ROYAL Wootton BASSETT men have continued their remarkable national titles winning run with another success at the English championships at Royal Leamington Spa.

They became Wiltshire’s first winners at the 2019 Bowls England national championships currently being staged at Victoria Park.

At the end of last week, the Bassett men’s double rink side won the National Club Fours competition in a tense final that went right down to the wire and a dramatic last end, defeating Devon’s Kings Bowls Club from Torquay 40-39.

Bassett were two shots down overall going into the last end but skip Michael Snell drew to a ditched jack with his last wood for a crucial count of three to secure Bassett a last-gasp one-shot success.

Snell’s rink of Kyle Anderson, Mel Biggs and Dave Godwin beat Sam Tolchard 21-17, while Bassett’s other foursome of Andy Blake, Graham Hatherall, Gary Morphett and skip Neil Collett lost to Jamie Chesteney 22-19.

Bassett trailed 11-10 after five ends and 22-16 after 10. They hit back to move 32-26 ahead at 15 ends and 37-30 at 18, but they then hit the buffers to trail 39-37.

However, Snell turned up trumps with a devastating last wood for three shots and a last-gasp victory.

In the quarter-finals, Bassett beat Sandwich (Kent) 39-25 after winning on both rinks, and in the semis, they thrashed Harlow (Essex) 39-12 after again winning on both rinks.

This latest success for Bassett men at the national championships was the seventh season in a row dating back to 2013 they had won at least one national men’s title.

To qualify for the last eight, Bassett had won the Dorset/Hampshire/Isle of Wight and Wiltshire section of the competition.

They had to play seven matches, beating Stratton Churchway 45-4 in the preliminary round and followed it up with a 39-34 win over Chippenham Town and a 52-12 success against Chippenham Park.

Round three saw a narrow 38-37 win over Westlecot A and then a fourth-round 42-39 victory over Holt.

Then followed two wins over Hampshire sides Cove (Farnborough) 46-34 and a tense 35-34 victory against Boscombe Cliff to book a place in the last eight at Leamington.

  • WILTSHIRE contestants just missed out in their bid to add to the Bassett success at Leamington in the Club Two Fours competition.

County ladies, winners of the West regional, were beaten in the Walker Cup semi-final on an extra end, while Avon’s Tom Newman lost in the final of the junior singles.

Wiltshire ladies put up a spirited fight against Northamptonshire in their debut appearance in the latter stages of the inter-county double rinks Walker Cup.

They could not have made a worse start, with the all-Box rink of Debbie Shadwell, Kathryn Yeoman, Sue Cook and Alex Jacobs 11-0 down after five ends, while the other rink of Chris Mitchell (Purton) Deanne Davis and Linda Young (both Highworth) and Purton’s Alison Fail were 6-2 up.

Things did not improve at 10 ends as Jacobs was 20-2 down, while Fail only led 11-9, so overall Moonrakers were 29-13 down.

However, Wiltshire began to claw the deficit back as Jacobs’ rink cut their losses to 22-12 after 15 ends, while Fail was clinging to a 15-14 lead.

The big push continued with Jacobs only 25-19 down at 20 ends and Fail 19-15 up at 17 to bring the overall scores to 40-38 down .

Jacobs finished 25-20 down but Fail moved 21-16 up at 19 ends to bring the scores level overall at 41-41.

Fail then dropped a shot on end 20 but got it back on the last end to bring the final scores to 42-42 (20-25 and 22-17).

And extra end was therefore needed to decide the winner, but Jacobs’ rink were edged out by a shot so Wiltshire bowed out 43-42.

  • TOM Newman, from the Avon Club in Melksham, was another Wiltshire bowler to just miss out in a bid for a national title.

He was beaten 21-11 in the final of the men’s junior singles.

Despite only finishing as runner-up in the Wiltshire junior singles final to Westlecot’s Nathan Richards, Newman bounced back at Leamington and enjoyed the best run of Wiltshire pair.

In the first round, he beat Owen Harker (Wardown Park, Luton, Beds) 21-15 but Richards went out 21-12 to Kieran Rollings (Kettering Lodge).

In the second round, Newman held off the challenge from Jamie Seymour (Waddesdown, Bucks) 21-19 and followed it with an impressive last-end 21-20 success over Glenn Williams (Garston, Herts).

Newman then defeated Dan Holmes (Ledbury), Herefordshire) 21-11 in the last eight and Glen Adams (Hendon, Middx) 21-14 in the semis.

However, the superb winning run came to an end in the final as he went down 21-11 to Kent’s Jason Avery (Folkstone Park).