WILTSHIRE men began the 2014 campaign in the Middleton Cup (inter-county championship) with an excellent win in their opening west group match against Gloucestershire.

They came from 58-55 down at 10 ends across the board to notch a 32-shot win (135-103) at home at Wootton Bassett.

Wiltshire took the honours on four of the six rinks to collect 18 of the 22 points on offer and top their group.

Top rink was Gary Jackson (Westlecot), newcomer Craig Doughty (Holt), Steve Snell (Wootton Bassett) and skip Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) who were only 10-9 up at ten ends but roared away to a 30-14 success.

Other wins were recorded by the rinks skipped by Mel Biggs (12 shots), Ben Gadd (7 shots) and Neil Smith (4).

“That was just the start in this season’s Middleton Cup campaign that we were looking for,” said happy team manager Dave Snell.

“We had a team discussion in the changing rooms prior to the match targeting 18 points from this game and the lads went out and secured exactly that.”

“It was in the second half that we started to pull away scoring 83 shots against Gloucestershire’s 45 and we were particularly strong over the last five ends, securing a 135 shots to 103 shots victory and gaining an 18 points to 4 points win.

“We now play Worcestershire (who beat Warwickshire 15-7) in two weeks’ time, so if we could secure another win at home at Wootton Bassett this would put us in a very strong position in the group with one game left.”

Wiltshire have named an unchanged side for the next game against Worcestershire on June 14.


Rink 1: Gary Jackson (Westlecot), Craig Doughty (Holt), Steve Snell (Wootton Bassett) & Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) beat Paul Bryant 30-14. Rink 2: Barry Sictorness (WB), Justin Davis (Holt), Graham Hatherall & Mel Biggs (both West) beat Stuart Hodges 24-12. Rink 3: Mike Richards (West), Kevin Oliver (Holt), Ian Jefferies & Mike Jackson (both West) lost to Michael Woodbridge 16-20. Rink 4: Tom Warner, Nick Revell (both Amesbury), Wayne Snook & Ben Gadd (both Holt) beat Lee Williamson 23-16. Rink 5: Kevin Embling (West), Keith Bailey (Holt), Gary Morphet & Neil Smith (both WB) beat Rob Griffiths 24-20. Rink 6: Wayne Simmonds (Holt), Chris Cheesley, Dave Godwin (both WB) & Russell Francis (S Moulton) lost to Matt Cuthbert 18-21.

Score: Wiltshire (18pts) beat Gloucestershire (4) 135-103.

WILTSHIRE Bowls Association began their centenary celebrations with the first of a series of special matches against the Barbarians Bowls Association.

Under the leadership of 2014 men’s president Dave Richards (Trowbridge Westbourne) they beat the Welsh side comfortably by 29 shots, winning 141-112 last Thursday at Wootton Bassett.

Wiltshire won on five of the six rinks, the one that they lost was skipped for the BaBas by a former president Calne’s George Henderson who led his four to a big 37-11 win.


Wiltshire v Barbarians

Rink 1: Maurice Byron beat Rob Williams 20-18. Rink 2: Dave Snell beat Gareth Humphreys MBE 30-13. Rink 3: Alan Small beat Howard Pryse 31-16. Rink 4: John Smith beat Hedley Bowen 19-18. Rink 5: Vic Hilton lost to George Henderson 11-37. Rink 6: Colin Easton beat Alun Hodges 30-10.

Score: Wiltshire beat Barbarians BA 141-112.

WILTSHIRE Bowls Association continued their centenary celebrations with the second of a series of special matches against The Friends of English Bowling on Tuesday at North Wilts.

However, on this occasion 2014 men’s president Dave Richards (Trowbridge Westbourne) had to give second best to Friends captain Geoff Hunt and his team which was drawn from ten different counties by 26 shots as Wiltshire went down 135-109.

Wiltshire won on three of the six rinks but suffered two heavy losses which were decisive in the final analysis.

Also in attendance at the special match, but not playing, was Bowls England president Adie Lloyd, a member of North Wilts and the Friends of English Bowling fixture secretary.

Wiltshire’s next game to mark the county’s centenary is against Dennyside Bowls Association at Swindon Bowls Club on Monday, June 16.


Wiltshire v FOEB                             

Rink 1: Graham Annetts lost to Roger Button (Wilts) 17-21. Rink 2: George Henderson beat David Tucker (Devon) 26-17. Rink 3: Martin Salter lost to Ian Whelpton (Oxon) 16-32. Rink 4: Dave Richards lost to Geoff Hunt (Northants) 10-29. Rink 5: Bob Fredericks beat Howard Pryse (Wilts) 19-17. Rink 6: Vic Hilton beat Kay Kerley (Hants) 21-19.
Score: Wiltshire lost to Friends of English Bowling 109-135.