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BOX Bowls Club are on the charge in two national team competitions, writes DAVE EATON.

They have reached the last eight (quarter-finals) at Royal Leamington Spa for the second year running in the Tony Allcock mixed seniors (Over 60s) double rinks.

Box ladies are also one step away from a place at Leamington in mid-September in the quarter-finals of the ladies Top Club competition.

In the past ten years Box ladies have reached the quarter-finals of this competition on several occasions but never claimed the top prize.

The Box mixed team, the Dorset and Wilts Area 9 champions after defeating Blandford 47-30, qualified for Leamington again last Friday in a tense inter-county match against Cove, Farnborough, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight champions on the neutral green at Hungerford (Berks).

Despite leading overall for most the game Box only edged home by one shot 36-35 against Cove to book their last eight spot at Leamington and a quarter-final tie on Saturday, September 2 (2pm) against Eastbourne.

Box were 10-6 down after five ends but led 19-14 at 11 (halfway), 27-21 at 15 and 34-28 at 18.

However, Sue Cooke’s rink who had fought back to lead 12-11 at 14 ends only added a single in the last seven ends and conceded nine shots including three twos on the last three ends to lose their game 20-13.

Fortunately Alex Jacobs' rink were able to compensate for this reverse.

They led 15-9 at 15 ends but then recovered after dropping a five on the next end to score two threes and lead 21-14 at 18 ends and collect two vital singles on the last two ends to win her match 23-15 and see Box home to a nerve-jangling 36-35 victory and a place at Royal Leamington Spa again in the quarter-finals against Eastbourne.

Wiltshire winners in Area 9 of the ladies Top Club competition Box stormed to another comprehensive victory in the inter-county section of the competition.

After defeating Congresbury (Somerset) 3-1,Box whitewashed 4-0 Gloucestershire representatives Cirencester on Sunday at the neutral venue of Purton to book a place in the next round of the inter-county section against either Warwickshire winners Welford-on-Avon or Dorset winners Poole Park – just one step away from Leamington once more.

The game versus Welford or Poole must be played by September 5.

RESULTS

Tony Allcock O60 mixed double rinks v Cove at Hungerford, Rink 3: Rob Kendall, Ian Manning, Jean Collier & Alex Jacobs beat Ann Guerin, Frankie Brandon, Carl Taylor & Chris Cranham 23-15. Rink 4: Carol Grenfell, Paul Netherwood, Maurice Byron & Sue Cooke lost to Bill and Sue Dickie, Terry Hart & Allyson Flint 13-20.

Score: Box beat Cove 36-35.

Top Club v Cirencester at Purton, Singles: Jean Collier beat Pam Ayres 21-9. Pairs: Karen Funnell & Alex Jacobs beat Kathie Cotley & Ann Jones 33-6. Triples: Lol Braddon, Kathryn Yeoman & Sue Cooke beat Dawn Rowlands, Sue Neal & Maggie Edney 21-9. Fours: Debbie Shadwell, Jane Taylor, Carol Grenfell & Michele Williams beat Vera Sinnott, Linda Phillips, Elizabeth Higgs & Pat Read 32-6.

Score: Box beat Cirencester 4-0.

OVER the next seven days West Wilts players will be competing at the national championships at Leamington in several ladies events and one junior men’s competition.

Avon’s Tom Newman and partner Chris Poole (Holt) contest the junior (U25) pairs competition during the latter part of this week. Then interest switches back to the ladies championships and competitions.

Jean Collier (Box) competes in the ladies singles today (Friday) and Saturday while club colleague Sue Cooke plays in the last 32 of the senior singles (O55) tomorrow and Sunday, a competition that Alex Jacobs won in successive years in 2014 and 2015.

Box duo Alex Jacobs and Kathryn Yeoman then represent Wiltshire in the ladies two wood singles next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The men’s championship events and competitions start in earnest the next week.

The Box foursome of Carol Grenfell, Yeoman, Cooke and Jacobs won their first round match in the fours championship earlier in the week with a comprehensive 32-2 win over Elm Park (Essex) but went down in round two losing 26-12 to Lyn Green (New Lount, Leics).