Bowls: Gloucestershire narrowly miss out in regional final

Action from the final between Somerset (quarter shirts) and Gloucestershire (white shirts)

Action from the final between Somerset (quarter shirts) and Gloucestershire (white shirts)

First published in Gloucestershire Sport

Walker Cup

Regional Finals

THE cream of women’s bowls served up a mouthwatering regional final of the Walker Cup at Cotswold Bowls Club with Somerset winning the final 44-32 against Gloucestershire for the second consecutive season to take their place in the national finals at Leamington Spa.

The semi-finals saw Gloucestershire against Worcestershire with Iona Bird (Caer Glow), Chris Prosser (Gloucester Spa), Jacky Howes (Stroud) and Lindsay Collin (Page Ladies) being level against Amy Stanton 4-4 after six ends.

The rink then took a slender lead of 7-6 after 11 ends before it being level at 9-9 after 16 ends.

In the final run-in they picked up a two and a three to grab a 16-10 win.

The decisive rink was that of Val Molton (Kingswood & Hanham), Sue Latham (Olveston), Sue Osborne (Kingswood & Hanham) and Joy Sheward (Cheltenham Whaddon) who, up against Sue Davies, went into a 4-1 lead early on and then gained a six-shot advantage after 11 ends.

With the gap widening to 17-9 after 16 ends they won five consecutive ends finishing with a two and a four for a 26-9 win and a place in the final.

The other semi saw Somerset have a nail biting finish against Warwickshire that saw Jill Young edge out Maureen Edwards by two shots 23-21 and Stef Branfield just losing out 17-16 that took them into the final by just a single shot at 39-38.

The final was a close affair early on with Joy Sheward losing 8-7 to Jill Young, whilst Lindsay Collin was 9-8 up on Stef Branfield at the halfway stage.

Somerset upped their challenge and over the next five ends pulled ahead by seven shots with Sheward and Young all square at 12-12 and Branfield taking a 17-10 lead.

Not to be outdone, Collin pulled back to 17-15 and with the other rink all square the difference was just two shots in favour of Somerset.

Somerset then hit a purple patch that saw Branfield winning the last four ends to pick up 13 shots for a 30-15 win and, with Sheward edging past Young 17-14, the winning margin was 12 shots.

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