COUNTY men’s national championship finals day at Devizes last Sunday was badly disrupted by the inclement weather.

The three semi-finals carried forward from the previous weekend went ahead as planned on Saturday despite the rain, as did the final of the O55s fours.

However, only four of the seven scheduled Sunday finals went ahead, with the other three having to be postponed because of the poor conditions.

In the finals that did go ahead, Royal Wootton Bassett were the most successful club as they took the senior fours crown through the foursome of Kevin Embling, Graham Richards, Alan Small and Dave Snell, beating a quartet from Westlecot comfortably 21-14.

They were ahead throughout, leading 10-1 at six ends and 13-4 at 11 before sealing a 21-19 win on the 21st and last end.

This senior fours event was old introduced last year, with a Bassett quartet skipped by Mel Biggs winning the national title and lifting the inaugural trophy.

They went out in this year’s county semi-finals to Westlecot and have been replaced as county champions by another Bassett foursome hoping to repeat their fine performance last season.

And Bassett added another three titles on the Sunday but missed out on a clean sweep as the triples team of Graham Hatherall, his son Craig and Terry Walton, substituting for Neil Collett, lost 16-11 to Salisbury.

In the morning Middleton Cup, player/manager Neil Smith got Bassett rolling after trailing throughout to Salisbury’s Tom Warner in the two wood singles final.

Smith was down 6-1 at five ends and 12-7 at 15 but drew level 12-12 at 19 before snatching a two on the 21st end to lead for the first time and win the final with a last-gasp 14-13 success.

Craig Morphet won the U25s singles, beating Avon’s Tom Newman 21-14 after leading 11-5 at 10 ends.

The U25s pairs also went to a new Bassett partnership as Phil Gregory and Craig Hatherall came from behind to beat a Westlecot pairing 16-12.

No date has been announced for the three remaining men’s finals – four wood singles, pairs and fours – that fell victims to the inclement Sunday weather.

It seems most likely they will all be played in early September after the month-long national championships end at Leamington.

  • NATIONAL winners in 2016, the father and son partnership of Gary and Craig Morphet, from Royal Wootton Bassett, are back at Royal Leamington Spa bidding for more glory in the family pairs competition.

They have reached the last eight again and will face Mark and Andy Smith (Avenue club, Leamington, Warks) on the opening day in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

To reach this stage again at Leamington the Morphets won Section Two of the 2018 family pairs, covering the counties of Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Wiltshire.

The Morphets opened with a preliminary round bye and in round two beat Justin Davis (Holt) 24-15 and then in round three accounted for Adam Bolwell (Spencer Moulton).

Round four saw the Morphets win in Dorset 17-11 against Andrew Paulley (Blandford) and in round five beat Bassett club-mates Graham and Craig Hatherall 28-15.

Then in the Section Two final, Gary and Craig Morphet thrashed Berkshire’s Neil Gauld and family partner from Reading 24-8 to qualify for the last eight at Leamington once more.