THE county men’s national fours championship quarter-finals staged at Holt last Friday threw up several shocks.

Royal Wootton Bassett’s national championship-winning foursome at Royal Leamington Spa last year, Kyle Anderson, Mike Snell, Dave Godwin and Steve Snell, bowed out of this year’s competition after being beaten 17-15 by a new Holt combination of Tony Keating, Chris Poole, Matt Tucker and skip Ben Gadd.

Also, Bassett’s county men’s fours championship holders Andy Blake, Anthony Spruels, Craig and Gary Morphett lost to a fellow Bassett rink, skipped by Mel Biggs, 23-15.

Snell’s rink led Gadd 5-2 after five ends but struggled after that, trailing 9-5 at 10 and 16-8 at 16 ends. Bassett rallied to try to keep their hopes alive, winning four of the last five ends but Holt held firm to win the match 17-15.

Morphet’s county fours champions made a flying start and led Biggs’ rink 9-4 at five ends, but were pulled back to 10-8 at 10 ends, while the scores were tied 13-13 at 15.

Morphet’s four led 15-13 after 16 ends but lost the remaining five to lose the match 23-15 and surrender their county title.

The other local side from this area to bite the dust was the vastly experienced rink from Chippenham Town of Will Jones, Mike Travers, Steve Heseltine and Jeremy Haselton, who lost to a youthful Westlecot rink 23-14.

Chippenham made a good start and led 10-6 at six ends but then struggled and were 20-10 adrift after 16 ends before eventually losing 23-14.

In the fourth quarter-final, a wily Amesbury rink of veterans beat a young Salisbury rink 22-15.

In the semis due to be played at Devizes on June 16, Holt will face Westlecot, while Biggs’ rink from Bassett meet Amesbury.

The two winners will meet in the men’s fours championship final at Devizes on the weekend of July 27-28 and both will also represent

Wiltshire at the national championships at Royal Leamington Spa in August.

WILTSHIRE men were beaten in their annual friendly match played last weekend against West Wilts Bowls Association at Avon (Melksham).

Under the stewardship of county men’s president Dave Williams (Chippenham Park), they lost 138-99.

Wiltshire men only took the honours on one of the six rinks, with the side skipped by senior vice-president John Crowder (Avon) beating Chippenham Town’s Roger Button’s 24-6.

Bowls Wiltshire administrator Gerald Webb (Devizes) lost narrowly 20-19 to Colin Stockley (Spencer Melksham).

In the top match on rink three, Wiltshire men’s president Dave Williams lost 25-13 to West Wilts captain Colin Easton (Avon).

Wiltshire men’s next friendly was against Gloucestershire at home earlier this week at Chippenham Park.