BOWLS: National delight for local bowlers
6:00am Saturday 17th August 2013 in Latest News
LOCAL bowlers made a superb start to the men’s and mixed national championships at Worthing.
They broke the county men’s eight-year title drought after they captured the men’s over 55 pairs crown on Sunday afternoon.
Super sub Paul Sloman, who had only gone to Worthing as an interested spectator, stepped out of the crowd to partner Westlecot teammate Mel Biggs to the national crown.
Biggs’ original partner Dave Snell (Wootton Bassett), who had played with him in the previous nine matches in the competition, was controversially denied a place in the last two by Bowls England.
The final clashed with a national fours championship game which Snell was due to play in at the same time.
That took priority as their Wigton (Cumbria) opponents refused to play the match later.
The Wiltshire duo were caught out on short jacks by Bob Fuller and John Haines (Desborough Town, Northants) at the start of the final and trailed 11-0 after five ends.
However, Sloman settled down and he and Biggs fought back to lead 17-13 at 15 ends, eventually triumphing 20-18.
Now hopes are high that local bowlers can add further success to that victory over the weekend and in the second and final week.
At the time of going to press, the Wiltshire junior men were through to the semi-finals of the White Rose Trophy.
Also Gary Morphet had made the quarter-finals of the champion of champions competition while Wootton Bassett trio James Nobbs, Neil Smith and Morphet - the beaten finalists in the 2012 national triples championships - had qualified for this year’s last 16.
Next week Wiltshire are well-represented at Worthing by Westlecot and Wootton Bassett bowlers.
Mike Jackson and Biggs contest the national pairs championships with Biggs seeking a pairs double.
Jackson and Graham Hatherall line up in the national singles while county hopes of success in the two wood singles lie with Hatherall and Snell.
Meanwhile, the county junior men were beaten semi-finalists two years ago at Worthing in the White Rose Trophy.
Six of that eight-man side will be in the line-up again this time round as they attempt to go two stages further.
Westlecot’s Craig Hatherall - beaten in the national final of the family pairs with father Graham at Leamington a fortnight ago - and Amesbury’s Tom Warner, are the new faces replacing Wootton Bassett duo Kyle Anderson and Josh Cottle.
Wiltshire manager Adam Tanner (Wootton Bassett) has named five local players in the side to face Surrey in the last four at Worthing today, four from Westlecot and one from Wootton Bassett.
The team shows one change to the side that won the west regional final at Bath in mid-June.
Craig Hatherall (Westlecot) comes in at two in Michael Richards’ rink with Paul Stokes switching to Tom Walkley’s rink. In that rink, Tom Warner moves up to lead with Jordan Moody reverting to the subs bench.
Elsewhere, the annual Bowls Wiltshire mixed galas will take place at Swindon Bowls Club and Amesbury tomorrow.
Eight teams will take part, playing in two sections of four.
The round robin sectional winners at Swindon and Amesbury will each meet in the final.
All of the teams taking part will consist of nine players - a mixed pair, mixed triple and a mixed four.
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