WILTSHIRE Ladies produced two magnificent performances last weekend to extend their brilliant winning run in inter-county team events.

They edged out Somerset 121-119 in a tense climax to their Johns Trophy quarter-final at Cotswold (Stroud), and the next day won the west region Walker Cup, double rinks, regional final played at Box.

The victories earned county women a semi-final place in both events at the national championships at Royal Leamingon Spa next month.

Last season, Wiltshire represented the west at Leamington in the Johns Trophy, thrashing Yorkshire in the semis, but lost in the final to Surrey – their best effort in this event for 23 years since winning the title in 1995.

They will obviously be looking to go one stage further this time around and win the inter-county championship for the Johns Trophy for only a second time.

An appearance at Leamington in the Walker Cup semi-finals will be a first for the Moonraker ladies as they have never progressed this far in the Walker double rinks before. They beat Worcestershire in the west regional semi-finals 36-29 and Warwickshire in the west final 41-36.

Moonraker ladies made a confident start against Somerset in the Johns Trophy west quarter-final at Cotswold, and led across the board 34-24 after five ends and 62-44 after 10.

However, Somerset rallied and fought back cutting the gap to only 82-80 in Wiltshire’s favour after 15 ends.

Wiltshire upped their game again to move 111-96 up after 18 ends, but Somerset fought back once more to tie the game 119 all with four matches completed and the other two games to play their 21st ends.

So after 124 of the 126 scheduled ends it all came down to the two rinks left on the green - one skipped by ladies captain Box’s Alex Jacobs and the other Purton’s Alison Fail.

Jacob’s all Box rink after being 10-4 up at 10 ends was 13-24 down at 20 but Jacobs showed her true grit to bowl her last wood and grab shot to put Wiltshire one shot up at 120-119.

The attention then turned to the foursome of Chris Mitchell and Julie Jones (both Purton), Deanne Davis (Highworth) and skip Purton’s Alison Fail whose team were ahead 19-14 but had dropped a count of three on the previous end (20th) and were one shot down in the crucial final end with only one wood left to play.

Fail, a former national triples winning skip, turned up trumps despite the pressure drawing shot to give Wiltshire a last gasp 121-119 overall win, and a place in the Johns semis at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa for the second season in a row.

Wiltshire took the honours on three rinks and drew on another but lost on the other two.

Despite Fail’s heroics Supermarine’s Susan Griffith and her new rink with Wendy Anderson (Stratton Churchway) at two and fellow Marine Nikki Kemble-Young at three were tops with a an eight shots success.

Fail’s local quartet won by six shots with Sue Bird (Warminster’s) rink that included Janet Willis (Stratton C) at three held on to win 22-21.

The 19-19 draw came in the match skipped by Highworth’s Linda Young and including club colleague’s Maggie Jordan and Jo Hicks.

But Jacobs’ all Box rink lost 14-24 and Avon’s Marcia Hartley’s rink, the stars in the previous round, went down narrowly by three shots 20-23.

RESULTS (skips only) Rink 1: Susan Griffiths (Supermarine) beat Elaine Amery 26-18. Rink 2: Alison Fail (Purton) beat Mary Sutton 20-14. Rink 3: Alex Jacobs (Box) lost to Laura Holden 14-24. Rink 4: Sue Bird (Warminster) beat Marilyn Gozna 22-21. Rink 5: Linda Young (Highwoth) drew 19-19 with Kirsty Hembrow. Rink 6: Marcia Hartley (Avon) lost to Stef Branfield 20-23.

Score: Wiltshire beat Somerset 121-119.

WILTSHIRE women had never managed to get past the regional final stage in the Inter-county Walker Cup, double rinks, competition before.

But the following day, after their Johns Trophy success over Somerset, they recorded another ladies county first.

And once again Alison Fail skipping and her rink played a leading role.

Moonraker Ladies capitalised on home advantage at Box to win the west regional final and book a Walker Cup semi-final place at Leamington by coming from behind to beat Worcestershire in the semi-finals 36-29 and lead Warwickshire throughout in the west regional final 41-36.

County ladies across the board were 8-6 down to Worcestershire after five ends and 16-13 adrift after 10 but fought back to roar ahead 30-19 at 15 and win 36-29 after 21 ends.

The all Box foursome of Debbie Shadwell, Kathryn Yeoman, Sue Cooke and skip Alex Jacobs came back from 11-3 down after 10 ends to draw level at 12-12 after 15 and eventually draw their match 15-15.

However, the other rink of Chris Mitchell (Purton), Deanne Davis and Linda Young (both Highworth) and skip Alison Fail (Purton) led the way winning comfortably 21-14 to give Wiltshire a place in the final.

Same Wiltshire rinks lined-up against Warwickshire in the regional final.

They made a slow start trailing 9-4 after four ends overall but then Jacobs rink who had not scored recorded two big counts of six to turn their match on its head.

Wiltshire were 12-9 up overall at five ends, 26-16 at 10 and 34-22 at 15.

Warwickshire rallied towards the end to finally cut the Wiltshire victory margin to only five shots at 41-36.

Once again Fail’s quartet led the way leading throughout for a fine 20-13 victory but despite Jacobs rink scoring two sixes and ahead 17-14 at 15 ends dropped two fours on ends 19 and 20 and lost narrowly 21-23.

EARLIER IN THE WEEK Wiltshire ladies had also improved greatly their chances of retaining their South West Counties League title.

After disappointingly losing their opening game 103-119 to Cornwall they have bounced back extremely well.

They thrashed Somerset 144-108 and then Worcestershire 121-99.

While last week that became three successive wins with a 116-101 victory over Herefordshire at Brimfield (Ludlow).

They won on three of the six rinks and drew on another for a 17points to five success.

Their next SWCL match as due to be away to Devon this Thursday.