BOWLS: Westlecot close in on Wessex League play-offs
WESTLECOT men virtually sealed their place in the Wessex League play-offs with victory in their re-arranged East Region match last weekend.
They recorded a comfortable 23 shots win over Banbury Cross in a game that was originally scheduled for January 20 but was called off because of snow.
Westlecot beat the Oxfordshire side 99-76, winning on two of the four rinks to collect 12 points out of the maximum 16 on offer.
This success moved Westlecot up into second in the table, just three points behind West Berks but eight clear of Carterton who they face tomorrow in their final group match.
The win over Banbury ensured a top-three finish in the league and a play-off spot, barring an unlikely series of resutls tomorrow.
Westlecot were always ahead across the board against Banbury, making a fine start to lead 28-16 at five ends and 61-31 at 10.
They were 81-52 up at 15 but pulled back slightly in the last few ends to finally win 99-76. At Westlecot Neil Smith’s rink raced into a 28-2 lead at nine ends, were hauled back slightly afterwards but still won by 20 shots.
Alongside John Thomas’ quartet was tied 3-3 at five ends but led 10-6 at 12. However, they only scored once more, a three on the 19th end and went down by 11 shots.
In Banbury it was a case of mixed fortunes with Chris Cheesley winning easily and Ian Jefferies playing catch-up throughout.
Cheesley’s rink were 15-5 up at 10 ends, 23-6 at 15 and 27-6 at 18 and finally won by 22 shots.
However, Jefferies’ foursome were 10-4 down at five ends, 15-10 adrift at 10 and losing 23-15 at 15. They did not make any more in-roads, finally losing by eight shots.
There are several changes to the Westlecot team that beat Banbury last weekend for tomorrow’s vital east region game against Carterton.
Two of the changes are at skip where Dave Snell replaces the unavailable Neil Smith while Tom Walkley, a late withdrawal last week, returns with John Thomas reverting to leading a rink.