LOCAL CLUBS were well represented on the Wiltshire men’s autumn tour this year, a hugely successful president’s tour to Somerset.

Under the stewardship of 2019 county men’s president Dave Williams (Chippenham Park) a total of four games were played in glorious sunshine over a long weekend, with the touring party of 32 based in Taunton, winning all four games in Somerset, to equal last year’s best performance on the Isle of Wight.

Out of the 32 players on tour clubs from Swindon (Shrivenham Road), Royal Wootton Bassett and Marlborough were represented as well as Rodbourne Cheney and Westlecot.

Besides the 2019 president, the touring party consisted of six former Wiltshire men’s presidents, an ex-South West Counties president, several county officials and other players from around the county with 14 Wiltshire clubs represented in total.

The opening day saw Wiltshire tourists walk through Vivary Park from their hotel to face local club Taunton.

They recorded a hard fought 123-116 success despite being down early on winning on four rinks, drawing on one and only losing on the other.

Top honours went to the rink skipped by Chippenham Park’s Martyn Whittaker (11shots) closely followed by club colleague president Dave Wiliams (eight shots), while Rodbourne Cheney’s Steve Rose drew.

Next day the tourists recorded a handsome 137-93 victory at Wellington winning on five of the six rinks and only losing on one by four shots.

Top rink honours went to Steve Rose’s rink (14 shots) that included Rod Giles (R Cheney) and Andy Watson (Swindon) on countback.

They were struggling at one stage but came roaring back to pip Danny Holland’s rink for top spot on shots scored.

Rose won seven of the last 10 ends scoring 21 shots to win 29-15. Rodbourne player Dan Harvey skipped his rink to an eight shots win.

The only loser was vice-president John Crowder’s rink at 16-20.

Sunday, day three saw Wiltshire tourists face their toughest test of the entire weekend against Taunton Deane.

But they came from 47-40 down overall at 10 ends (halfway) to be tied 68-68 at 15 ends but go behind again 93-88 overall at 19 ends.

However the team produced a superb late rally scoring 20 shots on the last two ends and only conceding five to win 108- 98 and complete a Somerset hat-trick.

Wiltshire won this time on three rinks, drew on one and lost on two.

Top rink were the foursome of John Woodhouse (Avon), Andy Watson (Swindon), Ian Francis (Spencer Moulton) and guest Don Fox (skip, Herts) who came from 6-1 down at five ends to win 24-12.

Next best was Cheney skip Dave Royle (20-16) and club colleague Steve Rose (20-19) including a three on the last end.

While John Crowder and Dan Harvey’s rinks both weighed in with fours on the 21st and last end to secure the narrow last gasp victory.

On the way home Wiltshire tourists visited south Bristol club Yatton.

Despite another slow start and trailing 26-24 overall after five ends they rattled-up their fourth successive win and biggest of the weekend tour. They powered past their hosts Yatton 132-85 to complete a tour clean sweep for the second successive season.

Wiltshire tourists won on four rinks and lost on the other two.

Leading the victory charge was last years’s president Stewart Allison whose rink, after the break for tea and biscuits, turned their game around totally coming back from 14-7 down at 11 ends with two counts of six and win all of the final 10 ends to record a handsomely 35-14 win.

While skips Dave Williams (17 shots) and John Crowder (12 shots) weighed-in with valuable contributions.

The hugely successful Taunton tour also raised through involuntary contributions, donations and an end of tour bumper raffle the handsome sum of £1,150 for VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Taking Action) county men’s president Dave Williams chosen charity this year.

Williams’ final task as the 2019 county men’s president, before handing over the chain of office to John Crowder (Avon), 2020 president-elect is to present the trophies to all of the competition winners and runners-up at the men’s annual dinner and presentation evening at the Assembly Hall, Melksham, in mid-November.

Wiltshire men’s annual autumn tour next year has been planned for Wales with players based in Carmarthen.

