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BOWLS: Spencer and Bassett ladies earn national places
SPENCER Melksham and Wootton Bassett, who have only won the ladies Wiltshire national triples title once between them in the county’s history, will contest this year’s final.
Both clubs booked their places in the triples final at Swindon Westlecot on July 26 and earned the right to represent Wiltshire at Royal Leamington Spa at the National Championships at the beginning of August.
In the morning quarter-finals at Salisbury last Saturday, the Spencer Melksham trio of Jenny Couch, Marilyn Jay and Delia Godwin edged a tight two-shot win over Box, skipped by Alex Jacobs.
The other match in the bottom half of the draw saw a Salisbury triple, led by Margaret Annetts, deny another Spencer Melksham trio, skipped by Cristabel Francis, by three shots.
Francis’ triple were 9-1 down at five ends and 17-5 at ten but staged a tremendous fightback to cut the gap to 17-15 at 15 and only finally miss-out 19-16 at 18 ends.
In the top half draw, Trish Jarrett’s team from Pewsey Vale were beaten 17-16 by Stratton Churchway, led by Janet Willis, on the last end.
Wootton Bassett’s triple of Maureen Rogers, Charlie Harding and Doris Woodley blew away Swindon, led by Alison White, with a 27-11 victory.
Godwin’s Melksham made a fine start in their semi-final against Annetts’ Salisbury, leading 6-2 at five ends, 12-5 at ten and 17-9 at 15 before withstanding a late flourish and eventually winning 18-14.
Woodley’s Bassett were always ahead against Churchway leading 5-2 at five ends, 12-4 at ten and 15-12 at 15 before clinching an 18-14 success.
The attention now switches to the county ladies national pairs championship which gets under way in earnest this week.
Quarter-finals: Maureen Rogers, Charlie Harding & Doris Woodley (Wootton Bassett) beat June Clarke, Anne Wilson & Alison White (Swindon) 27-11; Wendy Anderson, Ellen Bolland & Janet Willis (Stratton Churchway) beat Beryl Smith, Caroline Sprott & Trish Jarrett (Pewsey Vale) 17-16; Sandy Hall, Nancy Oliver & Margaret Annetts (Salisbury) beat Sheila Bird, Jane Edwards & Cristabel Francis (Spencer Melksham) 19-16; Jenny Couch, Marilyn Jay & Delia Godwin (S Melksham) beat Debbie Shadwell, Sue Cooke & Alex Jacobs (Box) 17-15.
Semi-finals: Woodley (W Bassett) beat Willis (Stratton C) 18-14; Godwin (S Melksham) beat M Annetts (Salisbury) 18-14.
SUE Cooke staged a superb comeback in the latter stages of the Ladies Two Wood Singles Championship held on her own green at Box last Friday – but there was no joy for any other local bowlers taking part in the quarter and semi-finals.
Cooke trailed Wotton Bassett teenager Lucy Smith 9-0 after seven ends but, calling on her vast experience, was able to fightback and halt one of the county’s rising stars.
In the other semi-final, Wroughton’s Babs Salter, the county ladies secretary, comfortably qualified for the final over Salisbury’s Margaret Annetts, last year’s county ladies president.
In the top half, Cooke always held the upper hand over Pewsey’s Di Acheson winning her quarter-final 18-13 while Spencer Melksham’s Eileen Hawker held her own against Smith in the first half of her match and was tied 5-5 at nine ends before Smith pulled away to win 14-7 after 18 ends.
In the bottom half, Marcia Hartley (Avon) missed out for the second year running, losing 16-11 to Salter, after never being able to recover from a slow start and trailing 10-2 after ten ends.
In the other quarter-final, Wootton Bassett’s Charlotte Harding had to give second best to Salisbury’s Annetts, eventually losing 16-12 but taking the game right to the 21st and last end.
The semi-final between Cooke (Box) and Smith (Wootton Bassett) was a fine contest.
Teenager Smith opened confidently and won the first seven ends to hold a 9-0 advantage and was still in front 11-5 after 13 ends.
But Cooke held her nerve chipping away at the deficit winning the next five ends to move 12-11 ahead and then collecting two singles to close out the game 14-11 after 20 ends.
The other semi-final saw Salter (Wroughton) after being tied 4-4 after five ends coast to a comfortable 17-9 success over Annetts.
Cooke and Salter will contest the county two wood final at Westlecot on July 26 as well as represent Wiltshire at Royal Leamington Spa in the National Championships in this event.
Quarter-finals: Sue Cooke (Box) beat Di Acheson (Pewsey) 18-13; Eileen Hawker (Spencer Melksham) lost to Lucy Smith (Wootton Bassett) 7-14; Babs Salter (Wroughton) beat Marcia Hartley (Avon) 16-11; Charlie Harding (WB) lost to Margaret Annetts (Salisbury) 12-16.
Semi-finals: Cooke (Box) beat Smith (Wootton Bassett) 14-11; Salter (Wroughton) beat Annetts (Salisbury) 17-9.
THE county ladies side to represent Wiltshire in the second west group match in the Johns Trophy this Saturday at Devizes against Gloucestershire shows numerous changes.
After being thrashed three weeks ago 130-101 by Cornwall, the selectors have made seven changes to the line-up.
Two rinks remain the same but in come Jean Collier (Box), Delia Godwin (Spencer Melksham), Katy Smith (Wootton Bassett), Julie Jones (Purton), Maureen Woolley (Alderbury), Charlie Harding (Wootton Bassett) and Joanna Richman (Highworth) at the expense of Wendy Gaisford, Sandra Bartlett, Eileen Hawker, Janet Hardie, Josie Lloyd, Joan Coleman and Babs Salter.
Wiltshire will be looking to halt a losing sequence of six inter-county championship defeats.
MORE BOWLS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES
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