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BOWLS: Town at the double
CHIPPENHAM TOWN landed a double at the Wiltshire Men’s National Championship finals at Devizes Bowls Club last weekend.
Billy McCay defeated reigning champion Mel Biggs (Westlecot) in a tight match 21-20 in the blue riband singles championship.
Then Dave Godwin and Paul Macdonald relieved Biggs and his partner Mike Jackson of their pairs championship crown, defeating them 16-15 on an extra end.
The singles match saw McCay just ahead for most of the game. He led 14-9 at 15 ends, was pegged back to 14-15 at 18 but led again 18-15 at 21 and 19-18 at 24 ends.
On the next Biggs scored a two to lead 20-19, however, McCay hit back with a two to claim a 21-20 victory and seal his first singles championship title.
The pairs was an equally close match with Westlecot leading Chippenham 8-7 at ten ends, 12-10 at 15 and 14-11 at 18.
Godwin and Macdonald were 15-12 going into the 21st and final end, but notched a three with their last wood to tie the match 15-15 and then scored a single on the extra end for a 16-15 victory.
Wootton Bassett also completed a double with the triples team of James Nobbs, Neil Smith and Gary Morphet, who had been beaten in the national final at Worthing, lifting the county triples championship with a comprehensive 23-6 win over Westlecot.
Meanwhile, Tom Walkley retained his U25 singles crown defeating Alex Wickham (Chippenham T) 21-11 in the final.
The other two men’s championship events saw Westlecot beat Spencer Moulton in both the fours and two wood singles.
Unlike, this year’s ladies national championship finals were this season at Swindon’s Town Gardens, the six men’s showpiece championship finals were not held on a separate day from the other Wiltshire finals and bowlers were frequently held up by spectator movements by the clubhouse on the upper green.
The men’s, ladies and mixed competitions saw Chippenham Town miss out in three finals.
The men were beaten 48-39 by Spencer Moulton in the Tourist Trophy despite Neil Connor’s rink winning 29-21.
Bob Chalmers went down 17-21 to Gary Jackson (Westlecot) in the county men’s unbadged singles final while the ladies lost to Box in the Top Ten team final.
The North Wilts trio of Jean Harris, Ann Roberts-Phare and Fizz Mace beat Devizes (Angela Roberts, Wendy Gaisford and Marguerite Alexander) 13-10 in the ladies county benevolent triples final.
Devizes’ Bev Lilley lost in the ladies unbadged singles final 16-8 to Marcia Hartley (Spencer Moulton).
Wootton Bassett’s trio of Dave Edmunds, Harold Jones and Alan Small survived a Malmesbury fightback to eventually win the men’s over 60s triples final 24-15.
The brother and sister partnership of Matthew and Charlotte Daniell won both of their matches 17-13 and 23-11 to win the three team U21 mixed competition
However, fellow Bassett player Gary Morphet failed to add to his triples championship success going down 21-18 to Keith Bailey (Holt) in the champion of champions final.
PICTURES FROM THE WEEKEND FINALS, PLUS MORE BOWLS NEWS IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD