CLARRIE DUNBAR men made the perfect start in the defence of their Wessex League crown with victory in the first round of the 2013/14 end of season play-offs, writes DAVE EATON.

The reigning champions defeated tough wildcard opponents Dorchester from the highly-competitive coastal region by 14 shots as they ran out 84-70 victors.

Dunbar’s victory was built on a dominant performance at home at Standerwick by the two rinks skipped by Andrew Colebrooke and Russell Francis.

The former’s foursome of John Freeman, Alan Colebrooke, Duncan McGovern and Andy Colebrooke recording a big match-winning 24 shot success. And to complete a home double Francis’ four edged home by three shots.

However, it was a different story away in Dorchester where Clarrie kept things reasonable tight but lost on both rinks.

Skip Terry Perkins went down by three shots while Neil Collett’s rink lost by ten shots but this 13-shot deficit was wiped out with profit by the home units led by Colebrooke’s big win.

Clarrie Dunbar move forward to the quarter-finals and will face MidGlos (Brockworth) home and away this coming Sunday, March 16 (10am).

They beat Rugby Thornfield in the last round 94-76.


Home - Rink 1: Alan Brown, Colin Easton, Keith Bailey & Russell Francis beat Colin Gifford 19-16. Rink 2: John Freeman, Alan Colebrooke, Duncan McGovern & Andy Colebrooke beat R Nicholas 30-6.

Away - Rink 1: Andy Taylor, Ian Perkins, Dale Taylor & Terry Perkins lost to James Lockwood 20-23. Rink 2: Brian Hawkins, Mike Sawyer, Craig Doughty & Neil Collett lost to Dean Curtis 15-25.

Score: Clarrie Dunbar beat Dorchester 84-70.


1st round: Kingsthorpe (winner Midland) 90 West Berks (wild card) 72; Westlecot (runner-up East) 66 Plymouth (r-up West) 67; Cotswold (winner North) 63 Bristol (r-up Central) 62; Dolphin (winner Coastal) 85 Solihull (wild card) 76; Exonia (winner West) 79 Moonfleet (r-up Coastal) 67; Loddon Vale (winner East) 66 Bournemouth (wild card) 75; Rugby (r-up Midland) 79 MidGlos (r-up North) 94; Clarrie Dunbar (holders, winner Central) 84 Dorchester (wild card) 70.

2nd Round (Sunday March 16): Kingsthorpe (Northampton) v Plymouth; Cotswold (Stroud) v Dolphin (Poole); Exonia (Exeter) v Bournemouth; MidGlos (Brockworth, Gloucester) v Clarrie Dunbar.

Semi-finals (April 6): to be played at Plymouth and West Berks (Newbury)

Final (April 27): to be played at Rugby IBC.

THE LADIES at Clarrie Dunbar are through to the final in the inter-club Optika Top Nine Knockout competition.

In the semi-final played at home at Standerwick, Clarrie Ladies B team defeated Yeovil Two last Saturday morning winning two of the three formats to collect two points and by a single shot.

Clarrie took the honours in both the triples and fours games but lost out in the pairs match.

The fours team produced the biggest winning margin with a decisive 11 shots success.

Clarrie B will now meet either Donyatt or Clevedon in the final on March 22 at Taunton Deane.


Pairs: Thelma Deane & Ann Jones lost to F Whitlock & M Sutton 11-28 (0pts). Triples: Kathy Walker, Pat Pitman & Jeanette Wheeler beat N Burton 21-14 (1pt). Fours: Debbie Shadwell, Maggie Morgan, Kim Smith & Marcia Hartley beat J Cowan 21-10 (1pt).

Score: Clarrie Dunbar beat Yeovil Two 2pts-1 and by 53-52

THE QUARTET of John Freeman, Keith Bailey, Andy Colebrooke and Russell Francis have qualified for the final stages in the men’s national fours championship.

The Clarrie foursome booked their place in the last 16 on April 7-8 at Melton & District against Watford with a 21-13 victory in the inter-area fours final over Area 29 winners Minehead skipped by Mervyn May.

“It was a fairly comfortable win,” said skip Russell Francis.

“I always felt we were in charge, but to be fair to them they played well and held on for a long time.”

This fours victory means local bowlers will feature in three of the four main men’s championships at Melton Mowbray in early April - singles, pairs and fours.

Christie Millers’ Andy Moore has reached the last 32 in the singles event, while Clarrie Dunbar duo Craig Doughty and Graham Shadwell have qualified for the last 32 in the pairs and to complete a Clarrie Dunbar double the club will also be represented in the fours championship.