Wiltshire will face Berkshire in the Middleton Cup Quarter Final on 21st July, which will be a repeat of the 2011 quarter final. The game will be held at Oxford City & County B.C, the same venue for last year’s match, where Wiltshire will be hoping to gain some sort of revenge for the defeat they suffered at the hands of Berkshire last year, and qualify for the semi-finals at the National finals in August.
Berkshire gained their qualification with a 10 shot victory against Surrey at Egham B.C on 7th July, in a winner takes all match, while Wiltshire had already sealed their route to the quarter finals with an impressive win against Somerset, which gave them 4 wins out of 4 in the group stage round of matches.
In the game against Somerset, Wiltshire ran out 129-115 winners and collected 16 points from a maximum of 22 to clinch qualification. The opening few ends were tight with both sides tied at 19-19 after 4 ends, however by the 10 end mark Wiltshire had opened up a 22 shot lead, leading 63-41. Wiltshire led 100-80 at 15 ends and 119-98 at 18 ends, and although Somerset pulled a few shots back towards the end, Wiltshire held them off to secure the 14 shot victory and clinch the 10 points they needed to guarantee qualification.
They took the honours on 3 of the 6 rinks, with Russell Francis’ rink securing the biggest winning margin, which was by 17 shots. After 10 ends Francis’ rink were in control at 13-3, however on the 11th end they dropped a 7. After the disappointment of the 11th end, the rink then crucially picked up 16 shots over the next 3 ends to again take control and lead 29-10. From there they never looked back and ended up winning 33-16. The other winning rinks for Wiltshire were Graham Shadwell’s rink who won 23-13 and Mel Biggs’ rink who defeated England International Louis Ridout 28-16; both maintaining their 100% records during the group stages.
Wiltshire team manager Dave Snell, who was obviously please with the result said, “This was a very pleasing result to win against an excellent Somerset side on their home green and complete four wins to win the group.
“As in all previous matches it was a superb team spirit and they should all be very proud of their performances during the series. I am delighted.”
Wiltshire 129 – 115 Somerset
Rink 1: Kevin Carter (Highworth), Keith Bailey (Holt), Ian Jefferies & Mike Jackson (both Westlecot) lost to Neil Kunc 15-18.
Rink 2: Wayne Simmonds (Holt), Mike Richards (Westlecot), Dave Godwin (Chippenham Town) & Russell Francis (Spencer Moulton) beat John Hick 33-16.
Rink 3: Barry Sictorness (Wootton Bassett), Gary Jackson (Westlecot), Paul Macdonald (Chippenham Town) & Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton) beat Nick Pearce 23-13.
Rink 4: Paul Kistle, Jamie Titcombe, Graham Hatherall & Mel Biggs (all Westlecot) beat Louis Ridout 28-16.
Rink 5: Nick Revell (Alderbury), Chris Cheesley (Wootton Bassett), Wayne Snook (Holt) & Michael Snell (Wootton Bassett) lost to Neil Williams 13-27.
Rink 6: Kevin Embling, Tom Walkley, Gary Morphet & Neil Smith (all Wootton Bassett) lost to Phil Downs 17-25.
The Wiltshire selectors have made two changes to the side that were victorious against Somerset, for the quarter-final match against Berkshire. Paul Stokes replaces Kevin Carter and Steve Snell returns to the side, having missed the last 3 games due to injury, in place of Gary Jackson.
Middleton Cup Team v Berkshire C.B.A
|Rink 1||Rink 2|
|1. Kevin Embling (Wootton Bassett)||1. Nick Revell (Alderbury)|
|2. Tom Walkley (Wootton Bassett)||2. Chris Cheesley (Wootton Bassett)|
|3. Gary Morphet (Wootton Bassett)||3. Wayne Snook (Holt)|
|Skip. Neil Smith (Wootton Bassett)||Skip. Michael Snell (Wootton Bassett)|
|Rink 3||Rink 4|
|1. Paul Kistle (Westlecot)||1. Paul Stokes (Westlecot)|
|2. Jamie Titcombe (Westlecot)||2. Keith Bailey (Holt)|
|3. Graham Hatherall (Westlecot)||3. Ian Jefferies (Westlecot)|
|Skip. Mel Biggs (Westlecot)||Skip. Mike Jackson (Westlecot)|
|Rink 5||Rink 6|
|1. Wayne Simmonds (Holt)||1. Barry Sictorness (Wootton Bassett)|
|2. Michael Richards (Westlecot)||2. Paul MacDonald (Chippenham Town)|
|3. David Godwin (Chippenham Town)||3. Steve Snell (Wootton Bassett)|
|Skip. Russell Francis (Spencer Moulton)||Skip. Graham Shadwell (Spencer Moulton)|
A win for Wiltshire on the 21st will see the team progress to the National semi-finals, which will be held at Worthing. If you can get to the game to show your support for the team, it would be really appreciated.