CLARRIE Dunbar have won the Wessex League play-offs title for the fourth time in the last nine years, writes DAVE EATON.

The central region champions they lifted the overall indoor title for this season in a tense final that went down to the wire against the Midlands champions Kingsthorpe, Northants 72-70 at Bristol City and County last Sunday.

Dunbar trailed across the board 22-15 after five ends and 38-34 at the halfway point (nine ends) but drew level 39-all on the next.

They had slipped behind again 59-57 after 15 ends but in the last three ends just managed to edge over the line 72-70.

Dunbar took the honours on two rinks, drew on another but lost heavily on the fourth.

Russell Francis’ foursome of Pete Hooley Chris Easton, Terry Perkins and himself won by 16 shots. They sealed victory with a decisive count of seven shots on the 17th and penultimate end.

Whereas Keith Bailey’s four were just in front all the way after taking a 7-5 lead on the fifth end and being 19-14 up after 14 ends. They just managed to hold a Kingsthorpe fightback to edge home 21-19.

Graham Shadwell’s quartet were tied 3-3 after five ends but after conceding a five on the 13th end found themselves 14-7 down and went further adrift 16-7 on the next.

However, a superb fightback and run of 4,1, and two twos saw them snatch a last gasp 16-16 draw.

But it was tough going for Andy Colebrooke’s rink on the neutral green at Bristol who were 9-1 down after only five ends.

They only won five of the next 13 ends and finished a well beaten side on the wrong end of a 24-8 scoreline.

But their deficit of 16 shots was wiped out by the Francis and Shadwell finishes and gritty showing from Keith Bailey’s four.


Wessex League play-offs final Clarrie Dunbar v Kingsthorpe at Bristol City & County IBC.

Rink 3: Alan Taylor, John Jones, Craig Hadfield-Doughty & Graham Shadwell drew with Mick Spear, Martin Gearey, Ray Castle & Mick Sharpe 16-16.

Rink 4: Ian Perkins, Brian Hawkins, Duncan McGovern & Keith Bailey beat Iain Walker, Chris Wright, Darren Lewis & Connor Cinato 21-19.

Rink 5: John Freeman, Alan Brown, Dale Taylor & Andy Colebrooke lost to Pete Maloy, Pete Morris, Jason Bryan & Vernon Gearey 8-24.

Rink 6: Pete Hooley, Chris Easton, Terry Perkins & Russell Francis beat Neil Rolfe, Tim Dawkins, David Walker & Ben Sharpe 27-11.

Score: Clarrie Dunbar beat Kingsthorpe 72-70.