County Finals Day 2021 at Wellesbourne BC
County President Peter Vale Humphries welcomed the competition finalists to Wellesbourne BC for this seasons finals, while the day started with drizzle it cleared up during the morning session and the sun came out to warm the players and spectators.
Avenue Coventry’s Keith Wooding was looking to secure his fourth County Singles Championship, Mick Hawkins was out to stop him and claim his first title. Hawkins made the better start, taking a four on his way to a 10-1 lead after seven ends. Wooding fought back to level the scores and then take a 14-11 lead with sixteen ends gone. Hawkins cut that to one the next end but Wooding took a brace of trebles to move to just one from victory. Hawkins took two singles before Wooding got the shot he needed to win 21-15. Ewan Mason (Rugby) took on defending champion Scott Ashby (Nuneaton). A balanced start saw Ashby ahead by a shot with four ends played, a trio of twos and a treble took Ashby’s advantage to 17-4, Mason reduced that by five before the players exchanged singles. A treble by Scott Ashby took him to the title, winning 21-10. Nuneaton’s Graham Ashby is more well known for winning the Four Wood Singles title but he played against Tom Wheeler (Rugby) as both players attempted to win their first Two Wood Singles title. Ashby went 4-0 up after three ends before both bowlers added three shots. Three singles took Ashby 10-3 up after eleven ends. Wheeler took a single but Ashby replied with a brace of doubles and a single to move 15-4 up with fifteen ends gone. Wheeler took a double to cut the lead to nine with a potential ten shots left, a single by Graham Ashby on the next end put him over the winning line, 16-6 the final score.
Jordan Ward and Craig Carter (Rugby) made the better start against Simon Davies and Mick Hawkins (Welford) to move 8-0 up after four ends. Six ends later their advantage had increased to eleven shots, Davies and Hawkins cut that down to to five with three ends to play. The Welford pair won the remaining ends but could only take them with singles, Ward and Carter winning 19-16. This years County Triples pitched two Welford teams against each other, Dave Green, Will Brundle and Phil Green taking on Andy Prickett, Martin Timms and Alan Apsey. A sixth end five helped Apsey move six shots up. Nothing could separate the sides over the next nine ends, Apsey’s trio still holding a six shot advantage with only three ends to play. A pair of singles took the game beyond Green and co, Apsey winning the all Welford clash 18-10.
Richard Weaving, James Finch, Paul Finch and Gary Langford (Sherwood Park) took on Mark Smith, Karl Finch, Luke Horne and Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington) for the County Fours. The sides were level seven all after seven ends, Smith and co moved five shots clear but Langford’s rink replied with a treble and four to lead by two with three ends to go. Both sides took a single meaning Smith’s rink needed two for an extra end, it was Langford and co who took the final end with a single to complete a 16-13 victory. Richard Gaunt, Steve Taylor, Keith Wooding and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) had the better of the opening four ends of the Senior Fours but with nine ends gone it was Allen Onion, P Bond, Rob Robinson and Richard Brittan (Erdington Court) who led by one with nine ends played. After eleven ends the scores were level, Brittan’s rink took a double but conceded a pair of singles reducing the game to a final end shoot-out. A single gave the 13-12 win to Brittan and co.
The teams representing the four areas in the Ivens Cup were Chris Wright, John Bentien, Paul Jones and Roger Reade (Solihull Municipal “A”, Birmingham Area); Andy Green, Martin Harriman, Norman Merrett and Stewart Davis (Avenue, Coventry Area); Phil Yeoman, Stuart Miles, Terry Fuller and Allan Hockin (Rugby Rail “A”, Rugby Area); Dave Bloxham, Richard Freeston, John Wyllie and Malcolm George (Snitterfield “B”, South Warwickshire Area). The first semi-final saw Snitterfield take an early lead against Solihull Municipal but were four shots adrift at the halfway point. Two ends later that deficit had been halved but a spurt by Solihull took them seven shots clear. With two ends to play Solihull’s lead had cut back down to four, Snitterfield took the penultimate end with a double but could only snag a shot on the final end, Solihull Municipal through to the final with a 21-20 victory. In the other semi-final Avenue Coventry got off to a strong start, after twelve ends they were eleven shots ahead of Rugby Rail. Rugby Rail had a brief rally, knocking five off the deficit but Avenue Coventry reasserted their advantage to complete a 21-11 win.
Nothing could separate Rugby Rail and Snitterfield after six ends in the third place play-offs but ten shots in four ends moved Snitterfield ahead. The sides exchanged shots over the next five ends, Snitterfield still ten ahead with six ends to go. A treble and single took them fourteen clear, Rugby Rail decided they’d had enough and conceded, Snitterfield “B” finishing in third place with a 21-7 scoreline.
The Ivens Cup final saw Avenue Coventry’s early advantage cancelled out by Solihull Municipal, the scores levels after both ten ends and thirteen ends. Avenue opened up a six shot lead after the next three ends, Solihull replying with three singles to trail by three with two ends to play. A single for Avenue made Solihull’s target in the final end harder and again the shots went to Avenue. Avenue Coventry winning the Ivens Cup 17-11.