Wiltshire Ladies produced the outstanding performance of all the counties in the first round of the Walker Cup, the national inter-county double rink competition. They were in superb form at Street as they caused a major shock by knocking out the holders Devon, fielding six of their 2010 winning side, 41-28.
Rink honours were shared at one-all but the massive 29-6 victory recorded by the rink of Alison Fail, Janice Bull, Janet Hardie and skip Alex Jacobs over England international Liz Smerdon easily compensated for the 10-shot loss by Janet Willis’ quartet. Across the board Wiltshire trailed 9-5 at five ends but then thanks to Jacobs’ rink they moved 16-12 up at ten ends and just cruised away to a 13 shot success.
Jacobs was only 4-3 up at five ends but had powered into an 18-3 lead at 15 as her opponents failed to score in ten ends. The rout continued as Jacobs piled-up the shots to claim a 29-6 win. On the other hand Janet Willis’ rink found life tough against a Devon rink skipped by 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Natalie Melmore. They were always behind but battled away well. They were 9-5 down at ten ends however they had slipped 21-10 adrift at 18 but hung in to make sure that Jacobs big advantage was not eradicated.
Team Manager Rose Adlam commented on how well the team played and what a great result it was for the team. “From our point of view an up and down result with one big win and a loss on the other rink. Alex Jacobs rink performed very well and deserved their big win, while Janet Willis’s rink fought very hard to restrict Devons’ score bearing in mind the Devon rink was skipped by Devon and England ace Natalie Melmore.”
Wiltshire now move forward to the regional finals at Clarence Bowls Club, Weston-Super-Mare, on Sunday July 17th (10am) alongside Cornwall, Warwickshire and Herefordshire with the winning county claiming a last four slot at Leamington.
(Rink 1: Alison Fail (Purton), Janice Bull (Amesbury), Janet Hardie and Alex Jacobs (both Box) Won against Liz Smerdon 29-6)
(Rink 2: Chris Mitchell (Purton), Jean Corbett (Town Gardens), Fizz Mace (North Wilts) and Janet Willis (Stratton Churchway) lost to Natalie Melmore 12-22)