St Andrews outplayed in the national Top Club Championship

PUBLISHED: 12:51 19 December 2018

Bowls.

Bowls.

Archant

St Andrews crashed out of the national Top Club Championship after they were outplayed by Taunton Deane.

St Andrews’ fine run in the national Top Club Championship came to an abrupt halt as they were outplayed away to bogey team Taunton Deane.

Losing both two-wood singles matches got them off to a bad start. Lee Stocker, who stepped in at the last minute for the injured Phil Villis, gave a good account of himself against the formidable Charlie Takle, losing by only six.

In the ladies’ singles, Saints’ Carolina Venn trailed throughout against former team-mate Imogen Cracknell, going down by 13.

At the time the singles matches ended with a 19-shot deficit, Saints were ahead only in the fours. When Becky McMillan and Barrie Forse dropped 10 shots in two ends in the mixed pairs, the writing was on the wall for Saints’ hopes of further progress in the competition.

Craig Walker’s triple battled hard, with the ends shared, but the dropping of two fours and a three gave them a mountain to climb against a very good trio, who beat them by six.

From 3-19 down, McMillan and Forse scored nine shots in three ends to make their eventual pairs deficit respectable.

Darrell Johnston, just back from the Canary Isles, skipped the four to within reach of a consolation victory. However, 15-12 ahead with two ends left, they dropped five shots to lose by one as Deane completed the whitewash.

Taunton Deane 16, St Andrews 0 (agg 97-64) - men’s singles: Lee Stocker 15-21; ladies’ singles: Carolina Venn 8-21; mixed pairs: Rebecca McMillan/Barrie Forse 13-20; mixed triples: Jill Bishop, San Stocker, Craig Walker 13-19; mixed fours: Sue Sinclair, Ann Campbell, Ken Curtis, Darrell Johnston 15-17.

Saints began the defence of their Weston Mixed League title by beating Victoria, although not without a struggle.

They owed their 20-shot victory mainly to Mike Stocker’s early away rink, who scored 19 shots, including a seven, in the last six ends, to finish 26 ahead.

At home, Ken Curtis’s quartet lost the last four ends but held on to win by four. The other home skip Ann Campbell led by one with four ends left but went down by three.

Those results meant that when Sam Stocker’s late away rink started, Saints had a 27-shot lead. He had to play one short because of a misunderstanding and was seven shots behind when the game ended prematurely because his lead Rod Smith was injured.

St Andrews 62 (12), Victoria 42 (4) – home: Tony Bray, Jenny Webb, Derek Hurst, Ken Curtis 15-11; Paul Smart, Roger Brereton, Barbara Huggett, Ann Campbell 11-14. Away: Sue Sinclair, Richard Venn, Lee Stocker, Mike Stocker 30-4; Rod Smith, George Cooper, Sam Stocker 6-13.

Anacondas, champions of the Thursday Evening League at St Andrews, achieved a hotshot – all eight woods nearer the jack than any of the oppositions - when they beat Vipers recently. Team captain Ken Uglow, Chick Coffin, George Cooper and Derek Hurst were the players.

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