THE draw was made last Sunday for the Wessex League end-of-season play-offs that will feature Clarrie Dunbar as winners of the Central region and North Wilts, who finished as runners-up behind them.

But the draw has done North Wilts no favours as they have been paired with Northampton side Kingsthorpe, losing finalists two years ago.

They face an extremely tough tie as Kingsthorpe normally field England internationals such as Jamie Walker, Andy Manton and Connor Cinato in their line-up.

North Wilts have reached the play-offs for the first time for many years as the Central region has been dominated by Clarrie and Bristol in past seasons.

Clarrie – four-time winners of the overall Wessex League crown via the play-offs in the past 10 years, with their last success coming in 2017 when they beat Kingsthorpe in the play-offs 72-70 – have drawn Oxford City & County.

Last season, Clarrie lost in round one along with most of the other regional winners, going down 82-73 to Bromsgrove, who went onto beat Atherley (Southampton) in the final to lift the Wessex trophy.

Clarrie will be seeking to forget that blot and focus on trying to draw level at the top of the overall winners table with Cotswold and Plymouth on five wins in the 35 years the competition has been running.

  • NORTH Wilts Indoor Bowls Club stage their sixth annual Open Singles tournament at their green at Westcroft, Chippenham on March 16-17.

A top-class field containing 72 players has been assembled for the tournament, which carries a prize pot of £2,300, with £1,000 going to the winner and £500 to the runner-up.

Six sponsors are supporting the event including the Gazette & Herald.

Admission is free of charge, with play commencing on both days at 9am.