St Andrews enjoy comprehensive county league victory

PUBLISHED: 11:27 14 March 2018




St Andrews enjoyed a comprehensive victory over Yeovil in the Somerset County League, winning three and drawing one of the four rinks.

An outstanding performance by Mike Stocker’s home quartet was the highlight of a convincing victory by St Andrews against Yeovil in the Somerset County League.

Tony Hyde, Chris Howard, Ken Curtis and Stocker all made excellent contributions as the rink won by 29 shots, allowing their opponents only five ends.

The other three rinks also played crucial parts in Saints taking 15 of the 16 points on offer. The second home four, skipped by Lee Stocker, saw a 12-2 lead after eight ends gradually whittled away to 15-14 playing the last end. Malcolm Dorrington drew the crucial shot to see them home by two.

Away, fortunes swung one way then the other. Don Bailey’s rink were a shot behind for most of the game, but scored the crucial shots when it mattered to win by two.

Barrie Forse and his men led 15-7 then 17-11, only to trail by two with three ends left. They pulled themselves together to earn the draw so that Saints were unbeaten across all four rinks for the first time in a league match this season.

St Andrews 93 (15), Yeovil 60 (1) – home: J Wilkes, M Dorrington, A McMillan, L Stocker 16-14; T Hyde, C Howard, K Curtis, M Stocker 39-10. Away: S Stocker, R Venn, P Villis, D Bailey 18-16; M Campbell, G Webber, D Johnston, B Forse 20-20.

With a weaker team than they fielded against Yeovil, St Andrews gave a good account of themselves against unbeaten Clarrie Dunbar, losing on only one rink.

However, that defeat, for Lee Stocker’s away four, was by 26 shots. This gave Clarrie victory by 20, despite the fact that Saints were unbeaten on the other three rinks.

The other away quartet, skipped by Mike Stocker, were 13-4 ahead at halfway, saw their lead gradually diminish to four but rallied to finish five ahead.

At home, it was a similar story for Phil Villis’s rink, who led 18-10 with seven ends to go, then saw their opponents draw level with one to go. Villis scraped home by one to earn two valuable rink points.

Mike Adams was behind for virtually the whole game at home and four in arrears with four ends left. Singles on each of those ends earned them a creditable draw against the outstanding Clarrie skip Brian Hawkins.

St Andrews 64 (5), Clarrie Dunbar 84 (11) – home: M Campbell, A Cooper, K Curtis, P Villis 19-18; J Wilkes, M Dorrington, R Venn, M Adams 18-18. Away: R Smith, G Cooper, A McMillan, L Stocker 7-33; G Sims, G Webber, S Stocker, M Stocker 20-15.

Saints’ Barrie Forse suffered double disappointment on the individual front last week. Firstly, he was unable to match a brilliant performance on his opponent’s home rink by Clevedon’s John Hick in the semi-final of the Somerset county singles, losing 21-9.

Forse had won the county singles for the last two years, the previous winner having been Hick.

Forse, Ken Uglow and Darrell Johnston were hoping to reach the national finals of the EIBA over-50 triples championship when they met a trio from Malvern Hills in the inter-area final at Cotswold, Stroud.

However, things did not go their way from the time Johnston was forced to kill the first end with his team four down. A strong Malvern team pulled away to lead 15-5 after 13 of the 18 ends. Forse and co rallied well, only to lose 16-10.

Forse and Uglow have a second chance to reach the national finals on Sunday (10am), when they play another Malvern Hills combination in the inter-area final of the over-60 pairs, again at Cotswold.

Sam and Lee Stocker and Craig Walker play their postponed inter-area final of the national triples at Street (4.15pm) against a trio from Clarrie Dunbar. A place in the national finals awaits the winners of this also. Lee Stocker and Walker have a county semi-final away to a Street pair on Sunday (4.15pm).

There is a county semi-final double-header at St Andrews tonight (Thursday, 6.30pm) as Uglow, Johnston and Forse take on a team from Purnell in the triples, while Andrew Owens, Sam and Lee Stocker and Craig Walker play Clarrie Dunbar in the fours.

St Andrews Ladies have a big match on Sunday, the semi-final of the Somerset county double-rink competition, in which they play Yeovil ladies (10am). At the same time, Saints’ men will be meeting North Petherton in the Somerset County League.

The annual meeting of St Andrews indoor section is this Saturday (10.30am) at the club.

Wedmore men had a great victory over Yeovil in the County League, winning all four rinks and overall by 28 shots.

Colin Moss’ men set the pace, leading from start to finish and winning 16 ends to triumph 30 shots to 8 - a good foundation for the match.

Steve Heeley and co were in a close struggle, took the lead for the second time on end 11, by end 18 Yeovil had drawn level, but Wedmore saw the game out 21-18.

On the away rinks, Eddie Payne side had an exciting time, took the lead from the beginning and appeared to take a decisive lead on end 13 by scoring six, Yeovil promptly replied with a six so the Wedmore lead was back to three shots.

At end 18 it was 20-all, Yeovil took the lead for the first time but Wedmore scored three shots on the last two ends to win 23-21.

Dave Nicholls’ team also had a close game with the lead chopping and changing but Wedmore kept their noses in front in the middle part of the game only to find themselves level after 18 ends.

Yeovil went two up but Wedmore kept their nerve, scoring three on the last two ends to win 21-20. Wedmore scooped all 16 points, but were denied the opportunity to carry their momentum into the next match which was postponed due to the snow.

Wedmore 95, Yeovil 67: A Birch, P Smith, R Newell, C Moss 30-8; D Collins, J Fear, K Pettit, S Heeley 21-18; J White, R Thurkettle, K Burt, E Payne 23-21; J Runciman, D Brown, R Barron, D Nicholls 21-20.

The mixed friendly squad had two wins, one against Woodspring, the other against Wells.

In the Woodspring match, Colin Wilde’s group led from beginning to end, helped by a six score which enabled them to resist a spurt from the opposition and went on to win 27-13.

Alan Birch’s crew were in a much tighter scrap, retaking the lead at end 15 after trailing for a while, lost it and regained it in successive ends so took a one shot lead into the last end.

Unfortunately Woodspring scored three to take the rink 15-17. The overall score was 42-30.

Regular visitors Wells lost on both rinks and overall by 47 to 22. Richard McHales’s bunch were 14 shots up by halfway and just kept going to win 14 of 18 ends and by 29 shots to eight.

Julie Master’s rink started competitively but then had a dry spell so were seven shots down at end 12. Then came the fightback, winning four of the remaining ends, including a five score to win by 18 shots to 14 having won only seven of the 18 ends.

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