The Middleton Cup clash between Worcestershire and Warwickshire at the neutral venue of Chipping Norton BC proved to be a thrilling encounter that went down to the wire, it was however Worcestershire that triumphed 108-107, knocking the Bears out of this years competition.
Andy Prickett (Welford), Darren Ward (Rugby), Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (Erdington Court) made a very strong start, reaching ten ends with an advantage of eight shots. Worcestershire cut that down to two but Ireland and co went on another run, taking the game 21-9. Graham Box, Neil Hancock (both Little Compton), Dave Fallon (Nuneaton) and Dan Box (Little Compton) had a steady start but were four shots down at the midway point. With fourteen ends played the deficit had been halved, Box and co then restricted their opponents to just one more shot as they took nine shots to seal a 22-12 victory.
Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Gary Langford (Sherwood Park), Steve Smith (Nuneaton) and Alan Apsey (Welford) were all square after nine ends but moved three clear with five ends to play. Heading in to the final ends the scores were again level, though Apsey’s rink finished with a flourish, winning 22-18. Ewan Mason, Jordan Ward (both Rugby), Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington) and Craig Carter (Rugby) moved five shots clear after seven ends but trailed by two at the halfway mark. With three ends to go the deficit had increase to five but Carter and co took the remaining ends with singles to lose 17-19.
Luke Horne (Avenue Leamington), Scott Ashby (Nuneaton), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Graham Ashby (Nuneaton) were six clear after five ends but all square after eleven ends. The scores were still level after sixteen ends but Worcestershire took eight shots over the next four ends, Ashby’s rink taking a last end single, final score 21-14 to Worcestershire. Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Martin Timms (Welford), Matt Wells and Calvin Wells (both Nuneaton) were eight shots down after ten ends. A five by Worcestershire helped take them to a seventeen shot lead with five ends to go. Five shots were scored in the remaining ends, though only two to Wells and co, Worcestershire winning 29-11.