2019 Wiltshire Tourists Stewart Allison (Chippenham Park), Gordon Black (Blue Circle), Harold Bird (Chip Park), John Crowder (senior vice-pres, Avon), Dave Eaton (Royal Wootton Bassett & Shrivenham), Malcolm Ellis (Marlborough), Don Fox (guest), Derek Francis (Avon), Ian Francis (Spencer Moulton), Rodney Giles (Rodbourne Cheney), Cliff Gumm (Winsley) , Mike Hallam (Downton), Peter Harding (Amesbury), Dan Harvey (R Cheney), Bob Hiles (Swindon), Vic Hilton (RWB), Frank Hinchliffe (Westlecot), Danny Holland (Avon), Keith Hutchens (C’ham Park), Tudor Lloyd (S’don), Steve McPake (Avon), Dave Royle, Steve Rose (both R Cheney), John Snell (Alderbury), Mike Tuohy, Andy Watson, Barry Wheeler (all S’don), Philip Wells (Avon), Martyn Whittaker (C’ham Park), John Wilks (RWB), Dave Williams (president, C’ham Park), John Woodhouse (Avon).

RESULTS v Taunton BC Rink 1: Dan Harvey lost to A Webb 13-28; Rink 2: Stewart Allison beat H Scragg 23-21; Rink 3: Dave Williams beat M Dunne 22-14; Rink 4: Martyn Whittaker beat D Buckpleham 27-16; Rink 5: Keith Hutchens beat D Bridgeman 20-19; Rink 6: Steve Rose drew with M Miller 18-18.

Score: Wiltshire beat Taunton 123-116 v Wellington BC Rink 1: Danny Holland beat J Lester 26-12; Rink 2: John Crowder lost to K Brown 16-20; Rink 3: Dave Williams beat M Phillips 26-15; Rink 4: Dan Harvey beat M Groves 22-14; Rink 5: S Allison beat C Bowden 18-17; Rink 6: S Rose beat B Warnett 29-15.

Score: Wiltshire beat Wellington 137-93.

v Taunton Deane BC Rink 1: S Rose beat R Jones 20-19; Rink 2: J Crowder drew with T Wiscome 18-18; Rink 3: K Hutchens lot to S Hedger 14-15; Rink 4: D Harvey lost to M Reeve 12-18; Rink 5: D Royle beat A Williams 20-16; Rink 6: Don Fox beat T Foxwell 24-12.

Score: Wiltshire beat Taunton Deane 108- 98 v Yatton BC (near Bristol, N Somerset) Rink 1: S Allison beat P Allen 35-14; Rink 2: K Hutchens lost to D Hunt 14-17; Rink 3: D Williams beat S Pascoe 27-10; Rink 4: Don Fox beat N Jones 19-16; Rink 5: J Crowder beat P Goddard 24-12; Rink 6: D Holland lost to M Withymax 13-16.

Score: Wiltshire beat Yatton 132- Hyde Abbey 147-85.

TWO DAYS prior to the start of the Taunton tour a different Wiltshire men’s side recorded a thumping 58 shots victory over the ladies in the annual showdown between the two genders held at Chippenham Park, the home green of men’s president Dave Williams.

The match was close until halfway but the men then turned on the after burners to blast away to a very comfortable 147-89 shots success.

The ladies in fact made a good start and led 27-24 across the board after five ends but were caught but were only 56-49 down after 10 ends.

However the men then moved into overdrive to power away to lead 96-64 at 15 ends, 120-78 at 18 and finally win the annual clash 147-89.

Men won heavily on four rinks but lost narrowly on the other two by three and one shot only.

Top of the honours list for the men were the foursome of Stewart Allison (Chippenham Park), Graham Annetts (Salisbury) , Richard Gardiner (Supermarine) and skip Gerald Webb (Devizes) who won 34-11 and registered a 23 shot success.

Close behind the rinks led by Martyn Whittaker (Chippenham Park) and Bill Collier (Amesbury) both won by 15 shots while senior vice-president John Crowder led his rink to a nine shots victory.

Triumphant for the ladies was the rink skipped by Susan Griffiths (Supermarine) who beat Martin Salter 23-20 and the foursome led by skip Fizz Mace (North Wilts) who edged home 21-20.

The battle of the presidents went to Dave Williams convincingly. He was number three in the rink skipped by club colleague Martyn Whittaker that won 25-10 against Janice Rowe’s rink that included women’s president Ruth Gerrish (Bradford-on-Avon).