BOWLS: Biggs still in the hunt for glory
5:30am Saturday 19th July 2014 in By Dave Eaton
MEL Biggs is still on course to add another Wiltshire men’s county singles title to his record-breaking total of five.
The Westlecot star whitewashed an opponent for the second time in a fortnight in a singles match.
Two weeks ago it was Wilton’s Mike Crane, who lost 21-0 in just 10 ends in a county last-16 tie at Wootton Bassett, this time it was fellow Middleton Cup player Wayne Snook (Holt).
Former England international Biggs led Snook 14-0 after only five ends and then added two twos before finishing off a demoralised Snook with a count of three on only the eighth end.
And in the afternoon Biggs, with Mike Jackson, won their national pairs semi-final 25-14 against Rodbourne Cheney’s Dave Royle and Steve Rose.
Holt’s Wayne Simmonds also won both of his semi-finals in the men’s singles and pairs. He beat Tom Pittuck (Swindon Town Gardens) 21-11 and will clash with Biggs in the singles final at Devizes in early September.
Snook, after his mauling by Biggs, bounced back in the pairs semi-final with Simmonds to beat Shadwell and Russell Francis 19-10.
There was controversy in the two wood singles semi-final between holder, Graham Hatherall (Westlecot), and Avon’s Chris Easton.
Hatherall trailed 4-2 at five ends, 7-4 at 10 and 13-10 at 18. Then, on the 19th when holding shot with his first wood, Easton called for county official Richard Gardiner to come to the green and promptly conceded the game as he will be away on holiday when the event is scheduled for Leamington.
Russell Francis may have lost in the pairs semi-finals with Shadwell but will still be going to Leamington after beating fellow Spencer Moulton teammate Andy Colebrooke 17-16 in the other two wood semi-final.
The other semi-finals held at Westlecot on Sunday were in the junior men’s singles (under 25s) and involved four local players.
Westlecot’s Michael Richards beat Wootton Bassett’s Kyle Anderson in a tight match that lasted 30 ends, 21-16.
But in the other, James Richman (Highworth) edged out home player Mike Titcombe Junior by two shots to win 21-19.
- THE County men’s junior side were beaten for the first time this season in a regulation 21 ends match.
They went down by one shot in their latest three rink South-West Counties U25 league match to Somerset.
Wiltshire took the honours on two of the three rinks, Westlecot’s Michael Richards skipping his rink to a six-shot success and Wootton Bassett’s Kyle Anderson skipping his to a two-shot win.
The Moonrakers led across the board for most of the SWCL game. They were 16-15 up at five ends, 34-23 at 10, 44-42 at 15 and 51-46 at 18.
However, they only scored four shots on the last three ends and dropped 10 to agonisingly lose by one shot 56-55 on aggregate.
- WILTSHIRE will face Devon today in the quarter-final of the Middleton Cup at West Backwell BC in north Somerset.
They will be seeking revenge as Devon halted their progress in the quarter-finals last season and went on to lose in the inter-county championship final at Worthing to Berkshire.
However, despite Devon’s formidable record in the Middleton Cup since the turn of the century, Wiltshire should not be overawed as Devon lost a group match this season to Dorset and only just pipped arch rivals Cornwall for top spot in the other west group.
Wiltshire selectors have opted for an unchanged side and will field the same 24 players that beat Warwickshire in their last match.