the fours 18-16 to give a final scoreline of 3-2.