Mixed start to Wiltshire Four Rink League

Mixed start to Wiltshire Four Rink League

Match 1: Avon BC, Away

We started off our league season with an away trip to Avon BC in Melksham on Wednesday 27 April. A tough first game irrespective of venue, but playing them at their place made for even harder going especially with lack of green time and match practice.

At 5 ends the match was fairly one-sided with the hosts taking full advantage of their home green; Captain Tom’s rink trailed 3-5, Chris Weekes’ rink trailed 1-8, Nick Revell’s rink trailed 1-8 with the only glimmer of hope being new recruit Perry Martin’s rink leading 11-0.

By the halfway mark Perry had increased his lead to 22-1, Tom was 8-10 behind, Chris had recovered to 8-9 down and Nick was 4-13 behind. Not much in it overall.

The game continued in this fashion with neither team giving up slack. As we approached the end of the match Perry had finished 29-8 winners at 18 ends and Chris had dropped off the pace through from good bowling from Avon to lose 13-20.

Nick and Tom were on their final end with Nick trailing 13-19 and Tom trailing 14-20. So overall thanks to Perry’s rinks great performance we found ourselves two shots up on the game.

Tom was first to finish and had gone to the mat holding a very important single. His opposite number, a very in-form Connor Rabey called a spectacular shot – running through a gap one bowl wide to clip our shot wood out and leave Avon with a double. Connor played a fantastic bowl and even managed to hit our bowl square meaning he stayed in the head for three shots.

As Tom looked up at the Great Wall he faced, he picked a line and tried to promote some of Salisbury’s bowls; unfortunately despite a good couple of efforts Avon clung onto the three shots leaving Avon one up on the game with Nick to finish.

Nick’s last end end was a tough one to play into – with some hard lines and no one really being able to find center rink all evening, it left Nick with a jack in the ditch to get a double and win the match. After release it looked good but about four yards out the bowl deviated and missed a bowl wide with Avon collecting another single.

Despite a 69-71 overall loss we only managed to pick up two points and not the start of the season we envisaged! Onwards and upwards…

Match 2: Chippenham Town BC, Home

The match was scheduled for Wednesday 4 May, unfortunately due to a number of illnesses in the Chippenham side it was agreed to postpone the match until Friday 13 May – match report to follow.

Match 3: Holt BC, Away

The next match in the campaign was an away trip to Holt on Wednesday 11 May. As a club Holt have to be admired, not just from their bowling strength and ability, but also their attitude, commitment to the game and the club and the comradery they display. We do enjoy our matches against each other and the hospitality Holt shows to visiting teams is second to none.

Holt had started the league very strongly with a 14-0 win over Chippenham Town (at Chippenham) and a 12-2 win over Marlborough (at Holt) so we knew we had a tough game on our hands.

As expected Holt started off strongly with Perry’s rink trailing 5-6, Nick’s rink trailing 3-7, Chris’ rink trailing 0-5 and Captain Tom’s rink leading by a small margin 6-3.

By the halfway mark the match had swung in our favour with Perry tied 8-8, Nick trailing 7-9, Tom leading 8-6 and Chris leading 12-6. Still tight overall and with such a good side against us we knew we had to push on.

The game progressed with neither side gaining or losing and as we approached the last end Perry led 19-18, Nick was tied with Captain Wayne 15-15, Tom led 16-10 and Chris led 21-12. As the overall position looked to be in our favour, we needed to push on and maximise the points with three rinks still able to lose, every point mattered.

Perry’s rink was first off securing a single on the last to take the match 20-18 seeing us pick up the first two points. Chris’ rink was next off dropping a single to win 21-13 and collect a further two points.

Nick’s rink was next off. Nick went to the mat one down on the head and played a great first bowl with timing weight to lift the shot wood onto the jack and move the jack to our bowl in the head. Wayne’s and Nick’s next bowls were short leaving Captain Wayne facing the final delivery one down and the rink down. As cool as a cucumber Wayne played the big swinging hand and drew six inches off the jack for shot wood and taking the rink 16-15. A great bowl and it was commented how well Wayne had played all evening.

Last rink off was Captain Tom who found himself four down going to bowl. Electing to bin the white first bowl down a tricky hand, his bowl rose and missed the target leaving his opposite skip Tony Keating a chance to add. Tony rested on the back of a bowl as a measure for five. Looking at the rink score Tom realised dropping a six would see him tie the rink so elected to draw to save. Upon release the line looked good and weight felt great, Tom’s number three Fraser dropped to his haunches to call it in but at the last minute the bowl just clipped a short wood and rested for fifth bowl; a clear road would have guaranteed shot wood. Tony switched hands to try and promote a bowl and run in for the six but just held wide. Down to a measure and a four was awarded to Holt leaving Tom a narrow 16-14 win and the final two points.

A great result after a disappointing start and we look forward to welcoming Chippenham Town to Devonshire Road on Friday.