Saints’ foursome through to area final

PUBLISHED: 14:12 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:12 03 January 2018

St Andrews Bowls Club.

St Andrews Bowls Club.

Archant

A team of four from St Andrews qualified for the Bowls England national mixed fours championship after beating a quartet also from the host club.

When two teams from St Andrews clashed in the area semi-final of the Bowls England national mixed fours championship, something had to give.

Carolina Venn, Rebecca McMillan, Darrell Johnston and Barrie Forse prevailed, beating Imogen Cracknell, Sue Sinclair, Lee and Mike Stocker 20-8 in a game of high quality.

An early four gave Forse’s team the upper hand and, though many of the heads were close, they always had the edge in a fine team performance. Johnston’s rocket-like take-out of an opposition shot was particularly noteworthy.

At 15-5, it looked all over, then a three gave Stocker’s quartet some hope. However, with Forse in remorseless form, the end came soon afterwards. The winners will play a team from Dorchester at a neutral venue in the area final this month.

The men of St Andrews completed a 50-shot aggregate victory over the ladies with a victory that was not as convincing as it looked.

Twenty-five shots ahead from the first leg in October, the men owed their win by the same margin to Darrell Johnston’s rink, who finished 26 shots ahead.

Mike Stocker’s four lost by five shots to Rebecca McMillan’s ladies, while Lee Stocker was behind for much of the game against Audrey Powell before squeezing home by four.

St Andrews Men 64, St Andrews Ladies 39 (agg 134-84) - men’s rinks first: Luke Yeates, George Webber, Richard Venn, Lee Stocker 19, Mo Millard, Jacquie Yeates, Marie McMillan, Audrey Powell 15; Sam Stocker, George Cooper, Ken Curtis, Darrell Johnston 32, Jill Bishop, Sue Carr, Sue Sinclair, Jane Smith 6; Rod Smith, Adrian Cooper, Andy McMillan, Mike Stocker 13, Carolina Venn, Karen Cromey, Hannah Frye, Rebecca McMillan 18.

Father-and-daughter combination Andy and Rebecca McMillan defended their Premier Threes mixed pairs title successfully at St Andrews.

Having shared the honours in the previous event with Richard and Carolina Venn, when there hadn’t been enough time to play the final, they were unstoppable this time.

In the final against Lee Stocker and Barbara Mangan, they established a commanding lead early on and their opponents were unable to recover.

The semi-final had seen Mangan and Stocker forced to play an extra end before they overcame a spirited challenge from Carolina and Richard Venn.

At the same stage, the McMillans had beaten Judy Forse and Darrell Johnston.

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