St Andrews bowlers fall at the final hurdle

PUBLISHED: 12:26 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 28 March 2018

St Andrews Bowling Club.

St Andrews Bowling Club.

Archant

St Andrews bowlers fell just short in two competitions, the ladies losing in the final of the Somerset double rink event and the men losing in the over-60s inter-area final.

St Andrews went tantalisingly close to success in two major competitions only to fall just short in both of them.

Their ladies lost to Clarrie Dunbar in the final of the Somerset county double-rink championship at Donyatt. At the same time, Ken Uglow and Barrie Forse missed out by three shots on a place in the EIBA over-60 pairs national finals.

Saints Ladies had qualified for the county final with an excellent victory over defending champions Yeovil in a game postponed from the previous weekend because of snow.

They had begun badly, being 10-0 down overall after two ends, but Rebecca McMillan’s away rink hit top form, including scoring a six just after the halfway mark, to win by 13 shots.

At home, Ann Campbell’s four had to battle hard and there were never more than a few shots in it until Yeovil conceded with one end to go.

Having not been fully aware that they were required to play the final on the next day until they had beaten Yeovil, Saints Ladies travelled to Donyatt to face Clarrie Dunbar, last year’s runners-up.

A six on the fifth end helped Ann Campbell’s rink to lead by four, before their opponents took control gradually, hit back with a six of their own and finished winners by 15 shots with the last end unplayed.

Rebecca McMillan’s quartet, though never showing their form of the previous day, led 15-7 after 14 ends to give St Andrews a glimmer of hope. However, the Clarrie rink clawed their way back and an umpire’s measure on the final end gave them victory by one.

Semi-final - St Andrews 45, Yeovil 28 – home: C Venn, H Frye, J Pitman, A Campbell 17-13. Away: J Forse, S Sinclair, A Powell, R McMillan 28-15.

Final - St Andrews 31, Clarrie Dunbar 47: C Venn, H Frye, J Pitman, A Campbell 15-30. J Forse, S Sinclair, A Powell, R McMillan 16-17.

Ken Uglow and Barrie Forse were kicking themselves after losing their postponed over-60 pairs inter-area final at Stroud. They led their Malvern Hills opponents 17-14 with two ends to go, but conceded a single and a last-end four to miss out on a finals place at Melton Mowbray.

Because of the ladies’ double-rink exploits and the over-60 pairs match, St Andrews indoor finals weekend was severely disrupted, with both singles finals having to be postponed until this week.

Barrie Forse gained some consolation for his nationals exit by winning two of the three finals he contested.

He drove down from Stroud straight to the pairs final, in which he partnered Adrian Cooper against Tony Mannion and David Stott, both Clarence outdoor members who happened to be drawn together.

Forse and Cooper were ahead until Mannion’s steady leading wore them down gradually. With Stott also playing well, the pair both won their first indoor titles at St Andrews.

In the open rinks, a late rally from the four skipped by Brian Reeves could not avert a two-shot defeat at the hands of Forse’s team, who included Jill Bishop, winning her first St Andrews championship.

A leg-weary Forse took to the rink again for his fourth match of the weekend, the mixed pairs final with ladies’ indoor captain Sue Sinclair against Ken Curtis and Ann Campbell.

Some brilliant leading by Curtis was cancelled out by some equally impressive play from Sinclair and Forse, as they led 18-9 with five ends left. Their opponents kept fighting and had a faint hope at 15-20 playing the last end but, inevitably, Forse drew the crucial shot.

Mark Forse, son of Barrie, made his own mark when he was a member of the winning team in the open drawn triples for the second year running.

He, Adrian Cooper and Lee Stocker led 18-8 with four ends left, then newcomer Chris Howard, Jim Keay and Sam Stocker, son of Lee, picked up seven shots in three ends to threaten a turn-round.

Forse junior nailed one on the last end and although the opposition missed narrowly four times in their attempt to get the four they needed for an unlikely victory, that Forse shot stayed to settle the match.

The mixed triples, in which players choose their own partners, was won for the second time in four years by husband and wife Graham and Mo Millard and Brian Reeves. A four on the penultimate end gave Carolina and Richard Venn and Don Bailey some hope before Reeves and co closed out the match by four shots.

Club finals’ results - men’s pairs: T Mannion, D Stott 22, A Cooper, B Forse 10. Open drawn triples: M Forse, A Cooper, L Stocker 19, C Howard, J Keay, S Stocker 15. Open rinks: Debbie Baker, Jill Bishop, A McMillan, B Forse 20, Sue Sinclair, Marie McMillan, Ann Campbell, B Reeves 18. Mixed triples: Mo Millard, G Millard, B Reeves 17, Carolina Venn, R Venn, D Bailey 12. Mixed pairs: Sue Sinclair, B Forse 21, K Curtis, A Campbell 15.

Finals still to be played - men’s singles: B Forse v P Villis (today (Thurs, 1pm).

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