Bears through to regional semi final in Balcomb Trophy

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Warwickshire travelled to the neutral venue of Bristol BC to kick off their Balcomb Trophy campaign against a strong Devon team.

Warwickshire travelled to the neutral venue of Bristol BC to kick off their Balcomb Trophy campaign against a strong Devon team.

Representing the Bears were Andy Prickett (Welford), Keith Avery (Nuneaton), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Andy Walters (Welford) with the other rink consisting of Mark Smith, Luke Horne (both Avenue Leamington), Mark Ireland (Avenue Coventry) and Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington). The opening five ends provided mixed results for the Bears, Walters two shots up and Smith three shots down. With eleven ends gone the Smith rink had moved two in front while Walters and co were three up after ten ends.

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With five ends left to play Smith and co were all square and Walters’ rink had extended their lead to five. Devon staged a comeback against Walters, bring the scores level with just one end to play, the Bears stood firm and took a single to win 21-20. Smith and co went one down with three ends to play, they levelled on the next ends and moved a shot up with one to go. Smith’s rink saw of any hopes of a Devon win by taking the last end with a double, winning 20-17 making the overall score 40-37 to Warwickshire, taking the Bears through to the Regional Semi Final were they’ll play Worcestershire.

Bears through to regional semi final in Balcomb TrophyBears through to regional semi final in Balcomb Trophy
Bears through to regional semi final in Balcomb Trophy

* Nuneaton BC again hosted the challenge game between the County President and The IMPS, in an impressive performance the President won five out of six rinks with an overall 103-65 score.

Steve Martin (Grange), Wilf Pinfold (Nuneaton), Bill O’Gara (Wolvey) and Past President Geoff Moran took a midway four shot lead thanks to a brace of doubles. A good spell took the lead to thirteen with four ends left and while the Imps took the next end with a double Moran and co finished strong to win 25-5. County President Aubrey Brookhouse, Clive Radford (Lillington), Assistant Secretary Bob Allcock and Bruce Truman (Rugby Railway) dropped an early four but clawed things back to trail by two after eight ends. With five ends to go the deficit was three, this was cleared the following end and Truman’s rink took a couple of fours on their way to a 22-12 victory.

Pat Keogh (Wellesbourne), David Farmer (Thornfield), Paul E Smith (Royal Leamington Spa) and Past President Brian Mace Humphries went from a shot down after five ends to seven up with twelve ends played. The visitors took four shots over the next couple of ends but Mace Humphries and co replied with a treble and four to seal an 18-10 win. Mick Sharpe (Rugby Railway), Ray Harrison (Nuneaton), late stand in Paul Cooper (also Nuneaton) and John Hughes (Avenue Leamington) started well, five shots up after eight ends. The IMPS fought back to clear the deficit and move two clear with four ends to go. Hughes’ rink took a double and trio of singles to win 14-11.

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Rick Hayes (Avenue Leamington), Match Secretary Mike Hall, Paul Smith (Royal Leamington Spa) and Past President Nigel Hewitson finished the first half of the game well to lead by five. The second half saw the bears surrender their lead and drop to two down with two ends to play. Hewitson’s rink cleared the deficit on the penultimate end and took victory with a treble, final score 15-12. Dave Brotherton (Welford), Barry Connolly (Avenue Leamington), Mick Bayliss (Matrix) and Immediate Past President David Wigman were four shots ahead at the halfway stage. Four singles and a treble saw the visitors move three up. The sides exchanged a single before the Imps completed their only win 15-9.

* The latest county friendly saw the Bears cross the border to take on Northamptonshire at Northampton West End. It was the hosts that had the better of the afternoon, winning 107-83 to inflict the fourth straight loss on the Bears.

Steve Martin (Grange), Peter Aughton (Caldecott Park), County Secretary Michael Jackson and Keith Hornsby (Three Spires) were all square after six ends but slipped to a seven shot deficit after ten ends. A good finish saw Hornsby and co clear the deficit and take the win 18-12. Clive Radford (Royal Leamington Spa), Phil Brook (Stratford), Rod Thorneycroft (Caldecott Park) and Past President Nigel Hewitson took a four and five in the first three ends to reach ten ends seven up. With four ends to go the lead had been reduced to six and Hewitson’s rink held on to seal an 18-15 win.

Mick Sharpe (Rugby Railway), Match Secretary Mike Hall, Jerry Horne (Royal Leamington Spa) and Bruce Truman (Rugby Railway) took a fourth end five to reach seven ends eight in front. After thirteen ends Northants had cleared the deficit and moved ahead by a shot, Truman and co levelled the scores with two ends to play. They won the penultimate end with a double but dropped a single on the last ends, final score 18-17. Ken Tredgold (Southam), Wilf Pinfold (Nuneaton), Ted Coupe (Executive) and Assistant Secretary Bob Allcock were limited to just two shots in the first half of the game, trailing by eight. A good spell saw the deficit cut to two after thirteen ends and then to one with the final end to play. It was the hosts that took that end to win 16-13.

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Ken Watkins (Stoke), Mick Allsopp (Executive), Ian Oliver (Corley) and Past President Geoff Moran failed to score in the first six ends, losing 11-0. By the halfway stage the deficit had increased thirteen, a brief rally cut that down to ten but Northants finished strong to complete a 22-7 victory. County President Aubrey Brookhouse, Steve Bradshaw (Thornfield), David Vowels (Welford) and Immediate Past President David Wigman won the first end but were nine down after eight ends. A thirteenth end four cut the deficit down to six but that was the last time the Bears scored, final score 25-9 to Northamptonshire.

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