Victoria suffer county league defeat

PUBLISHED: 14:08 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:08 21 March 2018

Bowls.

Bowls.

Archant

Despite winning a home rink, Victoria slipped to a defeat to Watchet in the Somerset County League.

Victoria played Watchet in the Somerset County League and recorded an excellent home rink win of six shots by Paul Coumis, Mike Milliner, Eric Sage and skip Phil Fisher.

The mixed squad enjoyed an excellent game against Woodspring with the rink of Les Kelly, Rita Bailey, John Langridge and Chris Stevens squeezing a 15-15 tie and the four of Tony Webb, Hilary Chesters, Richard Hollier and Pete Wyatt going one better with a fine rink win of seven shots.

Victoria’s mixed squad played North Petherton in a friendly which was evenly balanced with Mildred Chudley’s rink losing by just two shots and the rink of Rita Bailey, Dave Carpenter, Chris Stevens and Graham Hodge drawing their match.

Victoria 64, Watchet 93: P Coumis, M Milliner, E Sage, P Fisher 22-16; A Hollier, T Webb, C Chudley, J Newman 10-29; J Revill, R Hollier, J Langridge, R Bromet 20-24; B Pocock, T Gatehouse, D Williams, C Heal 12-24.

Victoria 53 (3), Woodspring 59 (13): Tony Webb, H Chesters, R Hollier, P Wyatt 19-12; L Kelly, R Bailey, J Langridge, C Stevens 15-15; F Payne, B Williams, G Hodge, D Fairhurst 7-16; A Hollier, M Payne, R Bromet, K Wilson 12-16.

Victoria 53, North Petherton 60: Carmine, C Chudley, K Wilson, M Chudley 23-25; R Bailey, D Carpenter, C Stevens, G Hodge 14-14; F Payne, M Payne, J Langridge, R Bromet 16-2.

St Andrews will have three representatives in the Somerset CIBA finals at Taunton Deane on April 7.

Ken Uglow, Darrell Johnston and Barrie Forse got through to the triples final when they had a comfortable, 30-7 victory over a team from Purnell.

With all three approaching their best form, they were rarely troubled, 22-3 up at halfway, and Purnell threw in the towel with two ends left.

Their opponents in the final will be an Ilminster team who might include world No 5 Rob Paxton - he flies out to Australia with England’s Commonwealth Games team on the same day as the final.

The real drama came on the neighbouring rink to the triples semi, Saints’ Sam and Lee Stocker, Andrew Owens and Craig Walker were bidding for a place in the county fours final against a quartet from Clarrie Dunbar.

Since the Clarrie team included international skip Graham Shadwell, the Saints’ boys were expected to have their work cut out. However, with 17-year-old skip Sam Stocker performing heroically, they led 11-8 after 13 of the 21 ends and were still one ahead with three ends left.

At 13-13, Shadwell drew two shots, giving his team the advantage as the last end began. However, Craig Walker trailed the jack with his third wood and Saints were holding four

Sam Stocker made it five, meaning that Shadwell had to save the day with his final wood for Clarrie. He did so brilliantly, playing a weighted wood, which took the jack and followed it into the ditch for an unbeatable shot and victory by 16-13.

Shadwell proved the nemesis again for Sam and Lee Stocker and Craig Walker in the national triples inter-area final at Street.

Clarrie’s all-international team – Russell Francis and Craig Doughty have also represented England – were just that little bit too good for the Saints’ boys, who all played well but lost by 20 shots to six

Lee Stocker and Craig Walker suffered further disappointment at Street when they went down by five shots to the home club’s Wayne Bradshaw and Neil Kunc in the county pairs semi-final. They were leading 11-4 then short jacks undid them in the closing ends.

Sam Stocker had a chance to reach the final of the county under-25 pairs when he travelled to Bristol to play the home club’s Reece White.

White, who is five years older than Stocker, just had the edge in consistency and led 20-13, needing one for victory. However, Stocker battled back to 20-18 and was in with a chance to win until a rattled White composed himself to win by three shots.

Despite these defeats, father and son Lee and Sam Stocker can console themselves with the fact that, having been bowlers for only five and three years respectively, their time will come.

Craig Walker, one of Saints’ most talented players, has been suffering from neck problems and headaches from a whiplash injury since a bad car crash and has also done exceptionally well in all the county and national events.

The fact that so many of their members were still involved in big competitions at this late stage of the season reflects well on the standard of play at St Andrews, which is improving season by season.

Sunday’s snow put paid to a couple of other big matches. Ken Uglow and Barrie Forse’s national over-60 pairs inter-area final at Stroud against Malvern Hills was called off. St Andrews Ladies’ Somerset county double-rink semi-final against Yeovil suffered the same fate.

The scheduled men’s County League match against North Petherton was cancelled by the opposition because they could not raise a team.

Saints’ promising 16-year-old Imogen Cracknell did very well in the national finals of the EIBA under-18 singles championship at Church Gresley, Derbyshire.

Despite suffering from a heavy cold, she won two games out of three to finish second in her group with eight points. Cracknell was the most successful of the four girls who had reached the last 16.

Officers elected at the annual meeting of St Andrews’ indoor section – secretary: Ken Uglow; ladies’ captain: Sue Sinclair; men’s captain: Jim Keay; fixtures secretary: Barrie Forse; representative to association management committee: Frid Allen; competition secretary and league secretary: Brian Reeves; ladies’ selectors: Rebecca McMillan, Audrey Powell, Judy Forse; men’s selectors: Phil Villis, George Cooper.

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