WILTSHIRE men held a full scale Middleton Cup trial match against Hampshire at Royal Wootton Bassett last weekend and ran out 118-105 victors after winning on four of the six rinks.

The county men have named the two sides to open their inter-county challenge this season in the two main team competitions, Middleton Cup and Balcomb Trophy.

However, the draw has not been kind to as they have been paired against Devon in both competitions.

Their old adversaries and arch rivals are the Middleton Cup holders, having won the event for the past three seasons.

While in the Balcomb Trophy, men’s national county top two fours competition, Devon were beaten finalists last season, losing out to Essex.

Wiltshire travel to Topsham BC (Exeter) to face Devon in the Balcomb Trophy this Sunday.

While Wiltshire make the same journey on June 2 for their opening Middleton Cup West group A match.

Wiltshire will also face Worcestershire (away) on June 16 and will host Gloucestershire at Bassett on July 7.

Only the group winner will progress to the quarter-finals.

The selectors have named two new caps for the Middleton Cup match with Devon. They are Phil Gregory and Neil Collett, both from the Royal Wootton Bassett club.

In sharp contrast to the two newcomers, Holt player Wayne Snook will reach his 50th appearance against Devon, while Spencer Moulton’s former England international Graham Shadwell edges nearer to the coveted century as he will make appearance number 96.

  • BOWLS Wiltshire men, under the stewardship this season of men’s county president Stewart Allison (Chippenham Park), played their annual friendly match against the West Wiltshire Bowls Association at Avon BC (Melksham).

Despite rink honours being shared 3-3, Bowls Wiltshire ran out comfortable 136-99 winners.

This was mainly due to a massive 42-9 success by the rink skipped by Wroughton’s Martin Salter and the rink skipped by Spencer Melksham’s Peter Sanders, who recorded a 22-8 victory.

Bowls Wiltshire’s other success was a 23-16 win for the all-Chippenham Park rink led by men’s president Stewart Allison.