Written by Mikey Titcombe
Day 14 sees a busy day of action, with 4 competitions taking place with Wiltshire involvement. The Men’s Junior Singles and Senior Fours continues following yesterday’s successes, whilst Supermarine’s Ann Andrews, Cheryl Walker, Nicki Kemble-Young and Susan Griffiths are in Women’s Senior Fours last 16 action against Middlesex. Also, the Women’s Junior Singles gets started, with Royal Wootton Bassett’s Louise Rose and Devizes’s Ellise Ambridge in action.
First off, Alfie Holland took to the green to take on the tough test of Somerset’s Oli Collins, with a place in the last 16 of the Junior Singles at stake. A positive start saw Alfie take an early lead, at 5-2, but unfortunately Oli was certainly not going to be denied, and came back strongly, eventually pulling away to record a 21-7 victory. A great effort from Alfie to reach the second day of the competition. Oli would go on to reach the final, becoming the 2023 Men’s Junior Singles runner up.
Next up, our Men’s Senior Four returned to the greens, taking on Sussex’s Charles Wright, Graham Lavender, Alec Martin and Shaun Godfrey. With both rinks full of confidence, it looked as though this match was going to go down to the wire. That was before a big count stopped Sussex in their tracks, and Wiltshire recorded a brilliant 18-11 victory with an end to spare to book their place in the Semi-Final, and the final day of the competition tomorrow.
Now onto the Women’s Senior Fours, where our Supermarine quartet had an opportunity to book their place in the National Quarter-Final, as they took on Tina Cooper, Angela Cumine, Cathy Taylor and Ann Halliday of Middlesex in the last 16. With a place in the last 8 in the sights of both sides, this was a close encounter but unfortuately it was Middlesex who booked their place in the next round, our Wiltshire four losing out 12-17.
In the Women’s Junior Singles, Ellise Ambridge of Devizes faced a tough opening match against Sussex’s Joanna Watt. In what was Wiltshire’s only appearance on the Bowls England live stream, Ellise gave a good account of herself, putting up a good fight against a strong opponent, unfortunately eventually losing out on a place in round 2, 12-21.
Royal Wootton Bassett’s Louise Rose was also in action, as she faced Zoe Pratley of Oxfordshire in a somewhat local derby. Unfortunately for Louise, Zoe had enjoyed a good run in the Women’s Junior Pairs last week, and she put this experience to effective use in this match, Louise battling hard but unfortunately ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard, 13-21.
A mixed bag today for Wiltshire. On Day 15 we will see the conclusion of the Men’s Senior Fours, with our Westlecot foursome just two wins away from the title. Also, our representatives in the Men’s and Women’s Two Bowl Singles will be in action, aiming for 3 wins to secure a spot in Friday’s Quarter-Final line-ups.