WILTSHIRE MEN were in fine form last weekend in the inter-counties championship for the Middleton Cup while one of the the Under 25 sides qualified for the White Rose Trophy national finals at Royal Leamington Spa  in August.

County men continued their splendid start to the 2019 inter-counties championship campaign last weekend recording their third consecutive victory in west group B when defeating Worcestershire 121-87 at home at Royal Wootton Bassett.

County men collected 19 of the 22 points on offer to move top of the group table and set up a showdown with nearest challengers Cornwall on July 6 at the neutral venue of North Petherton (Somerset) for top spot and a place in the quarter-finals.

Moonrakers currently stand on 55 points, from three games while west country rivals Cornwall are second on 38 points but from only two games with Somerset placed third on 28 points. Cornwall are scheduled to meet Herefordshire this coming Saturday.

Wiltshire led throughout against Worcestershire moving into an early 27-20 overall lead after five ends and increased it to 59-41 at 10.

They moved 83-65 ahead after 15 ends and were 98-76 up at 18 before finally winning 121-87 at 21 ends.

Delighted Wiltshire team manager Mike Jackson said after the match:

“This was an excellent win today which puts us in a great position heading into our final group game against Cornwall in three weeks time.

“We were never behind, making a solid start which we built on as the match progressed, finishing strongly to record a comfortable 34 shots (19 points) win. Wayne Snook’s rink provided the platform for the victory with a fine 20 shot win.”

RESULTS (skips only)

Rink 1: Mike Snell beat Marc Stones 19-11; Rink 2: Steve Snell lost to Richard Moule 17-21; Rink 3: Gary Morphett beat Dave Summers 22-16; Rink 4: Neil Collett beat Rob Stanley 16-12; Rink 5: Dave Godwin drew with Luke Lane 17-17; Rink 6: Wayne Snook beat Rob McCaughtrie 30-10.

Score: Wiltshire beat Worcestershire 121-87 and by 19pts to 3.

COUNTY JUNIOR men have qualified for the final stages of the Under 25 White Rose Trophy being staged at the national championships in late August at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

They sealed their place at Leamington when winning the West  A White Rose regional final held at West Backwell, Somerset last Sunday.

They defeated a team from the host county Somerset in the final.

The White Rose Trophy had previously been an U25s inter-county double rinks competition but was amended during the winter to help counties who were struggling to find two rinks and save on walkovers.

Now each county can if it wishes supply two separate rinks of four players to one of the four regional finals – north, east, south and west.

One rink is drawn in the top half of the regional draw and the other in the bottom so as to avoid either clashing with each other.

Wiltshire U25s team manager Adam Tanner entered two teams in the west regional final at West Backwell.

They were Wiltshire Moonrakers - Tom Newman (Avon), James Richman (Westlecot), Craig Hatherall (Royal Wootton Bassett) and Mike Titcombe (Westlecot) – in the top half of the draw (West A).

While Wiltshire Warriors - David Murray (Highworth), Jake Webster and Ben Choules (both Westlecot) plus Josh Fail (Purton) were placed in the bottom half of the draw (West B).

Moonrakers were in impressive form registering three comfortable victories to win the West A regional final.

In round one in their 15 end match they beat Dorset Cherries 19-7 and followed it with a powerful display in round two thrashing Herefordshire Bulls 15-5 and crushing Somerset Sabres in the West A final 15-4.

Wiltshire Warriors were not so successful going out in round one in the West B section losing to Cornwall Blacks 17-12.

The West B final was eventually won by Warwickshire Bears who defeated Devon Hawks 15-13.

U25 team manager and Bowls England director Adam Tanner (Wootton Bassett) said, “It was a very successful day for us.

“Despite some heavy downpours, which left the green unplayable at times, the ‘Wiltshire Moonrakers’ produced an excellent team performance to comfortably win each of their three games.

“Over the course of the day they scored 49 shots and only conceded 16.”

Tanner continued: “However, the weather was unkind to the less experienced ‘Wiltshire Warriors’ (side).

“Having done extremely well to take a 12-6 lead over a strong Cornwall team, with three ends to play, they dropped six shots during a heavy downpour on the 13th end and were unable to score again.

“Their overall performance was very good, and they were also a credit to Bowls Wiltshire.”

Tanner added: “The Moonrakers will now proceed to the National Finals, at which we will aim to play a further three games, each of 15 ends, on Sunday 1 September at Leamington. The first of these will be against the ‘Durham Dynamos’.”

COMBINATIONS  from Royal Wootton Bassett and Spencer Moulton (Bradford-on-Avon) have reached the men’s county final of the national triples championship at the end of July.

They booked their places in the triples final with victories in the semi-finals staged at Devizes last Sunday morning.

Bassett trio of Kyle Anderson, Dave Godwin and skip Steve Snell had to come from way back to just edge home 16-15 against Salisbury.

Bassett led 5-4 after five ends but were13-7 down after 10. They regrouped to pull the match back to 14-all at 15 ends and take two singles on ends 16 and 17 to win 16-15.

Spencer Moulton’s Ashley Kierl, Russell Francis and Graham Shadwell registered a convincing 22-9 success over another Royal Wootton Bassett triple of Lawrence Smith, Craig and Gary Morphett.

Moulton were 7-4 up at five ends but tied 9-9 after 10 ends. However they moved into overdrive winning the next five ends 13-nil to move ahead 22-9 at 15 ends when a concession came.

And to cap a day of mixed fortunes another Bassett team went out of the championships in the only fours semi-final that was played at Devizes on Sunday morning.

The foursome of Dave Snell, Chris Cheesley, Neil Smith and Mel Biggs lost 14-19 against Amesbury, skipped by Mike Tyler.

They were 5-1 down after five ends, and never recovered from their slow start to the game.

The other fours semi-final between Westlecot (Paul Kistle, Ben Choules, Phil Gregory and Mike Titcombe) and Holt (Tony Keating, Chris Poole, Matt Tucker and Ben Gadd) will have to be re-arranged.

It was not played as it clashed with the U25s White Rose Trophy regional final at West Backwell in which one of the two Wiltshire sides taking part reached the final stages at Leamington in late August.

THREE TEAMS Westlecot, Highworth and Royal Wootton Bassett, who are all unbeaten, are setting the pace at the halfway stage in the north area of the Bowls Wiltshire men’s four rink league.

Westlecot are sat at the top of the table on 105 points from eight games with Highworth on 98 points from eight games also with Bassett third on 94 but from only seven matches.

The chasing pack are way back with Purton the next best on only 59 points but from only six games

The top four clubs in the northern area (Swindon and Marlborough)  progress to the end of season play-offs alongside the top four clubs from the southern section (Chippenham, west Wiltshire and Salisbury areas) at the beginning of August.