BOWLS: Successful Welsh tour for Wiltshire men
6:00am Saturday 21st September 2013 in Sport
WILTSHIRE men’s annual tour was a successful past presidents venture to south Wales where they won three matches and lost one, writes DAVE EATON.
The touring party of 32 comprised seven former Wiltshire presidents, a Bowls England director, several county officials, and other players with 15 clubs represented in total.
On the opening day Wiltshire faced Neath side Brynhyfryd, but heavy rain resulted in the game being halted after just 12 ends.
The Moonrakers were leading on four rinks and took a 78-45 victory, with Keith Hutchens, Tudor Lloyd, Dave Royle and Les Cox skipping their rinks to success.
Day two saw sunny conditions and Wiltshire recorded a narrow 102-96 victory at Port Talbot Ynys after winning on four of the six rinks.
Dan Harvey and Royle’s rinks both won 23-9 and tied for top spot while skips Lloyd and Ian Francis also recorded wins.
But in sharp contrast to day one, Hutchens went from top rink to highest-losing skip after suffering a 27-6 defeat.
On Sunday, torrential rain washed out the outdoor game at BP Llandarcy, but an alternative indoor match was arranged with the same players at Earlswood Indoor BC.
Not used to the indoor conditions, Wiltshire did extremely well to tie the game at 3-3 on rinks, with Francis, Ron Salsbury and Hutchens leading their quartets to victory.
However, two rinks suffered heavy defeats, resulting in the tourists losing 117-77 overall.
Normal service was resumed on the final day of the tour at Yate in South Gloucestershire, where the Moonrakers registered a comprehensive 127-89 victory.
Les Cox’s quartet was the only rink to taste defeat but they only went down by one shot.
Top skip was Hutchens (18 shots) while there were wins for Howard Pryse, Francis, Royle and Harvey.
The last day Yate win maintained Harvey’s unbeaten skip record together with Salsbury, albeit they only led a rink twice and once respectively during the tour.
Top skips on the tour were Hutchens and Royle with three wins and one defeat each.
The tour also raised the handsome sum of £600 for the county men’s benevolent fund.
Meanwhile, Wiltshire ladies concluded their campaign in fine style as they won their final county friendly and then beat Wiltshire men in the annual county showdown.
Ladies’ president Margaret Annetts led the women to a comprehensive 124-88 win over Pen-y-Glyn at Wroughton as they took the honours on four of the six rinks.
Town Gardens duo Sue Gravell and June Corbett, Salisbury’s Margaret Griffin and Annetts all skipped their fours to success.
Annetts then led the women to an excellent 128-108 victory over Wiltshire men.
The ladies won on four of the rinks with Marcia Cottle notching the biggest success by 20 shots, while Nancy Oliver won by 12 shots and Delia Godwin by seven.
In the clash of the county presidents, Annetts defeated Roy Jones by seven shots.
Elsewhere, the weather was the finals night winner at the annual Shrivenham Mixed Open Floodlight Tournament last week.
The Friday night semi-finals and final were washed out as the Shrivenham Bowls Club green was waterlogged.
It was the first time since the floodlight tournament started nine seasons ago that a complete evening’s bowling had to be cancelled.
As it was impossible to re-stage the semis and final on another night, the organising committee decided to divide the £400 prizemoney between the four teams left in the tournament.
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