WESTLECOT’S hopes of adding a fifth Wessex League title to their trophy cabinet were ended last weekend in the end-of-season wessex play-off quarter-finals.

It was the second year in a row the Old Town indoor club had lost at this stage in the play-offs to midlands side Bromsgrove.

Thames Region winners Westlecot were beaten by five shots as they went down 79-84 to the Worcestershire side on the last end decider.

Last year they lost to Bromsgrove in a very close match 71-75 who went on to win the play-offs for a second time beating newcomers Atherley (Southampton) in the final.

Like last season it was another close and nail-biting affair with Bromsgrove with the quarter-final not finally decided until the very last wood had been bowled.

Westlecot took the honours on two of the four rinks, drew on a third but decisively lost heavily on the other away in Bromsgrove.

Across the board Westlecot trailed Bromsgrove 17-23 after five ends and 37-45 at 10. However the overall margin had increased to 51-67 after 15 ends and defeat looked on the horizon but Westlecot managed to claw the deficit back to only 79-82 with one end to play.

That was the 21st end on the Mike Titcombe rink in Bromsgrove as everyone else had finished, where Titcombe led 20-18.

Unfortunately Titcombe chasing a three to force a tie and an extra end dropped a two to draw 20-20 and enable Bromsgrove to collect another tight success and escape over the Wiltshire side.

It was unlucky for the foursome of John Thomas, Joe Stout, Paul Kistle and Titcombe as the main damage had been done on the other rink in Bromsgrove where Chris Cheesley’s quartet of Denis Holborow, Ian Farragher, Terry Walton and Cheesley had struggled throughout.

They were 12-0 down at five ends and 21-3 at 10 and 29-3 adrift after 15 ends but did pull-in a few shots to lose 35-11.

This 24 shots loss in Bromsgrove was far too bigger a deficit for the home quartets of Dave Snell, Ollie Moody, Mike Shawyer and Dave Godwin (skip) plus Dave Matthews Gary Plant, Andy McIntyre and skip Neil Smith to pull back in Westlecot.

Despite the gallant efforts of Godwin’s rink, who won 26-13 against Graham Arnold and Smith’s foursome who beat Richard Moule 22-16 their combined winning margin of 19 shots fell five shots short of the 24 required for an extra end decider.

Holders Bromsgrove who have denied Westlecot the opportunity of playing for a fifth overall Wessex title will now face west region winners Plymouth at Rugby Thornfield in the semi-finals on March 31 while the other semi-final on the same date will feature Bournemouth and Clarrie Dunbar (Frome) at Dolphin, Poole, Dorset.

The final will be played at Atherley (Southampton) on April 14.

Elsewhere, Westlecot’s Phil Gregory came close to breaking his duck in Open Single Circuit (OSC) tournaments this season.

He lost in the final of the annual North Wilts Open 2-1 in sets (7-5, 3-8, 1-2) last weekend in Chippenham to Egham’s Ian Jenkins, winner of the North Wilts Open in 2017.

It was the third time this season Gregory had fallen at the last hurdle losing in the finals of the Sully (Wales) Open Singles and Masters Singles event in Poole.

Gregory had the consolation though of collecting the North Wilts £500 runners-up prize and 75 points to take him up the OSC rankings to fourth place on 283 points and virtually certain to securing a place in the top 32 of the rankings and a spot in the 2018 Grand Final at Potters Leisure Resort ,Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in late November.

On his way to the final Gregory accounted for Duncan Rogers (Loddon Vale), Katy Smith (Westlecot), Egham’s Kylie Hampton and Sean Gingell and defeated North Wilts Andy Moore, last year’s winner in the semi-final but lost his sixth game in the final to Jenkins.