BOWLS: Double success wraps up Holt's brilliant season

This Is Wiltshire: Holt, pictured (l-r) are, Malcolm Clift, Graham Archard, Malcolm Barker, Dave Stevens Holt, pictured (l-r) are, Malcolm Clift, Graham Archard, Malcolm Barker, Dave Stevens

HOLT men have rounded off their most successful season in the club’s 91-year history by lifting two more trophies, writes DAVE EATON.

They won the pairs and fours titles at the annual West Wilts Bowls Association finals day staged at Avon Bowls Club.

Dave Stevens and Graham Archard won the pairs while Malcolm Clift and Malcolm Barker joined them to retain the fours crown.

These two successes cap a great 2012 campaign for the Holt club who on the national stage reached the quarter-finals of the Club Two Fours Championship at Worthing in August.

They were unlucky to lose out in the last eight by a single shot to Ilminster 40-39 despite winning on one of the two rinks. Ilminster reached the final but then lost out 37-33 to Garston (Herts).

And Holt’s Keith Bailey skipped a county rink in the National Mixed Fours Championships to the semi-finals at Worthing only losing out 20-19 in the last four to Kings, Torquay, who won the title.

On the county front, Holt men have been the team of the season.

They won Wiltshire men’s top team prize when beating arch rivals Spencer Moulton in the Four Rink League play-offs final at Devizes to win the trophy for the first time since the competition began in 1920.

And they were unbeaten this season in the four rink league winning all 14 Area C games and three matches in the play-offs.

To add to this success on the Sunday at Devizes in the league play-offs final, Keith Bailey beat Gary Morphet (Wootton Bassett) 22-18 to win the Champion of Champions title while Wayne Simmonds, Justin Davis and Don Gray cruised to a 25-11 victory over Avon in the Bowls Wiltshie Club Officers Triples final.

The West Wilts pairs final at Avon proved to be third time lucky for Dave Stevens and Graham Archard as they had lost twice before.

But this time around they came from behind to defeat Ashley Keirl and England international Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton).

Stevens and Archard trailed 7-0 after four ends as Shadwell made a great start but were soon back to 7-7 and then played well to eventually take the spoils 18-14 after the full 18 ends.

In the fours final, Malcolm Clift, Stevens, Malcolm Barker and Archard beat Spencer Melksham, skipped by Mo Wigman 22-10 to successfully defend their crown.

This was the fourth time they had won the West Wilts fours in six years with their previous wins coming in 2007, 2009, and 2011.

MORE BOWLS NEWS & PICTURES IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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