Unbeaten week of matches for St Andrews

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 29 November 2017

Sidmouth bowls mixed pairs competition. Ref shsp 23-17TI 3929. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth bowls mixed pairs competition. Ref shsp 23-17TI 3929. Picture: Terry Ife


St Andrews remain unbeaten in club matches during the week, while several players made progress in national competitions.

St Andrews enjoyed an unbeaten week in club matches, while their players continued to excel in the national individual competitions.

Saints began the defence of their Weston Mixed League title with a comfortable victory over Woodspring, finishing up on three of the four rinks. At home, Imogen Cracknell’s rink went 10-0 ahead after three ends and won by eight, while Ken Curtis also capitalised on a fine start to finish nine ahead.

Phil Villis, making a comeback after a finger injury, steered his away rink to victory by 21-10, despite having dropped seven shots in five ends towards the close. Darrell Johnston’s quartet lost by five.

St Andrews 68 (14), Woodspring 45 (2) – home: Carolina Venn, Karen Cromey, M Dorrington, K Curtis 20-11; Judy Forse, R Brereton, R Venn, Imogen Cracknell 19-11. Away: Debbie Baker, Jacquie Yeates, R Gordon, D Johnston 8-13; Hannah Frye, Jill Bishop, A Cooper, P Villis 21-10.

Coloured bowls were much in evidence when St Andrews entertained Somerset Under-25s, who are managed by Saints’ member Brian Cracknell.

The youngsters, using a dazzling array of woods, gave Saints a close match. But, mainly thanks to Mike Stocker’s rink, who won by 13 shots, the home club were victorious by 12.

Frid Allen, Dee Cooper, Andy McMillan and Darrell Johnston, up against a strong-looking rink skipped by Under-25 captain Sam Steel, picked up seven shots in the last two ends to win by five.

Barrie Forse battled manfully against another strong team, saving numerous shots, then conceded a five on the last end to lose by six.

St Andrews 58, Somerset Under-25s 46: Frid Allen, Dee Cooper, A McMillan, D Johnston 21-16; Judy Forse, Margaret Wride, J Keay, M Stocker 23-10; Jill Bishop, Audrey Powell, D Stott, B Forse 14-20.

That was Saints’ second win of the week against a county team. On Wednesday, they beat Somerset Patrons by nine shots, despite having lost on two of the three rinks.

Once again, the four skipped by Mike Stocker, this time comprising Roger Brereton, captain Jim Keay and George Webber, were the match-winners, finishing 17 shots clear despite having conceded a six on the 13th of the 21 ends.

The Patrons’ line-up included Saints’ members Gerry Tofte, Malcolm Campbell and Tony Steer, who all had the satisfaction of being on winning rinks.

St Andrews 62, Somerset Patrons 53: R Brereton, J Keay, G Webber, M Stocker 29-12; P Smart, G Cooper, R Venn, G Wride 16-21; A Cooper, C Coffin, B May, D Bailey 17-20.

Big match of the week in the individual nationals was the clash of two Saints’ teams in the mixed fours third round. Imogen Cracknell, Sue Sinclair, Lee Stocker and Mike Stocker always held the upper hand against Ken Uglow, Ann Campbell, Jackie Pitman and Brian Reeves, winning 20-9.

Other nationals’ results - mixed pairs: Becky McMillan/Barrie Forse won 21-13 away to North Petherton; men’s triples: Sam Stocker, Lee Stocker, Craig Walker won 21-7 away to Minehead; men’s singles: Barrie Forse won 21-7 away to J Adam (Street), George Webber lost 21-11 at home to Matt Hamilton (Ilminster); men’s fours: Andrew Owens, Sam Stocker, Lee Stocker, Craig Walker won 18-14 (after extra end) at home to Watchet; men’s pairs: Lee Stocker/Craig Walker won 22-7 at home to Isle of Wedmore.

Becky McMillan was among several members of the Somerset team who received the Walker Cup at the Bowls England annual dinner.

Wedmore Ladies had a good result in the Yetton Plate, playing North Petherton on a 2+2 basis and winning 98-64 and by three rinks to one.

At home, Julie Masters’ ladies did not take the lead until end eight but then accelerated away to build up a 17-point lead and finished 26-12 up. Marie Trow’s rink started well, preventing the opposition from scoring until end seven, but by end 15 North Petherton were only one shot behind.

This prompted Wedmore to put on a strong finishing burst with 10 shots, including a five, over the last five ends to come home 25-14.

Away, Maureen Hordle’s team won 14 of 21 ends, scoring two sixes along the way, and stormed home 33-14 up. Pam Beard’s crew led briefly early on but found it hard to make any impact after six ends and went down 14-24.

Wedmore Ladies 98, North Petherton 64: P Jenkins, B Disbrey, M Barron, J Masters, 26-12; S Moss, J Collins, A Birch, M Trow, 25-14; R Aston, C Pettit, J Collingwood, M Hordle, 33-14; B Clarke, T Newell, J Wheller, P Beard, 14-24.

In their first county league match of the season, the men did well against Taunton when the rinks were two-all but the overall score was 92-73 to Wedmore.

At home, after some early lead switches, Dave Nicholls men took the lead on end 11 and with the help of a five and a six score marched on to win 34-17.

Keith Burt’s boys built a lead of 10 shots in the first four ends, but Taunton fought back for the lead on end 14. Then it was nip and tuck with the score level after 19 ends but the last two ends were Taunton’s, result 20-23.

Away, Steve Heeley’s group were 17-1 up at halfway, Taunton tried for a comeback but Wedmore resisted to win 24-18. On Colin Moss’ rink it was hard work, eventually losing 14-21.

Wedmore 92, Taunton 73: J White, K Hall, R Barron, D Nicholls, 34-17; P Smith, J Harris, R Bull, K Burt, 20-23; D Collins, D Brown, K Pettit, S Heeley, 24-18; A Birch, J Runciman, R Newell, C Moss, 14-21.

In a mixed friendly at home to Wells, a club with no indoor rinks, Wedmore won but had to work for it. Julie Masters’ side were slightly ahead until end 11 and then dominated, scoring 12 shots in a sequence of seven ends to win easily.

Richard McHale’s troupe had an exciting time by leading in the early stages, then having a dry spell followed by several lead changes and Wells going into the last end with a four-shot lead. Wedmore replied with a five score to take the game by one shot.

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