WILTSHIRE women produced a superb performance away at Gillingham to beat Dorset 128-111 and win the West group in the inter-counties championship for the Johns Trophy.

Despite only sharing the rinks 3-3, Wiltshire’s overall victory extended their winning run to three matches and saw them top their group to claim a quarter-final place.

They will now play West group B winners Somerset at Cotswold BC (Stroud, Glos) on Saturday July 12, with the winner progressing to the semi-finals at the national championships at Royal Leamington Spa on August 3.

Wiltshire led across the board throughout the match.

They made an excellent start and were 36-20 up after five ends and 73-45 ahead after 10, but their lead was cut to 95-75 at 15.

Dorset slipped 115-89 adrift at 18 but rallied in the last three ends to cut Wiltshire’s final winning margin to 128-111 at the conclusion of 21 ends.

Top rink honours went to the foursome of Rachel Martin (Purton), Jean Collier (Box), Charley Godwin (Royal Wootton Bassett) and skip Marcia Hartley (Avon) 37-4.

Next best was the Sue Bird quartet that contained Stratton Churchway’s Janet Willis, who won 24-18.

The other winning rink was the Purton trio of Chris Mitchell, Julie Jones and skip Alison Fail with Highworth’s Deanne Davis, who edged home 19-17.

However, the Highworth rink of Maggie Jordan, Jo Hicks and skip Linda Young, supplemented at three by Devizes’ player Bev Lilley, lost 24-18.

Captain Alex Jacobs lost 24-22 and Kathryn Yeoman’s rink fell 24-8.

Wiltshire earned 10 points for the overall shots win plus six for three rink wins to net 16 of the 22 points on offer and comfortably top the West A group table on 52 points, well clear of Gloucestershire in second on 39.

County selectors have named a 28-player squad for the Somerset game this weekend.

It is the same 24 players that defeated Dorset, plus same four travelling reserves for that game.

Just 24 hours after their Johns match with Somerset, Wiltshire will be bidding to reach another inter-county semi-final at the national championships at Leamington next month.

They contest the West region final in the double rinks Walker Cup and have a slight advantage as Wiltshire club Box are hosting the event.

Wiltshire reached the regional final when beating Herefordshire 45-40, although they shared the rinks 1-1.

The foursome of Avon’s Georgina Newman and Box trio Kathryn Yeoman, Sue Cooke and Alex Jacobs won 27-17.

But the quartet of Chris Mitchell (Purton), Debbie Shadwell (Box), Linda Young (Highworth) and Alison Fail lost 18-23.

County selectors have named the same eight players, plus five others – Marcia Hartley, Deanne Davis and Jo Hicks (both Highworth), Charley Godwin (Royal Wootton Bassett), and Julie Jones (Purton) – in the 13-strong squad for the regional finals.

Wiltshire are drawn against Worcestershire, while Somerset face Warwickshire, with the two winners then meeting for the right to join the North, East and South region winners in the last four at the national championships.

Moonraker ladies recorded another victory in the South West Counties League with a 121-99 win over Worcestershire last week at Bredon.

Wiltshire, last season’s league winners, surprisingly lost their opening SWCL match in defence of their title 119-103 to Cornwall but have bounced back to defeat Somerset away 144-108 and now Worcestershire away 121-99.

They took the honours on four of the six rinks at Bredon and lost on the other two to register an 18-4 success on points.

Top of the rink honours was Janet Willis (Stratton Churchway) 28-8.

Next best was the rink skipped by Babs Salter (Wroughton), who won 27-21, while the rink led by Purton’s Alison Fail won 18-15.

Wiltshire’s next SWCL match was due to be played at the end of this week at Brimfield, Ludlow, against Herefordshire.

PURTON’S Chris Mitchell and Highworth’s Jo Hicks, were hoping to book a place in the ladies two-wood singles at the national championships at Royal Leamington Spa.

They competed in the county two-wood quarter-finals and semi-finals at Avon (Melksham) on Friday night.

The duo were in different halves of the draw, with Mitchell in the top half was paired against Ann Roberts-Phare (North Wilts).

If successful, she would have faced Janice Bull (Amesbury) or Helen Ellis (Box) in the semi-finals.

Hicks was in the bottom half of the draw and paired against Karen Kirby (Blue Circle, Westbury) in the quarters. If successful, she would have met Irene Button (Chippenham Town) or Emma Maslen (Avon).

The two ladies left standing after the semis will meet in the two-wood singles final at Bradford-on-Avon on July 27.

They will represent Wiltshire in this event at the national championships at Leamington in August.