WILTSHIRE men were in superb form last weekend, recording a big 42-shots victory over Herefordshire in the Middleton Cup.

They followed up their narrow 127-126 win over Somerset seven days earlier with a crushing 135-93 home success at Royal Wootton Bassett.

This victory earned Wiltshire 20 of the 22 points on offer and added to the 16 points collected against Somerset from three rink wins. Despite only edging home on scores by a single shot, the win moves them into second spot in the west B group table.

Moonrakers stand on 36 points, only two behind Cornwall but 28 ahead of third-placed Somerset, with all having played two matches.

It is already looking likely the July 6 clash against Cornwall at the neutral venue of North Petherton Bowls Club (Somerset) will decide the group winners and the county to progress to the inter-county championship quarter-finals on July 20.

Wiltshire were in dominant form against Herefordshire at Bassett despite having to make several team changes owing to unavailability and illness. Despite the changes, they still led throughout the entire encounter.

Wiltshire stamped their authority on the match early, leading across the board 37-20 at five ends and 57-48 at 10. They then pulled away to lead 96-62 at 15 and 116-42 at 18 before finally winning 135-93.

Moonrakers took the honours on five of the six rinks, with the foursomes of Paul Kistle (Westlecot), Russell Francis (Spencer Moulton), Mike Titcombe (Westlecot) and skip Dave Godwin (Royal Wootton Bassett) plus Tony Keating (Holt), Westlecot duo Gary and Mike Jackson as well as skip Michael Snell (RWB) both tying for top honours with 20-shot winning margins.

Wiltshire men completed an inter-counties weekend double at Bassett on Sunday when beating Somerset 40-32 in the Balcomb Trophy second round to progress to the west regional final of the double rinks competition at Clevedon on June 23.

The match was tight throughout, with never more than five shots overall between the two sides.

The Wiltshire foursome of Gary Jackson (Westlecot), Wayne Snook (Holt), Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) and skip Neil Collett won 24-16, but the other all-Bassett rink of Kyle Anderson, Mike Snell, Dave Godwin and Steve Snell drew 16-16 with James Avery’s rink.

A busy weekend is ahead again for both the Wiltshire men’s senior and junior (U25) teams.

The seniors face Worcesterhire at home at Bassett seeking a third Middleton Cup success, while the U25 men’s side contest the regional finals of the White Rose Trophy away at West Backwell (Somerset).