ROYAL Wootton Bassett missed out in their quest to win a Bowls England national title in the men’s Top Club Championship at Royal Leamington Spa for the second year running.

Last season they reached the last eight but hopes of a national success were dashed in the final by Kings BC, Torquay, Devon.

This time Bassett lost in the semi-finals to Berkshire representatives Reading thus failing to add to the Over 60 fours title the foursome of Barry Sictorness, Terry Walton, Chris Cheesley and Mel Biggs won six weeks ago.

In Saturday’s Top Club quarter-finals Bassett edged home 3-2 against Gerrards Cross (Bucks) winning in three disciplines, singles, pairs and fours.

However, on Sunday morning in the semis they lost 4.5-0.5 to Reading, who were then whitewashed 5-0 in the final by the holders Kings Bowls Club, Torquay who retained their crown.


Quarter-finals, Royal Wootton Bassett (Wilts) beat Gerrards Cross (Bucks) 3-2: Reading (Berks) beat New Lount (Leics) 4-1; Bromley (Kent) lost to Kingsthorpe (Northants) 2-3; Sandy Conservative (Beds) lost to Kings BC (Torquay, Devon) 0-5.

Semi-finals, Royal Wootton Bassett v Reading (Berks): Two Wood Singles: Kevin Embling lost to BJ Byles 14-15. Four Wood Singles: Neil Smith lost to Lloyd Sabatini 13-21. Pairs: Kyle Anderson & Mel Biggs lost to Darren Holder & Robert Newman 13-25. Triples: James Nobbs, Tom Walkley & Gary Morphet drew with Tom Moore, Neil Gauld & Gary Stacey 16-16. Fours: Barry Sictorness, Dave Snell, Dave Godwin & Steve Snell lost to Danny Clarke, Paul Bunting, Simon Jones & Jon Stradling 13-20.

Score: Royal Wootton Bassett lost to Reading (Berks) 0.5-4.5.

Other semi-final: Kings, Torquay beat Kingsthorpe (Northants) 4-1.

Final: Kings, Torquay Devon beat Reading (Berks) 5-0.

THE indoor season gets underway in earnest next week at Westlecot, Swindon Manor and North Wilts (Chippenham) in the winter leagues but the national indoor championships and competitions do not commence fully until November.

WILTSHIRE held a successful president's tour to South Devon under the stewardship of 2017 county men’s president John Southern (Amesbury).

Four games were played, with the touring party of 30 based in Babbacombe, Torquay, winning one match losing two narrowly after seeing their opener against Babbacombe abandoned due to a hailstorm and heavy rain.

The tourists then recorded a victory at Marldon 105-94, winning on four of the six rinks, as top rink honours went to Southern’s foursome who registered a 17-shot success.

Other victors were the rinks skipped by Ian Francis (seven shots), Steve Rose (six shots) and Keith Hutchens (one shot).

Despite sharing the rinks 3-3 Wiltshire then went down to Bitton Park, Teignmouth by three shots 114-111, after wins for the Rodbourne Cheney trio of Dan Harvey (13 shots), Dave Royle (10) plus Steve Rose (four).

Against Dorset side Gillingham, they lost 100-98, with victories were recorded by Harvey (25) and Royle (four) while Rose drew 15-15.

The tour raised £600 for the RNLI, Southern’s chosen charity this year.

Southern’s final task as the 2017 president, before handing over the chain of office to Stewart Allison (Chippenham Park), is to present the prizes to all of the county men’s championship and competition winners and runners-up at the men’s annual dinner and presentation evening at the Assembly Hall, Melksham, in early November.

Next year Wiltshire men’s annual autumn tour will be to the Isle of Wight with the party based in Shanklin.

Tourists: Ken Bray (Avon), Alec Burden (Amesbury), David Davies (Swindon), Dave Eaton (Royal Wootton Bassett & Shrivenham), Malcolm Ellis (Marlborough), Ray Fernandes (Supermarine), Derek Francis (Avon), Ian Francis (Spencer Moulton), Rod Giles (Rodbourne Cheney), Roger Green (S Moulton), Cliff Gumm (Trowbridge Westbourne), Mike Hallam (Downton), Dan Harvey (Rodbourne Cheney), Steve Herridge (Swindon), Vic Hilton (RWB), Frank Hinchliffe (Westlecot), Keith Hutchens (Chippenham Park), Keith Jopling (RWB), Tudor Lloyd (S’don), Jack Peterson (Supermarine), Howard Pryse (S’don), Jim Richards (Amesbury), Dave Royle, Steve Rose (both RC), John Southern (Amesbury), Mike Tuohy, Andy Watson, Barry & Ross Wheeler (all S’don) and John Wilks (RWB).

RESULTS v Babbacombe BC (at Babbacombe), Rink 1: Cliff Gumm trailing O Thomas 5-12 (at 10 ends); Rink 2: Dan Harvey beating D Summer 14-11 (12); Rink 3: Steve Rose trailing N Owen 6-11 (10); Rink 4: Derek Francis drawing with J Steward 7-7 (10); Rink 5: John Southern trailing M Miller 6-12 (11); Rink 6: Keith Hutchens trailing R Levy 9-10 (12).

Score: Wiltshire trailing Babbacombe 47-63 at 10 ends – match abandoned owing to hailstones and flooded green.

v Marldon BC (at Paignton), Rink 1: Tudor Lloyd lost to D Salter 12-2; Rink 2: John Southern beat G Hewer 21-4; Rink 3: Keith Hutchens beat K Davey 15-14; Rink 4: Steve Rose beat T Bowles 23-17; Rink 5: Ian Francis beat S O’Leary 20-13; Rink 6: Vic Hilton lost to T Powell 14-25.

Score: Wiltshire beat Marldon 105-94.

v Bitton Park BC, Teignmouth (at Teignmouth), Rink 1: Dan Harvey beat A Roberts 24-11; Rink 2: Dave Royle beat D Mercer 28-18; Rink 3: Keith Hutchens lost to D Pope 9-25: Rink 4: Ian Francis lost to A Davies 16-21; Rink 5: Tudor Lloyd lost to J Williams 15-24; Rink 6: Steve Rose beat M Dunn 19-15.

Score: Wiltshire lost to Bitton Park, Teignmouth 111-114.

v Gillingham BC (at Gillingham, Dorset), Rink 1: Mike Hallam lost to P Titheridge 10-26; Rink 2: Keith Hutchens lost to C Green 13-23; Rink 3: Dave Royle beat S Woods 17-13; Rink 4: Steve Rose drew with S Black 15-15; Rink 5: John Southern lost to J Black 11-16; Rink 6: Dan Harvey beat R Wing 32-7.

Score: Wiltshire lost to Gillingham 98-100.