WILTSHIRE men made a superb start to their 2019-20 inter-county championship campaign for the Liberty Trophy by cruising to an emphatic victory at home to neighbours Gloucestershire.

Losing quarter-finalists to Devon last season and losing semi-finalists the previous year to Kent, Moonrakers opened this season in style by thrashing neighbours Gloucestershire by 68 shots as they ran-out comprehensive 150-82 winners at Westlecot.

The county side, which comprised of 14 players from the indoor club at Westlecot, six players from Five Rivers (Salisbury) and four from North Wilts (Westcroft, Chippenham), dominated the match throughout, leading 34-24 after five ends, 84-45 at 10 and 112-69 at 15.

They increased the overall advantage to 134-82 at 18 ends.

Visitors Gloucestershire threw in the towel shortly afterwards with none of the six games going the full distance to 21 ends.

Not surprisingly Wiltshire took the honours on all six rinks as they picked up individual wins that ranged from huge to tight.

Leading the victory charge were the Five Rivers trio of Jordan Moody, Jamie Reynolds and skip Tom Warner, supplemented by Westlecot’s Terry Walton who came from 6-5 down at five ends to win by 27 shots (37-10).

Next best was the Westlecot and North Wilts rink of Kevin Embling (W), Darren Anteney (NW), Craig Hatherall (W) and skip Andy Moore (NW), who won their match 27-13.

They were closely followed by the all-Westlecot quartet of Dave Snell, Mel Biggs, Dave Godwin and skip Kyle Anderson who won 22-11.

Mike Titcombe (Westlecot) led his rink to a 23-15 success, as did Five Rivers’ Peter Ward (20-14).

Completing the whitewash was player-manager Neil Smith (Westlecot) who held on for a tight 21-19 win.

Wiltshire have been drawn against Somerset in the last 16 of the Liberty Trophy on December 14 away at Bristol City and County BC.

Several of the Somerset side play their indoor bowls at Clarrie Dunbar, just over the border at Standerwick, but outdoors for Wiltshire clubs such as Holt, Spencer Moulton, Blue Circle and Trowbridge Westbourne including Somerset team manager Keith Bailey (Holt).

WILTSHIRE women received a round-one bye in their inter-county championship for the Atherley Trophy.

They will now face Dorset away in the last 16 on December 14 with the venue yet to be announced.