Bowls: International class makes the difference in Gloucestershire defeat

(6994975)

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First published in Sport

Devon 50 Gloucestershire 29

GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S hopes of reaching the Regional Finals of the Balcomb Trophy evaporated against a Devon side, comprising of six internationals.

The rink of John Smallwood, Paul Bryant (both Olveston), Dave Howes (Stroud) and Mike Woodbridge (Cheltenham) battled back against James Webber when from 7-1 down and 17-8 down they hit a purple patch and won four out of five ends.

In that run they grabbed a two and a five to be 17-15 down and then jumped into a 24-18 lead with a six and a three to finish on top 24-21.

Nathan Kitchen, Mark Perry, Steve Knight and Matt Cuthbert (all Cheltenham) faced an uphill struggle against Sam Tolchard when they lost the first seven ends to be 12 shots behind.

Never recovering, they dropped three consecutive twos and a five and finished up losing 29-5.

Gloucestershire travel to Rugby BC to play Warwickshire in the Middleton Cup on Saturday (2pm) with the knowledge that they must pick up a win as well as hoping to win all six rinks to have any chance of progressing.

Following the defeat to Wiltshire, Ben Coldrick (Dowty) and Nigel Cansdale (Cirencester) return after holiday and team manager John Horsted has made some other positional changes in an effort to stop the slide when last time out the team were winning after 13 ends then suffered a slump and conceded 31 shots across the rinks.

Gloucestershire squad: Keith Hinder (Dursley BC), John Smallwood (Olveston BC), Eddie Kavanagh (Tewkesbury BC), Roger Bird (Tetbury BC), Mike Prosser (Gloucester Spa BC), Dave Howes (Stroud BC), Nigel Cansdale (Cirencester BC), Lee Williamson, Steve Knight , Chris Roach , Nathan Kitchen , Mark Perry, John Roach, Nick Holliday, Rob Griffiths, Stuart Hodges, Mike Woodbridge, Matt Cuthbert (all Cheltenham BC), Paul Bryant (Olveston BC), Adam Smith, Ben Coldrick (both Dowty BC), Jack Daniels (Bishops Cleeve BC), Vince Wilks (Gloucester City BC), Chris Davies (Coleford BC).

Reserves: Pete Stinchcombe (Tetbury BC), Paul Nelmes (Cheltenham BC), Rich Browett (Barnwood BC), Andy Locke (Henleaze BC), John Heathcote (Stroud BC).

Gloucestershire under-25s face Worcestershire in the Regional Finals of the White Rose Trophy at Bath BC on Sunday at 10am.

The winners will advance to the final in the afternoon to play either Devon or Warwickshire.

Gloucestershire U25s: Ross Guy (Gloucester Spa), Alex White (Cheltenham), Adam Smith (Dowty), Mark Perry (Cheltenham); Ben Coldrick (Dowty), Jack Daniels (Bishops Cleeve), Max Clarke (GB Britton), Nathan Kitchen (Cheltenham). Reserves: Joe Hibberd (Page Park), Steve Crowcombe (Cam Mills).

The winner of each Regional Final will qualify for the 2014 Bowls England National Championships and will compete in the semi-final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa, on Sunday, August 31, the final being played on the same day.

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