PURTON bowlers Chris Mitchell, Julie Jones and skip Alison Fail have been crowned Bowls England ladies national triples champions.

They lifted the title at the national championships currently being held at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa on Wednesday.

Fail’s trio defeated Nottinghamshire’s Terrie Wombell, Liz Munro and Janet Eames from the Dukeries BC 19-18 in a tense final, with the skip sealing victory on the 18th and last end with the final bowl.

Purton made a flying start to establish a healthy 15-2 lead after only six ends and were 17-5 clear after 10.

However, the Notts side began a tremendous fightback, cutting the gap to 17-10 after 12 ends and 19-15 after 16 ends.

But Purton did not panic and hung on, only conceding a two and a single on the last two ends to claim a dramatic victory.

The victory is Purton’s first success in a national championship event since the club was formed in 1971.

However, the team of Jean Bird, Carol Bartlett and Josie Lloyd did win the women’s benevolent triples competition in 1999.

Fail said: “We made a great start and were 17-5 up and just managed to hold them at bay and produce a great team effort to win.

“Obviously our win in the final was the best but we had to battle hard to beat England international Amy Gowshall and her team from Cleethorpes after being 11-5 down.

“It is the first national championship win for Purton. It was really pleasing for me as I had been to Leamington on many occasions before but not in the triples or pairs, so to win the triples at the first attempt was brilliant.”

In the semis, Purton thwarted the challenge from Cumbria representatives Wigton, skipped by Carol Baxter, 17-15 to book their place in the final.

Purton made a good start and led 6-1 at five ends but had fallen 10-6 behind at nine ends.

Back came Purton to draw level before moving 15-13 up at 15 ends, only to be pegged back immediately to 15-15 with two ends remaining.

However, Fail’s trio grabbed a pair of singles on the last two ends to snatch a 17-15 success and a place in the final.

In the opening triples round, Purton beat Barradon 24-12 and followed it up with a 21-13 success over Polegrove, Sussex.

Day two saw Purton hammer Berkside Sunningdale 24-9 in the last 16 and then in the quarter-finals took the prize scalp of Cleethorpes 18-11.

Purton’s win also made it two local successes at Leamington following Royal Wootton Bassett men’s win in the inaugural senior fours championship.

  •  APART from Purton’s superb success in the ladies national triples championship, it has otherwise been a quiet time this week for local and Wiltshire bowlers.

In the Sutton Winson Trophy U18 Plate, Maisie Daniell (Royal Wootton Bassett) and her partner Izzie White (Worcestershire) beat Conor Hawkins (Hertfordshire) and Avon’s Georgina Newman 1.5-0.5 in the last 16.

However, they lost in the quarter-finals on an extra end to Brandon King (Oxfordshire) and Liam Harris (Suffolk) 2-1.

Box duo Alex Jacobs and Kathryn Yeoman both went out in round two of the two wood singles, while Sue Cooke and Jacobs (Box) are through to the third round in the ladies pairs where they will meet Sele Farm (Herts).

However, Westlecot’s combination of Jayne Croston and Lynda Whittingham, the Wiltshire ladies champions, went out in the preliminary round of the national ladies pairs championship, beaten 27-17 by Judith Morris and Veronica Pickering of Newdigate, Dorking.

Westlecot’s men were also beaten 38-36 in the National Club Two Fours quarter-finals by Heaton Hall (Prestwich, Manchester, Lancs).