AVON, who have only made a handful of appearances in the final play-off stages of the Wiltshire Men’s Four Rink League in the 98 years since it was formed, went close to springing a major shock in last Sundays quarter-final play-offs, writes DAVE EATON.

Torrential rain resulted in only three of the four scheduled play-off ties being played but in the games that did go ahead Holt thumped Marlborough 64-27 with only 12 ends contested.

Holders Royal Wootton Bassett had a comfortable 74-39 success over southern area fourth-placed Salisbury over 15 ends.

At Swindon's Westlecot, Melksham's Avon fell short by one shot on the last end of the match (66-65), winning on two rinks, seeing a famous victory snatched from their grasp at the finish of the game.

Westlecot, who have won the league play-offs 10 times and finished as runners-up on four occasions since the start of the century (2000), staged a tremendous fightback to come from seven shots down with only four ends to play across the board to thwart Avon.

Tom Newman’s rink won their match by 11 shots (21-10) with Colin Easton’s rink producing an eight shots success in a 19-11 win while Danny Holland’s quartet lost by nine shots in a 12-21 reverse.

The main damage was done on rink two where Peter Renshaw’s foursome slipped from being tied 13-13 at 15 ends to losing by 11 shots (13-24) after 18 ends to Mikey Titcombe’s rink.

They conceded a big count of six on the 16th end and a single on the 17th but Avon were still three shots up overall with only one end to play.

However, Westlecot skip Titcombe trailed the jack with his first wood for a count of three while Renshaw fired and missed. Titcombe then drew in another shot for a game winning count of four to break Avon’s hearts.

The semi-finals are scheduled for this Sunday, with the Bassett versus Holt game to be re-arranged.

The final is set for Sunday, September 9 during Bowls Wiltshire finals weekend at Devizes.


Avon names first - Rink 1: Mick Maslen, Ken Bray, Malcolm Hole & Danny Holland lost to James Richman, Dave Matthews, Brian Whittingham & Ian Jefferies 12-21. Rink 2: Mick Hudd, Stephen Faulkner, Brian Burke & Peter Renshaw lost to John Anderson, Paul Sloman, Mike Shawyer & Mikey Titcombe13-24. Rink 3: Dave Alford, Richard Martin, John Butterworth & Colin Easton beat Kevin Carter, Ben Choules, Des Rideout & Mike Jackson 19-11. Rink 4: Tom Little, John Woodhouse, Joe and Tom Newman beat Gary Jackson, Nathan Richards, Miles Roberts & Mike Richards 21-10.

Score: Avon lost to Westlecot 65-66