BOX went very close to winning a third national title for Wiltshire at the 2019 national championships that drew to a close last weekend at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

They were beaten in the final of the Tony Allcock Trophy, O60s mixed double rinks competition, 42-36 by Camberley (Surrey).

Box drew on the rink skipped by Nick Grenfell 21-21 but lost on the other skipped by Alex Jacobs 21-15.

They were in control of the final in the early stages as the foursome of Carol Grenfell, Jean Collier, Maurice Byron and Grenfell raced into an early 15-2 lead over David McCallum.

But in the second half of the match, McCallum’s rink fought back well to eventually wipe out the deficit completely and force a 21-21 tie.

However, the other match saw the Box rink of Paul Netherland, Ian Higgins, Sue Cooke and Jacobs lose 21-15 which gave Camberley an overall 42-36 victory.

Earlier at Leamington, Box had beaten Rosedale (Cheshunt, Herts) 43-20 in the quarter-finals, with Grenfell’s rink winning 14-8 and Jacobs’ quartet winning 29-12.

The semi-final against Eastbourne (Sussex) was a much close affair, with rink honours shared 1-1 but Box coming out on top 35-33 overall.

Grenfell’s four registered a 26-15 win that cancelled out Jacobs’18-9 loss to book Box a place in the final.

To reach Leamington, Box had played five matches in the Dorset/Hants/IoW/Wilts section of the competition – winning them all.

In round one, they beat Spencer Melksham 38-26 and followed it with a 30-28 success over Chippenham Town.

Dorset side Sherborne were their next scalp 34-31, while in round four a comfortable 39-22 victory was secured over Atherley (Southampton).

And in the sectional final, Box beat Hampshire side Fareham 43-29 after winning on both rinks to book their place at Leamington.

  • WILTSHIRE’S junior men made a spirited showing in the last eight of the White Rose Trophy, U25s fours, at Leamington.

The quartet of Tom Newman (Avon), James Richman (Westlecot), Craig Hatherall (Royal Wootton Bassett) and skip Mike Titcombe (Westlecot) had qualified for the quarter-finals by winning one of the two

sections of the west regional final at Clevedon.

In the last eight at Leamington, Wiltshire edged out north winners Durham Dynamos in a tense last-end decider 14-13.

But their progress was halted by Northampton Cobblers, who beat them 16-3 in the semi-finals.

Elsewhere at Leamington, Chris Cheeseley and fellow Bassett player Kyle Anderson went out early in the men’s singles event, and Wiltshire junior ladies missed out on the defence of their Amy Rose Bowl Trophy when they went out 35-16 in the first round against Surrey Scorpions.

And the mixed fours rink, a Bassett team skipped by Neil Smith went out in the last 16 after being beaten 19-18 by Silksworth, Sunderland, Durham.

  • ATTENTION now turns to the county finals at Devizes this weekend plus the finals of the Ladies Top Ten and men’s four rink league play-offs. Most local clubs will also be staging their club championships, while the men’s presidential tour under the leadership of Dave Williams (Chippenham Park) heads to Somerset next weekend.