IN THEIR bid to retain the Punchard Cup, Gloucestershire just failed by six shots in losing to the City and County of Bristol.

Both sides won three rinks each.

Tony Jellings, John Oelmann (both Wotton), Andy Niblett and Phil Beames (both Cam) started out with two threes to take a 10-7 lead.

Stretching the lead to four shots at 13-9, they then went behind 15-13 before going into the last end all square at 17-17. A four gave them the honours, winning 21-17.

The Gloucestershire rink of Anthony Sharkey (Bristol Arrow) Gordon King (GB Britton) Bob Payne (Henleaze) and Mike Collins (GB Britton) grabbed two fives on the 11th and 15th ends to lead Frank Maule 17-10. A run of a three and two twos gave them a commanding 24-10 lead before losing the last three ends to win 24-17.

Also winning by seven shots was the rink of Brian Pugh (Gloucester City), Mike Giles (Dowty), Stewart Minchew and Paul Keicher (both Tewkesbury), who led 9-8 after 12 ends before pulling away with a three and a four to go 17-10 ahead. Two more shots gave them a 19-12 victory.

Cedric Alway (Bristol St Andrews), Derek Turner (Page Park), Brian Pritchard and Russ Mellerup (both Cam) just failed to overcome Richard Lampard, losing 18-16.

Having taken a 9-2 lead and also led 14-10, they only picked up a further two shots in nine ends which cost them the win.

Brian Haines, Colin Campbell (both Tewkesbury) Pete Bowles (Dowty) and Pete Langley (Pineholt) picked up the highest shot score of seven on the sixth end to lead Dennis Overton 11-6.

Seven ends later they trailed 15-14 and in the end lost out by six shots, 23-17.

Craig Guthrie, Phil Berry (both Tewkesbury), Roger Harrison and Dave Hopkins (both Pineholt) went 9-2 down before dropping a six and a four to be 23-7 behind.

A three on the last end gave them double figures in a 28-12 loss.