BEATEN finalists last season, Royal Wootton Bassett men are on course to reach the last eight of the Top Club competition again this year.

They are only one step away from reaching Royal Leamington Spa again in mid-September after winning the Dorset and Wilts (Area 9) section of the tournament last weekend at home.

They took the honours in four of the five disciplines against Poole Park to chalk up a comfortable 4-1 victory, winning the two and four wood singles, pairs, triples, but going down in the fours.

Kevin Embling got the ball rolling in the two wood singles with a handsome 15-4 win over the allotted 21 ends. Then Neil Smith staged a remarkable recovery, coming from 18-12 down in the four wood singles to claim a hard-fought 21-19 success.

Bassett lost the next discipline 21-12 in the fours to see their overall lead cut to only 2-1.

But the triples team skipped by Gary Morphet sealed victory with an 18-9 success while Kyle Anderson and Mel Biggs cemented the overall win with a 19-12 pairs success.

Bassett men now face Hampshire and Isle of Wight winners Priory BC (Milton Park, Portsmouth, Hants) in the inter-county final on a neutral green by September 10 with the victors claiming a quarter-final spot at Leamington over the weekend of September 16-17.


Two wood singles: Kevin Embling beat F Garner 15-4. Singles: Neil Smith beat Alec McKenzie 21-19. Pairs: Kyle Anderson & Mel Biggs beat Chris Weekes 19-12. Triples: James Nobbs, Tom Walkley & Gary Morphet beat P Williats 18-9. Fours: Barry Sictorness, Chris Cheesley, Dave Godwin & Steve Snell lost to A Miller 12-21.

Score: Royal Wootton Bassett beat Poole Park 4-1.

A QUIET opening would be the apt description of events at Royal Leamington Spa for Wiltshire bowlers at the national championships that started at the weekend.

No Wiltshire bowler had progressed past the quarter-final stages after the Hatheralls Craig and Graham made a swift exit in the family fours last eight 26-10.

In the U25 ladies singles Lucy Smith (RWB) and Georgina Newman (Avon) both went out in round one. Smith lost 21-11 to Kelly McCarthy (West Ealing, Middx) while Newman lost by the same scoreline 21-11 to England junior and senior international Katherine Rednall (Felixstowe & Suffolk) who went on to win the U25 singles.

The foursome from Box of Carol Grenfell, Kathryn Yeoman, Sue Cooke and Alex Jacobs thumped their first-round opponents in the fours from Elm Park, Essex 32-2 but Wroughton lost their first game 25-10.

In the next few days the men’s senior fours (O55s) will be staged with Bassett’s Barry Sictorness, Terry Walton, Chris Cheesley and Mel Biggs taking part.

Also from Bassett, Kyle Anderson competes with Gary Jackson in the U25 junior pairs championship. Then at the weekend the ladies singles will be held with Deanne Davis (Wanborough) and Jean Collier (Box) carrying the flag for Wiltshire. While at the same time the senior ladies singles with Sue Cooke (Box) and the U18 Sutton Winson Trophy events will be contested.

CHIPPENHAM Town men have reached the last eight and play-offs in the Wiltshire men’s four rink league.

After many seasons just missing out on a top two position in the old Area B behind Westlecot and Royal Wootton Bassett they had no such problems this season.

They finished as runners-up behind Holt in the newly-created southern section that swallowed up Areas C and D (Salisbury and West Wilts) plus half of Area B – the other half (Swindon area) linking up with the old Area A (all Swindon clubs).

The top four teams in the newly created north and south sections this season move forward to the last eight and quarter-finals in the play-offs hoping to be crowned overall play-offs winners and four rink league champions in mid-September.

In the southern section, Holt finished top with 170 points with Chippenham Town second on 147 with Spencer Moulton 137 and Amesbury 131 claiming the other two qualifying places.

They join the qualifiers from the northern section Royal Wootton Bassett (holders), Westlecot, Highworth and Swindon Town Gardens - final table and results are not to hand at present.

In the play-offs draw that has been made Chippenham Town face Highworth, game to be played by August 27 while holders Bassett have been paired with Amesbury.

Meanwhile Spencer Moulton meet Westlecot and Holt face play-off newcomers Swindon Town Gardens.

Play-offs draw - quarter-finals (play by August 27): Royal Wootton Bassett (winners north) v Amesbury (fourth south) Chippenham Town (second south) v Highworth (third north) Westlecot (second north) v Spencer Moulton (third south) Holt (winners south) v Swindon Town Gardens (fourth north).