Defending champions Welford on Avon went head to head with Avenue Coventry at Rugby BC looking to retain the Wardrop Cup. The spectators enjoyed both a sunny afternoon and a contest that went down to the wire.
The Two Woods Singles saw Avenue’s Richard Lewis take on Simon Davies (Welford), Davies started well but Lewis kept closing down his lead. With fourteen ends played the pair were level on nine all, a brace of singles and a double took Davies four clear, Lewis replied with a single, the lead now three with a potential six shots remaining. A double in the next end for Davies put the game out of reach, first blood to Welford.
A fifth end seven helped Phil Birch and Colin Jacox (Avenue) race away from Fred Coleman and Alan Apsey (Welford), with seven ends gone Avenue led 13-4. It was Welford that took a big fifth end score, in this case an eight, to take the lead against Martin Harriman, Martyn Murley and Steve Merrett (Avenue) but with nine ends gone the Welford trio of Mario Rosso, Ken Chedgzoy and Andy Francis trailed 10-9. With eight ends played in the Fours the scores were level between T Finch, Neil Brereton, Dave Hobbis and Chris Brereton (Welford) and Paul Taylor, Keith Bratt, Greg Sampson and Steve Taylor (Avenue).
With the Two Woods now complete the Four Wood Singles started between Welford’s Mick Hawkins and Keith Wooding (Avenue), this was another really tight encounter with neither player able to take advantage, after eight ends had been played the score was 8-8. Back in the Pairs Avenue saw their lead cut down to seven after thirteen ends but won the next five ends with a couple of twos and three singles to secure a 24-10 victory and level the encounter one all. The Triples remained tight, the sides now level on fifteen all with four ends to go. Welford had moved ahead in Fours, holding a two shot advantage after sixteen ends.
The finish to the Triples was a thriller, Welford took the fifteenth and sixteenth ends with doubles, Avenue replying with their own double to trail by two heading into the final end. With the last bowl of the game Welford skip Andy Francis was down by four, his wood not only took the jack but stayed with it to stop Avenue snatching the game and taking Welfords second point with a 20-17 scoreline. As that shot was played the Avenue Four had just lost a one shot advantage to leave the game all square with two ends left. Hawkins and Wooding were still exchanging blows in the Four Woods but Hawkins hit a couple of fours to move within two shots of victory, the score 19-15.
Welford moved ahead in the Fours, one shot clear with one left to play. Hawkins took a single to be within a shot of winning the Four Wood Singles, Wooding replied with a double but Hawkins took the match 21-17 and gave Welford an unassailable 3-1 lead overall. The last end of the Fours also went to Welford giving them a 16-14 victory and retaining the Wardrop Cup 4-1 to end an excellent afternoon of bowling.