St Andrews cruise to victory in national competition

PUBLISHED: 14:05 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:06 25 October 2017

St Andrews Bowls Club.

St Andrews Bowls Club.

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St Andrews cruised to a comfortable 50-shot victory over North Wilts in the national men's inter-club Denny Cup.

An astounding performance by Craig Walker’s rink was the highlight of a crushing victory by St Andrews against North Wilts in the national men’s inter-club Denny Cup.

In matches at that level, rink scores rarely top 30. But Walker, Andrew Owens, Ken Curtis and Gordon Wride piled up 48 shots to their visitors’ three singles with a brilliant, all-round display.

They had five fours and two fives, spearheading Saints’ victory by a thumping 50 shots.

Although the other home rink lost, Saints’ away quartets did their job well. Don Bailey won by 13 shots and Barrie Forse edged home 13-7 in a tight tussle, which featured at least three ends killed by their opponents.

St Andrews 101, North Wilts 51 – home: D Stott, B May, P Villis, M Stocker 11-25; A Owens, K Curtis, G Wride, C Walker 48-3. Away: M Campbell, S Stocker, L Stocker, D Bailey 29-16. K Uglow, R Venn, D Johnston, B Forse 13-7.

There was further success for Saints in the national Over-60 Inter-Club Double Rink, as both their teams went through against difficult opponents.

St Andrews A won by seven against Ilminster A, finishing narrowly ahead both home and away. The B team had a more comfortable victory against Taunton Deane B, with the 10-shot win by Don Bailey’s away rink particularly commendable.

St Andrews A 41, Ilminster A 34 – home: T Hyde, R Potter, K Curtis, G Wride 22-17. Away: R Wootten, M Simpson, M Stocker, B Forse 19-17.

St Andrews B 41, Taunton Deane B 25 – home: R Smith, G Cooper, B Reeves, P Villis 24-18. Away: M Campbell, G Webber, B May, D Bailey 17-7.

St Andrews were hoping to complete a clean sweep of victories during the week by beating home team Taunton Deane in the national mixed Top Club competition.

However, they got off to a bad start when both two-wood singles matches were won comfortably by the home side, leaving Saints with four-point and 19-shot deficits to make up in the remaining games, which were worth four points each.

The triple of Mo Millard, Phil Villis and Mike Stocker played excellently against impressive opponents and led all the way until conceding a four on the 15th of the 18 ends. That brought the scores level, but they regained the initiative to win by two and put four points on the board.

Rebecca McMillan and Barrie Forse held the lead throughout, apart from on one end, during a tight pairs game and, with them always looking likely to win, the outcome of the tie rested on Craig Walker’s quartet.

They had trailed from the start, 1-9 after six ends and 9-18 after 16, against a rink skipped by England player Kirsty Hembrow. However, a five on the penultimate end, cutting the deficit to four, raised hopes that they might snatch a draw, which would have put Saints through. That did not happen and Deane’s shot-difference of 20 saw them into the next round.

Taunton Deane 8 (83), St Andrews 8 (63) - men’s two-wood singles: K Uglow 10-18; ladies’ two-wood singles: Judy Forse 9-20; pairs: Rebecca McMillan/B Forse 13-9; triples: Mo Millard, P Villis, M Stocker 17-15; fours: Jackie Pitman, Ann Campbell, D Johnston, C Walker 14-21.

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