COUNTY Ladies recorded a splendid away winning double last weekend in the inter-county championship and competitions for the Johns Trophy and Walker Cup.

On Saturday they thrashed Warwickshire 141-102 at Stratford-on-Avon, their second successive Johns Trophy win to move top of the west group section A and now look favourites to win the group and reach the quarter-finals for the second-year in a row.

While 24 hours later they beat Herefordshire 45-40 at Cotswold (Stroud, Glos) in the opening round of the Walker Cup double rinks to book a place in the regional finals to be held at Box on July 14 alongside Worcestershire, 2017 winners Somerset and Warwickshire.

Wiltshire were losing Johns Trophy finalists against Surrey last season at the Leamington national championships and are determined to go one stage further in the competition this season.

Wiltshire made it two successive west group victories in 2019 as they thumped Warwickshire in the Johns Trophy.

They were only two shots up after five ends 31-29 but then began to take control of the match leading 72-49 after10 and 105-70 at 15 ends.

They moved 123-85 clear at 18 and finally won the match 141-102.

Moonraker ladies took the honours on four of the six rinks and drew on another to collect a further 19 points and added to the 17 earned against Gloucestershire in match one to move to 36 points.

This is 13 points clear in top spot of nearest rivals Gloucestershire and in a great position with just an overall shots win needed in the final group match remaining against bottom county Dorset (on six points only) to decide the final outcome of west group A.

Wiltshire play Dorset in the group decider on July 6 at Gillingham, north Dorset , which is situated five miles from Shaftestbury.

Top rink honours against Warwickshire went to the Purton trio of Chris Mitchell, Julie Jones and skip Alison Fail with Highworth’s Deanne Davis at three who took complete control of their game in the second-half to record a resounding 29-13 (16 shots) success with Janet Willis (Stratton Churchway) at three to Sue Bird (Warminster) who were the next best quartet with a 13 shots win of 26-13.

Purton’s Rachel Martin was lead and Charlie Godwin three in the Marcia Hartley rink that won 27-16 while Wendy Anderson (Stratton C) was a member of captain Alex Jacobs’ 26-14 winning rink.

However, the Highworth rink led by Linda Young found the going tough against an England back end skipped by Kirsty Richards and were the only losers going down 26-13.

The following day, Sunday, Wiltshire ladies were victorious but pushed hard in their opening round Walker Cup double rinks match against Herefordshire winning 45-40 despite only sharing the rink honours.

Both Alex Jacobs’ and Alison Fail’s rinks were down early on and trailed 12-7 overall after five ends and only led 22-21 after 10.

In the second-half of the match Jacobs quartet turned their match around completely coming from 12-10 down at 10 to lead 17-13 after 15 ends and go onto win 27-17 at 21.

However, the foursome of Chris Mitchell (Purton), Debbie Shadwell (Box), Linda Young (Highworth) and skip Fail (Purton) led 17-14 at 15 ends to help to give Wiltshire a 34-27 overall lead.

But they became stuck on 17 shots and only added one more shot but dropped nine in the last six ends to lose 23-18.

However, Fail’s loss was wiped out by Jacobs teams powerful finish to ensure a Wiltshire 45-40 win and book their place in the west regional semi-finals and final at Box on July 14.

Wiltshire will face Worcestershire in the semi-finals in the morning with Somerset facing Warwickshire. The two winning counties meet in the afternoon for a place at the national finals at Leamington in August in the Walker Cup semi-finals.

THREE LOCAL players Purton’s Julie Jones and Rachel Martin as well as Highworth’s Deanne Davis have qualified in the northern section of the ladies singles championship for the county singles quarter-finals to be played at Holt on June 29.

The other north qualifier is Ann Roberts-Phare (North Wilts, Chippenham Town) who surprisingly beat Linda Young (Highworth) the 2018 county ladies singles champion.

The other four qualifiers for the quarter-finals are from the south area and are two players from both the Devizes and Box clubs.

They are Sheila Garlick and Bev Lilley from Devizes and Kathryn Yeoman and Sue Cook from Box.

In the open quarter-final draw Highworth’s Davis meets North Wilts Roberts-Phare while the draw has not been kind to the two Purton players as Julie Jones faces her daughter Rachel Martin.

The rest of the quarter-final draw sees two Devizes v Box clashes with Garlick (Devizes) playing Yeoman and Devizes player Lilley drawn against Sue Cooke (Box).

INTER-COUNTY men’s Balcomb Trophy double rinks west regional final last Sunday at Clevedon was abandoned.

A Warwickshire bowler on a rink alongside the Wiltshire match with Devon collapsed during their semi-final with Gloucstershire and required urgent medical treatment.

After a long delay, with an air ambulance landing on the green and the player taken to hospital it was agreed to abandon the two semi-finals.

They will be replayed from scratch and the final again at Clevedon on Sunday July 7 (10am).

At the time of the stoppage Wiltshire men had played 14 ends against Devon and were six shots down overall.

FOUR COMBINATIONS from local clubs contested the quarter-finals of the men’s national pairs championships on Monday evening at Chippenham Town’s green at Hardenhuish Park.

But only two of them were successful and booked a semi-final place.

The matches produced four comfortable winners each scoring 20 plus shots with Westlecot and Royal Wotton Bassett clubs claiming a victory.

Dave Snell and Andy Crump from Bassett easily saw off the Amesbury threat from Terry Hancock and Steve Mitchell 22-8.

But Dave’s son Michael tasted defeat alongside Barry Sictorness going down to Westlecot duo Paul Kistle and James Richman 25-11.

And another Royal Wootton Bassett pairing of Hedley Bowen and Andy Crump missed out as well losing to the Holt partnership of Justin Davis and Dane Rose 28-16.

The fourth and final spot in the semi-finals was taken by the Spencer Moulton 2016 county pairs champions Russell Francis and Graham Shadwell, who were also runners-up in 2015.

They thrashed the Devizes parting of Jonathan Cook and Matthew Thompson 26-8 with the game finishing after only 18 ends.