Games go to the wire in exciting Wardrop Cup bowls final

Avenue Leamington claim title over Whitnash 3-2

Wardrop Cup champions, Avenue Leamington's Mike Kelly, Daniel Ellicott, Luke Horne, Andy Sparkes, Adam Smith, Dean Whyte, Gary Newton, Geoff Moran, Mark Smith, John Hughes and Karl Finch.

The 2021 Wardrop Cup Final was an all South Warwickshire clash between Whitnash and Avenue (Leamington). An afternoon of excellent bowling including both the two wood and four wood singles going down wire ended with Avenue claiming the title with a 3-2 win, writes Alan Jackson.

The two wood singles saw Whitnash’s Ian Billington quickly move 5-0 up against Dean Whyte (Avenue), Whyte got on the board but after ten ends it was Billington with a three shot advantage. A good six ends for Whyte saw him wipe out the deficit and build his own three shot lead. Three singles took the game all square with two ends to play. Whyte took the penultimate end with a single taking the game into a dramatic final end which was taken by Billington, after twenty-one ends played the scores were level on 13-13. Since there must be a winner an extra end was played, with his final wood Billington took a single to seal the win and put Whitnash 1-0 up.

In the pairs Matthew McGuire and Harry Billington (Whitnash) faced Luke Horne and Adam Smith (Avenue). A tight start meant that after six ends it was the Avenue pair with a slender one shot lead, two ends later it was McGuire and Billington that were a shot up. A ninth end five followed by a three singles put Horne and Smith seven up, Whitnash replied with a single and four cut the deficit to two shots. The last four ends were won by Avenue with singles to complete an 18-12 win and level the tie 1-1.

With seven ends played nothing could separate Adam Shuttleworth (Whitnash) and Daniel Ellicott (Avenue), the score level on four all. A four, three and two with a double against took Shuttleworth seven clear. Ellicott took a pair of two to cut the deficit but Shuttleworth responded with a treble. A single and brace of threes took Avenue ahead by a shot, a pair of singles saw Shuttleworth again take the lead. The next end went to Ellicott with a double to take the score to 19-18, a double by Shuttleworth left him one short of victory which he duly got on the next end, Whitnash moving 2-1 ahead in the tie with a dramatic 21-19 win.

The Avenue rink of Karl Finch, John Hughes, Geoff Moran and Mike Kelly hit the ground running, reaching six ends leading 12-3 against Carl Thompson, Martin Dean, Graham Cluft and Keith Glenn (Whitnash). A five on the eighth end for Avenue was cancelled out by Whitnash, though with three ends to go Avenue lead by seven. The sides swapped singles meaning Whitnash needed seven in the final end to force an extra end, it was Avenue that took the end, a 20-12 score levelling the final 2-2.

The triples was a more one-sided affair, Geoff Barnes, Keith Billington and John Strain (Whitnash) could only take two singles in the first seven ends, trailing the Avenue trio of Mark Smith, Gary Newton and Andy Sparkes 8-2. With eleven ends played the deficit had increased to seven and was further increased by five singles by Sparkes and co. Whitnash took the penultimate end with a single but any chance of even a draw was over, Avenue winning 16-5 to claim the Wardrop Cup with a 3-2 score.