MIXED fortunes were endured by North Wilts and Clarrie Dunbar in the opening round of the Wessex League play-offs.

North Wilts, appearing in the play-offs for the first time for many years, found the going extremely tough and missed out but Clarrie Dunbar, march on in pursuit of their fifth overall Wessex League title.

The draw had not been very kind to North Wilts as they were paired with Kingsthorpe (Northampton), who were runners-up in 2017.

They found it tough, winning on one rink and going close on another but losing heavily on the other two to bow out of the competition.

The Northampton side tracked as home skips two England internationals Connor Cinato and Jamie Walker and they were both successful.

Cinato’s rink thumped the North Wilts foursome led by Tom Newman 35-13 but the Andy Moore quartet pushed Walker’s team all the way and only went down on the last end 20-19.

However, at Chippenham, Darren Anteney’s rink lost to Ben Sharpe 26-11.

The lone North Wilts success came at home at Westcroft as Nigel Price’s foursome beating Mick Sharpe’s rink 26-19 to cut the final deficit overall to 100-69.

Clarrie had no such problems in their last 16 tie against Oxford City & County, taking the honours on three of the four rinks to run out 85-65 winners.

The foundations were laid at home at Standerwick, with Graham Shadwell’s foursome powering to a 31-12 success over Omar Sharif and Russell Francis leading his quartet to a 23-13 win.

Keith Bailey kept the winning sequence going in central Oxford with a 16-14 victory over Ray Gaskins.

However, there was no clean sweep as Andy Colebrooke’s rink lost to Mark Charlott 26-15.

Clarrie progress to the last eight this Sunday where they will face Warwickshire side Welford-on-Avon.

  • ALEX Jacobs has added to her successes in the Area 16 finals in the ladies national championships.

She had already qualified for the final stages and last 16 in Nottingham this spring in the age group competitions in the ladies national fours and O60s ladies singles.

Last Sunday at Westlecot, she completed a hat-trick of Nottingham appearances in a closely-fought ladies two-bowl singles area final with a last-end success over Bristol’s Rose Constant 21-20.

Jacobs also plays in the O60s pairs area final with Sue Cooke, bidding for a fourth place at Nottingham when they face Clarrie Dunbar duo Sue Bird and Jeanette Wheeler at Bristol later this week.

Apart from Jacobs’ win in the two-bowls singles, it has been a disappointing few days for locals in national championship events.

The Clarrie ladies trio of Thelma Bailey, Debbie Shadwell and Jeanette Wheeler were edged out in the area final of the ladies national triples, losing to MidGlos, led by Maryann Pye, 19-18 on an extra end.

Teresa King lost 21-12 to Laura Holden (Clevedon) in the ladies singles.

King will be looking for better fortunes when she joins Jeanette Wheeler and Sue Bird in the ladies O50s triples final at Bristol.

While in the men’s triples, there was a local success as the Clarrie trio of Wayne Snook, Dale Taylor, and Andy Colebrooke beat Malvern Hills 15-12 in the area final to qualify for Nottingham.

Apart from this lone men’s victory, it was a blank few days as in the family pairs, Jordan and Chris Moore (North Wilts) lost in the area final to Malvern Hills duo Mike and Tom Holmes 22-8.

Clarrie’s Keith Bailey and John Freeman lost in the area final of the O60 pairs to Malvern Hills 23-11, and the same duo joined Alan Brown and Duncan McGovern to go down to Malvern 25-14 in the O60 fours area final.

  • WAYNE Snook came close to winning his second Open Singles tournament title in a fortnight.

The Clarrie Dunbar member won the Clarrie Dunbar Singles tournament at the end of February and last weekend in Salisbury came extremely close to adding another triumph to his collection.

He lost in the Five Rivers IBC Open Singles Circuit final to Scott Edwards (Oxford City & County) 6-4, 7-3.

Snook had the consolation of collecting a runners-up prize of £400 and leaping up the OCS rankings to ninth and giving himself every chance of claiming a place in the top 32 and 2019 Grand Final.