NORTH Wilts men produced another impressive performance to beat St Andrews in their crucial final Central region group match of the 2018/19 regular season and book a place in the play-offs for the overall Wessex League crown for the first time in many years.

Chippenham-based North Wilts defeated St Andrews (Weston-super-Mare) 98-79 despite only sharing the rink honours 2-2.

The victory ensured North Wilts collected 12 of the 16 points on offer to move onto 80 points and jump above Bristol into second place in the table behind unbeaten winners Clarrie Dunbar and take the runners-up spot.

St Andrews, who could have upset the North Wilts celebrations had they won the vital clash finish between the two clubs, end the season in fourth place.

North Wilts' success against St Andrews was built on two big victories at home and keeping matters tight away – on one rink, at least.

The foursome of Ashley Ponting, Terry Cooke, Dave Williams and Darren Anteney were in awesome form, winning 16 of the 21 ends in their home game to record a decisive 35-5 victory.

They led 7-1 after five ends and 15-2 at 10. They continued to rack up the points, leading 31-2 at 15 ends and finally winning 35-5.

Nigel Price’s home rink were 8-7 down after five ends, but quickly rectified the situation to lead 18-11 at 10 and 26-15 at 15 before finally winning their game 34-21.

Away in Weston, the Moore family rink, skipped by Andy, led for three-quarters of their tight match, being 15-12 up at 15 ends, but were reeled in and passed to eventually lose 23-16.

The other away rink, skipped by Tom Newman, struggled throughout and crashed to a 30-13 defeat.

However, the two away losses were easily wiped out by the superb home rinks.

Across the board, North Wilts were 24-23 ahead at five ends and led 50-39 at 10, 81-55 at 15, 86-69 at 18 and finally won 98-79.

North Wilts having finished as runners-up in the Central region move forward to the play-offs for the overall Wessex League title.

Clarrie Dunbar, the Central region winners, are seeded in the last 16 draw, along with the other seven regional winners, while North Wilts know for certain that they will meet a regional winner apart from Clarrie.

The play-offs draw will be held on Sunday at Swindon Westlecot IBC immediately following the Wessex League AGM.

The first round of the play-offs are scheduled for March 10, with the quarter-finals the following Sunday.

The semi-finals are set for the venues of Rugby Thornfield or Dolphin (Poole) on March 31, and the final has been allocated to Atherley IBC (Southampton) on April 14.