CHRISTIE Miller and Clarrie Dunbar men’s teams both recorded wins last weekend as the Wessex League returned after the festive break, writes DAVE EATON.

The Melksham club registered a narrow 71-67 victory in their local derby with North Wilts while Standerwick-based Clarrie Dunbar thrashed basement club Thornbury 105-58.

Despite leading across the board throughout Christie were pushed hard by North Wilts who had lost all of their previous central region matches.

The Miller men made a fine start and were 25-9 up across the board at five ends but pegged back to only 38-31 at ten ends. They moved ten shots clear at 54-44 at 15 and were 63-55 up at 18 but in a final rally North Wilts cut Miller’s advantage to only 71-67.

With rink honours shared at 2-2 Christie only picked-up 12 of the 16 points on offer, but they consolidated their third place in the central table and enhanced their hopes of a wild card in the end of season play-offs.

Away in North Wilts Paul Macdonald’s rink was always in charge and led Keith Hutchens quartet 6-1 at five ends, 10-4 at ten, 16-6 at 15 and finally won by a crucial 13 shots.

The other win came at home in Melksham where Brian Routledge’s rink came from 6-4 and 8-7 down at five and nine ends to spurt into a 14-9 lead at 15 and finally win 18-13.

Despite an 8-0 lead at North Wilts at five ends Miller’s Nigel Price four was pegged back to 10-10 at ten ends but led 14-13 after seven more ends. However they lost eight shots on the last four ends to lose 21-14.

Meanwhile in another close match skip Andy Moore was 7-2 up at five ends but only 10-9 ahead at ten but trailed 19-11 at 16. His rink cut the deficit to 19-15 at 19 but then dropped a four on the 20th and lost 23-16.

Plain sailing was the order of the day for Clarrie Dunbar as they strengthened their grip on their challenge for Wessex League Central Region title.

Their fourth win in a row saw them run out 105-58 victors over Thornbury.

Needless to say Clarrie won on all four rinks to collect a maximum 16 points and move 11 points clear of Bristol in second spot and 17 clear of third placed Christie Miller.

Incredibly Dunbar men made a sluggish start and were 21-12 down across the board at five ends but had turned the nine shots deficit into plus six shots at ten to lead 38-32.

However, they then stepped up several gears to move 64-44 up at 15 ends and eventually win at 21 by a massive 47 shots.

Both home rinks skipped by Russell Francis and Andy Colebrooke at Standerwick won by 11 and seven shots respectively.

However the biggest wins were recorded away at Thornbury where Neil Collett’s four had a handsome 22 shots to spare while Terry Perkins’ rink won by seven shots.

Christie Miller and Clarrie Dunbar meet in their next match on February 2.


Christie Miller v North Wilts

Home - Rink 3: Tom Newman, Dale Hayward, Bob Pratt & Brian Routledge beat Alan Stell, Alan Greenland, Jan Rodgers & Trevor Cooke 18-13. Rink 4: Paul Barnes, Steve Gedge, David Laws & Andy Moore lost to Derek Clark, Dave Edmonds, Bob Hayes & Geoff Hembrey 13-26.

Away - Rink 2: Chris Easton, Jim Roy, Graham Archard & Nigel Price lost to Bob McComb, Alan Small, John Buckland & Chris Brown 14-21. Rink 3: John Bailey, John Crowder, Mike Savin & Paul Macdonald beat Richard Jennings, Peter Jacobs, Dave Williams & Keith Hutchens 23-10.

Score: Christie Miller beat North Wilts 71-67 and by 12pts-4pts.

Clarrie Dunbar v Thornbury

Home - Rink 2: Alan Brown, Glyn Jones, Keith Bailey & Andrew Colebrooke beat A Tregoning 22-15. Rink 3: Dick Discombe, Colin Easton, Alan Colebrooke & Russell Francis beat J Lowden 27-16.

Away - Rink 1: Andy Taylor, Ian Perkins, Dale Taylor & Terry Perkins beat Terry Winter-Alsop 22-15. Rink 2: Brian Hawkins, Mike Sawyers, Craig Doughty & Neil Collett beat C Luton 34-12.

Score: Clarrie Dunbar beat Thornbury 105-58 and by 16pts-0.

A QUARTET from the Christie Miller club of Chris Easton, Nigel Price, Paul Macdonald and Andy Moore have all been selected to represent Wiltshire in the Liberty Trophy.

The four are named as a complete rink for the inter-county second round home Wilts match at North Wilts IBC (Chippenham) against Somerset on Saturday at the earlier start time of 9.45am Those four are the only players from Cristie Miller to be selected.

The rest of the 24 strong team comprises of 12 players from Westlecot, five from North Wilts and three from Five Rivers, Salisbury.

In round one Wiltshire led throughout for a 14 shots victory as they ran-out 135-121 victors over Gloucestershire to set-up the Somerset clash.

Wiltshire’s county selectors have made four changes to the side that beat Gloucestershire with Dale Hayward (Christie Miller), John Buckland, Max Clark (both North Wilts) and Michael Titcombe Jnr (Westlecot) all switching to the reserves bench with Hedley Bowen (Westlecot), Keith Hutchens, Justin Davis (both North Wilts) and Chris Cheesley (Westlecot) respectively coming in to replace them in the main team.

The Moonrakers have lost to Somerset in the last two seasons in the Liberty Trophy competition at North Wilts in rounds two and one respectively but will be hoping it is third time lucky this time around.

The Somerset team, which includes ten players from Clarrie Dunbar - Craig Doughty, Keith Bailey, Terry Perkins, Andy Taylor, Neil Collett, Andy Colebrooke, Russell Francis, John Freeman, Dale Taylor and Graham Shadwell - only shows one change to the side that beat Dorset in the last round 121-99 with Pete Birmingham (Bristol) replacing Rob Paxton (Taunton Deane).


Rink 1: Jordan Moody, Richard Hindley (both Five Rivers, Salisbury), Kyle Anderson (Swindon Westlecot) and Nick Revell (Five Rivers).

Rink 2: Paul Kistle, Denis Holborow, Kevin Embling and Ian Jefferies (all Swindon Westlecot).

Rink 3: Chris Easton, Nigel Price, Paul Macdonald and Andy Moore (all Christie Miller).

Rink 4: Alan Greenland (North Wilts), Josh Cottle, Hedley Bowen & Dave Snell (all Westlecot).

Rink 5: Steve Snook, Keith Hutchens, Justin Davis and Wayne Snook (all North Wilts).

Rink 6: James Nobbs, Chris Cheesley, Steve Remington and Neil Smith (all Westlecot).

Reserves: John Buckland, Max Clark (both NW), Dale Hayward (CMiller) and Mike Titcombe Jnr (Westlecot).