BOWLS: FOLLOWING a disappointing result in the Middleton Cup, Warwickshire Bears knew points were essential against Herefordshire if they were to stand any chance of progressing to the Regional Final.
Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Jordan Merrett (Avenue Coventry), Craig Carter (Rugby) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) took a fourth end six on their way to a midway 17-5 lead.
Smith and co dominated the second half of the game on their way to a 29-12 victory.
Martyn Murley (Avenue Coventry), Mal Evans, Richard Brittan (both Erdington Court) and Alan Apsey (Welford) were down by two after six ends put dug in to reach the halfway stage nine in front.
While the visitors had the better of the final five ends, they couldn’t deny Apsey’s rink a 25-16 win.
Matt Wells (Rugby), Chris Barton (Kings Heath), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Millership (Rugby) scored three trebles and a brace of two to lead by five after eleven ends.
Herefordshire moved within three shots but eight shots in three ends halted any resistance, final score 24-16 to Millership’s rink.
Liam Pearcey, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Martin Timms (Welford) and Calvin Wells (Rugby) trailed by six shots after nine ends but reached parity three ends later.
Herefordshire hit a pair of singles to lead with five ends to play but Wells and co scored a five, four, double and single to take control of the match.
Although they dropped a double on the last end the Bears completed a 23-15 victory.
Martin Hammond (Three Spires), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) reached ten ends leading by six but the visitors cut the deficit in half heading into the final five ends.
A couple of twos and a single helped ease Jacox and co to a 20-14 win.
Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Neil Brereton (Welford), Steve Merrett (Avenue Coventry) and Dan Box (Little Compton) struggled to get going, with thirteen ends played they trailed by eight shots. A double and four looked to bring the Bears back into it but a brace of doubles moved the visitors clear by six. Nine shots in three ends gave Box’s rink a three shot advantage with one end to go, a very nervy end saw the Bears drop two but win the match 21-20.
Completing an impressive 142-93 win, gaining all 22 points gave the Bears a glimmer of a chance of progressing beyond the group stage but they still needed Somerset to do them a favour against Dorset.
Luckily they did as they limited Dorset to just two points leaving their final total 56, Warwickshire with a game in hand have 43 points so they need to gain at least 14 points in their final match against Somerset at Welford on Saturday, July 8, to win the group.