WARWICKSHIRE failed to earn the victory and 14 points required to top their Middleton Cup group and reach the regional finals as they were beaten 132-120 by Somerset in the winner-takes-all game at Welford.
Martyn Murley (Avenue Coventry), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Richard Brittan (Erdington Court) and Alan Apsey (Welford) were 9-0 up after six ends on their way to a halfway nine-shot lead. A six-end scoring spree in the second half then helped Apsey and Co to a comfortable 27-9 victory.
Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) trailed by eight after seven ends but turned that around to hold an eight-shot advantage with five ends left. However, Somerset shut out Smith’s rink and sneaked a 28-27 win.
Matt Wells (Rugby), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Millership (Rugby) led by six at the midway point. With five ends left to play the lead was still six but the visitors nearly wiped out the entire deficit with a five before adding a pair of singles and twos to win 23-18.
Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) saw their early advantage wiped out but recovered to reach 15 ends level 9-9.
As with most of the other rinks, the final ends were dominated by Somerset, the visitors winning this one 16-11.
Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Martin Timms (Welford) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) trailed by a shot after 12 ends and with six to play the deficit had increased to six, which is where it stayed, as Wells and Co finished 21-27.
Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Neil Brereton (Welford), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court) and Dan Box (Little Compton) were eight clear at the halfway point, byt the game swung to the visitors as the next four ends saw a triple, double, five and four scored. Box and Co dropped another couple of fours late on to finish 29-16 down.
THIS year’s annual game between the Royal Household BC and the Warwickshire Secretary was slightly unusual, since the county currently has no secretary.
County treasurer Michael Jackson is acting secretary until such time a secretary can be appointed, so it was his pleasure to welcome the visitors to Rugby Railway BC on a hot afternoon.
The hosts were derailed though as they fell to a 131-88 defeat.
Warwickshire’s only winning rink came courtesy of Ken Tredgold (Southam), senior vice-president Don Darby, John Hibbert (Wolvey) and David Cooke (Southam).
They got off to an excellent start, reaching 12 ends 13-4 up, and with two ends left they led by ten but dropped a double and five, hanging on to register a 19-16 victory.
Immediate past president Clive Faulkner, Joe Brayson (Rugby Railway), Roger Percival (Ambleside) and Bruce Truman (Rugby Railway) led by three at the midway point but struggled to break free from their opponents.
With the game poised 17-17 after 19 ends, Truman took a single but dropped a two on the final end to finish 19-18 down.
Derek Wattison (Executive), life member Arnold Goad and Dick Allibon (Royal Leamington Spa) and past president Brian Mace-Humphries kept ahead of their visitors to lead by five with six ends to play.
Seven shots in four ends swung the game in the Household’s favour, Mace-Humphries cut the deficit to one, but could not get the extra shot needed to get at least a draw, finishing 19-15 down.
Owen Petherick (Stoke), Bryn Poore (Nuneaton), John Collett and Fred West (both Stoke) trailed by eight after 12 ends but reduced the gap to three with two ends to go. A single and four by the Household gave them a 23-15 win.
John Slater (Thornfield), Rodger Sirett (Executive), acting secretary Michael Jackson and Roger Powell (Executive) found it difficult to keep in touch of their opponents.
At the halfway stage they were 12 adrift and neither side made any headway in the second half, the final score 24-13 to the Household.
Trevor Briggs and Fred Bannister (both Royal Leamington Spa), David Williams (Executive) and past president Tony Dawson trailed by six after 12 ends and the wheels fell off as they slumped to a 30-8 defeat.