Bowls: Gloucestershire suffer defeat despite valiant display

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First published in Thornbury Sport

John’s Trophy

Gloucestershire 109 (4pts) Cornwall 124 (18pts)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE women put in a valiant performance against Cornwall, going down by 15 shots in their final John’s Trophy group match at Tiverton West End Bowls Club.

The scoreline was very similar to last season when Gloucestershire won the match, however this time around they managed only two winning rinks with Rita Gerry (Moreton), Di Wilson (Olveston), Julia Stannard (Nailsworth) and Rachel Hughes (Royal Forest of Dean) coming out on top.

Seizing the initiative, the rink opened up a 7-1 lead after the first five ends.

Still in command leading 12-4 at the halfway stage, they kept in front despite a loss of four shots between the 15th and 18th ends.

Back on song over the last three ends, they chalked up four shots without reply for a 19-13 win.

Rachel Winter-Alsop (Wotton), Veronica Richie (Olveston), Gill Fry (Gloucester Spa) and Lyn Hamer (Ardagh) put in a sterling performance when they had to battle back from 12-5 and 14-9 down after 15 ends.

Turning up the heat, they leapt into a 16-14 lead after 18 ends and over the last three ends held their nerve for a single shot win, 17-16.

Iona Bird (Caer Glow), Chris Prosser (Gloucester Spa), Ann White (Arrow), and Lindsay Collin (Page Ladies) just failed by a single shot, losing 21-20.

Val Molton (Kingswood & Hanham), Sue Latham (Olveston), Sue Osborne (Kingswood & Hanham) and Joy Sheward (Cheltenham Whaddon), having gone behind 11-1, closed the gap to five shots by halfway before losing three consecutive ends to be 24-13 down on the 18th end.

A late rally of six shots without reply saw them eventually slip to a 24-19 defeat.

Val Webb (Victory Park), Myra Savage (Falcon), Pam Salvage (Kingswood & Hanham) and Margaret McColl (Cheltenham Spa) lost by 13 shots, 26-13.

Middle England Bowls League

Gloucestershire Women 121 (4pts) Warwickshire 129 (13pts)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE’S hopes of returning to the top of the Middle England Bowls League were dented when they lost to Warwickshire at Welford-on-Avon BC.

The win keeps Warwickshire in top spot after Gloucestershire could only manage two winning rinks.

Val Molton (Kingswood & Hanham), Val Heathcote(Stroud), Pam Baker and Sue Osborne (both Kingswood & Hanham) went 10-5 up after 10 ends before hitting a purple patch in which they scored 14 shots and only conceded one to go into a 24-6 lead.

They rounded off the match with another four shots to win 28-13.

Rita Gerry (Moreton), Maggie Edney (Cirencester) Julia Stannard (Nailsworth) and Lindsay Collin (Page Ladies) took a four-shot advantage at halfway before opening up an eight-shot lead after 18 ends.

Keeping up the pressure, they grabbed another six in three ends for a comprehensive 25-14 win.

Val Webb (Victory Park), Audrey Marsden (Barnwood), Denise Ryles (Frampton) and Sue Latham (Olveston), having held a one-shot advantage at the midway point, slipped 10 shots behind eight ends later at 27-17.

A late rally brought about six shots without reply as they lost 27-23.

Iona Bird (Caer Glow), Tracy Powell (Dursley), Myra Davis and Joy Sheward (both Cheltenham Whaddon) found themselves 11-6 down after 10 ends and although they got to within three shots they ended up losing 21-15.

Joe Slatter (Caer Glow), Myra Savage (Falcon), Pauline Gunn (Caer Glow) and Maddie Hale(Fairford) slipped to a 23-14 defeat.

Jenny Westlake (Arrow), Anne Watton (Fairford), Jeanette Scott (Cheltenham) and Ann White (Arrow) slumped to a 31-16 loss.

*Gloucestershire women will have their eyes on a Walker Cup final appearance having been drawn against Worcestershire in the semi-finals to be played at Cotswold Bowls Club in Stroud on Sunday, July 13 at 10pm.

Having seen off Herefordshire in the last round in a nail biting contest that saw them edge home 41-39, they will be looking to go one better than last year when reaching the final, where they lost out by just four shots to Somerset. In the other semi-final Warwickshire face Somerset.

The winners of the final will take their place at the National Championships at Leamington Spa next month.

Gloucestershire squad: Jacky Howes (Stroud), Rachel Hughes (Royal Forest of Dean),Val Molton, Pam Salvage, Sue Osborne (all Kingswood & Hanham), Joy Sheward (Cheltenham Whaddon), Lindsay Collin (Page Ladies), Iona Bird (Caer Glow),Chris Prosser (Gloucester Spa) and Rita Gerry (Moreton).

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