THE four-week English National Championships get under way at Royal Leamington Spa today (Saturday) with the staging of the semi-finals and final of the ladies Johns Trophy and men’s Middleton Cup, the top two inter-county team competitions.

Royal Wootton Bassett’s Lucy Smith has already secured three places at Leamington in the ladies U25 singles plus U25 pairs with her younger sister Katy. She will also partner Spencer Moulton’s Graham Shadwell in the mixed pairs.

Stratton Churchway duo Wendy Anderson and skip Janet Willis will represent Wiltshire in the senior pairs but in the men’s senior singles Bassett’s Chris Cheesley lost 21-12 at a wet Holt to the host club’s Tony Keating who progresses to Leamington.

Cheesley also missed out in the mixed fours. Together with fellow Bassett player Barry Sictorness they had teamed up with Purton’s Chris Mitchell and Alison Fail in the mixed fours this season.

They won the Wiltshire section but lost 19-16 last week in the Dorset and Wilts (Area 9) final at Shaftesbury to Martin Chislett and his team from Greenhill, Weymouth.

Wiltshire's father and son combination of Graham Hatherall and son Craig are through to the last eight at Leamington in the family pairs.

They were beaten quarter-finalists in 2012, the competition's inaugural year and the following year lost in the final.

BEATEN finalists last year when losing to Kings, Torquay, Royal Wootton Bassett are well on their way to booking a place at Leamington in this season’s men’s Top Club competition.

They beat Holt 4-1 in the Wiltshire Top Club semi-finals to reach the Dorset and Wilts (Area 9) final and will face Poole Park (Dorset) today at home at Royal Wootton Bassett.

If successful, they would then face Hampshire and Isle of Wight (Area 11) winners Priory BC (Milton, Portsmouth) in the inter-area final with a place at Leamington in the last eight, quarter finals, the prize for the victor in mid-September.

Westlecot men are enjoying an equally impressive run in the Club Two Fours national competition.

They beat Amesbury 48-21 to win the Wiltshire final and thumped Branksome Park (Poole) 41-25 away last Saturday in the Dorset and Wilts Area 9 final.

The rink of Paul Kistle, James Richman, Ian Jefferies and Mike Richards beat Bob Harris 20-14 while alongside the foursome of Gary Jackson, Mike and Jay Titcombe and Mike Jackson beat Alan Bliss 21-11.

Westlecot now face Hampshire and Isle Of Wight (Area 11) winners Southsea Waverley (Portsmouth) in the inter-area final next Monday, August 7 at 6.15pm at Cove, Farnborough (Hants) with the winner claiming a last eight place at Royal Leamington Spa.

THREE teams in the Northern section of the men’s Wiltshire four rink league, Royal Wootton Bassett (163 pts), Westlecot (156 pts) and Swindon Town Gardens (126) have already booked their places in the last eight of the play-offs for the overall title.

The fourth and final place was due to be decided this week when the final round of matches in the north section were played.

Highworth (125pts) just need two points to take fourth spot and deny Swindon West End of a place in the play-offs.