WILTSHIRE men’s U25 team’s fine start to the 2019 outdoor season continued last weekend when they extended their unbeaten run.

They followed up a three-rink home win over Somerset and retaining the annual Four Counties May Bank Holiday tournament with separate rink wins over Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Somerset with an away draw on overall scores at Kidlington against Oxfordshire last Sunday.

Wiltshire lost narrowly on the James Vincent rink (17-18) and the Adam Bolwell rink (21-23) but were victorious on the one skipped by Mike Titcombe 19-16 to leave the scores tied overall on 57-57.

Away in Kidlington, Wiltshire made a slow start and took several ends to adjust to a slow green, but persevered well and grew into the match.

They were 18-17 down overall after five ends and 33-23 down at 10, while trailed 49-35 after 15 ends.

But the young Moonrakers hit back, producing a fine flourish to cut the deficit to 56-44 at 18 ends, 56-50 at 19 and only trail 57-53 at 20.

One last push saw Wiltshire score on all three rinks on the 21st and final end to snatch a last-gasp 57-57 draw.

Titcombe’s rink, that included Royal Wootton Bassett duo Hayden Daniell and Craig Hatherall, came from 11-6 down at 10 ends to lead 14-13 at 15 and eventually win 19-16.

The Bolwell (Spencer Moulton) rink, that included George Twine (RWB), rallied extremely well in the second half of their match. They were 20-13 adrift at 15 ends, but only lost 23-21 at 21 ends.

While the Vincent (Salisbury) rink also rallied, coming from 16-8 down at 15 ends to only lose on the last end 18-17.

THE county men’s national fours championship has reached the quarter-finals stage, with matches due to be played at Holt on Friday.

Local clubs feature prominently in the draw, with five quartets – three from Royal Wootton Bassett, plus one from both Holt and Chippenham Town – reaching the last eight.

The other three qualifiers are Amesbury, Salisbury and Westlecot.

On paper, Holt appear to have the toughest draw, with Chris Poole’s rink drawn in the quarter-finals against the Royal Wootton Bassett foursome of Kyle Anderson, Mike Snell, Dave Godwin and Steve Snell, who won the English national fours crown at Royal Leamington Spa last year.

The other two Bassett fours, led by Mel Biggs and Craig Morphet, have to play each other.

While in the other two ties, Jeremy Haselton’s Chippenham Town team face a Westlecot rink skipped by Mike Titcombe, and Amesbury (Micky Crook) play neighbours Salisbury (Jamie Reynolds).

The four winning combinations progress to the semi-finals scheduled to be played at Devizes on Sunday, June 16.