BOWLS: Christie and Clarrie have national championship hopes

LOCAL clubs Christie Miller and Clarrie Dunbar are still deeply involved in national championship competitions, particularly in the men’s section in Area 30, writes DAVE EATON.

Christie Miller have representatives still running in five national competitions while Clarrie Dunbar are still going strong in no fewer than eight men’s championship events plus two others - ladies fours and mixed pairs.

The trio from Christie Miller of Chris Easton, Nigel Price and Andy Moore (skip) are through to the inter-area final of the Over 50s triples and face the Area 29 winners, a trio from Taunton Deane skipped by Richard Billington, at Victoria (Street) on January 13.

Moore and his colleagues booked their place in the inter-area final with a hard fought and last end 18-17 victory over Malcolm Smith (Bristol) in the Area 30 final just before Christmas.

A victory in the inter-area final would seal them a place in the last 16 in mid-February at Northampton IBC.

Moore and co have also qualified for the Area 30 national triples semi-finals and will meet John Freeman, Duncan McGovern and Keith Bailey on Wednesday, January 9 at Christie Miller.

The trio of Easton, Price and Moore (skip) plus Paul Macdonald have also reached the semi-finals of the area fours championships and are due to face the North Wilts rink of Bob George, Steve Snook, Justin Davis and Wayne Snook by the end of the month.

Chris Easton has also qualified for the Over 60s singles semi-final in Area 30 and is due to play Martin Thorne (Nailsea) by January 13 while Christie’s John Noyce and David Laws are through to the O60s pairs semis against Robert Richards and his Purnell partner away at Paulton on January 8.

John Freeman is enjoying a purple patch this season in the national championships with the Dunbar player reaching four Area 30 semi-finals.

He beat Clarrie teammate Graham Shadwell 21-10 in the singles quarter-finals and now faces Bristol’s Barry Barry in his semi-final while Russell Francis, following his 21-15 win over North Wilts’ Steve Snook, plays Mark Woods (Clevedon).

Freeman and Duncan McGovern have qualified for the pairs semis and now meet Clevedon’s Pip Branfield and John Hick after edging home 22-21 in the quarter-finals against Bristol’s Aaron Poolman and Paul Bryant.

In the triples Freeman, McGovern and Keith Bailey have to meet Christie Miller in the semi-finals while in the fours this trio plus Craig Doughty have reached the rinks semi-finals and are due to meet Wayne Snook’s foursome from North Wilts by January 27.

Clarrie are triple-handed in Area 30 Over 60s semi-finals with Dick Discombe through to the last four in the singles, Paul Hewitt and Fred Pope in the pairs while Duncan Baxter’s quartet have qualified in the fours - all the O60s semis are due to be completed by January 13.

Shadwell had already booked his place in the final stages (last 16) of the men’s Champion of Champions at Hayling Island in early February prior to going out to Australia to represent England in the World Championships and winning a triples bronze medal.

To complete Clarrie Dunbar’s success story in the Area 30 national championships the ladies quartet of Thelma Deane, Teresa King, Ailsa Midwinter and Jo Dunford have reached the ladies area final in the fours and will face Alex Jacob’s rink from North Wilts.

The victor will move forward to face the winner of Area 29 in the Inter Area Final for a place in the last 16 and final stages at Melton & District IBC in February.

And Thelma Deane has also reached the area final in the mixed pairs along with Duncan McGovern after a comfortable 24-15 success in the semi-finals against Debbie Shadwell and partner.

Deane and McGovern are due to meet Bristol’s Chris Keating and his partner on a neutral green in the area final by January 13.

The winner automatically qualifies for the last 32 and final stages to be held at Northampton in mid-February.

Dunbar are still running in two national inter-club mixed team championship events - Egham Trophy and Top Club.

They have reached the last 16 in the Egham Trophy and will play Torquay United in their delayed fifth round tie on Sunday, January 16 with a quarter-final match against Adur (Southwick, West Sussex) awaiting the winners.

In the Top Club competition Clarrie have qualified for the last 32 (round three) and are due to play Bristol away by January 27.

Meanwhile the men’s central section of the Wessex League swings back into action this coming Sunday.

Leaders Clarrie Dunbar do not have a match but in a local derby North Wilts who lost top spot just before Christmas when beaten by Clarrie face neighbours Christie Miller (10am).

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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