Spa men’s revival comes too late to overcome Bilton

Action from Royal Leamington Spa's men against Bilton at Victoria Park. Picture: Morris Troughton
Action from Royal Leamington Spa's men against Bilton at Victoria Park. Picture: Morris Troughton

Royal Leamington Spa’s men entertained Bilton in a six-rink match and came within four shots of snatching a victory that had looked highly unlikely for most of the afternoon.

Bilton took the initiative from the outset and eased into a 26-shot lead at the half-way point, which they extended to 32 shots by the time 15 ends had been played.

However, Spa’s men found their form just too late and despite a storming finish, outscoring Bilton by 29 shots over the last six ends, just fell short of victory, with the visitors narrowly taking the match 107-104.

The charge was headed by Dave Miller, Roger Hampson, Trevor Briggs and club captain Malcolm Wickens, as they turned around an 11-8 deficit to win 27-13.

There was also a win for Ray White (21-17) while Mike Wallace drew 15-15.

Jerry Horne (17-14), Peter Higgins (20-13) and Bill Griffin (25-14) suffered defeats.

Spa’s ladies beat Banbury Central 64-57 in a four-rink triples to maintain their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

And, for the second week running, a very strong performance on one rink was more than enough to overturn losses on the others.

Spa had Jane Wigman, Dawn Horne and Cynthia Briggs to thank for the victory.

From a narrow 7-5 lead at the half-way point, Briggs’ trio outscored their Oxfordshire opponents by 19 shots to four over the second half of the game to finish 26-9 victors.

Two other Spa triples were just edged out at the finish as both Janice White (15-14) and Wyn Jackson (18-16) dropped a three on their final ends.

Banbury made it three rinks wins when Jenny Wickens also lost, 15-8, but Briggs’ win proved decisive.

Leamington Home Guard suffered a narrow three-shot defeat to FISSC at Victoria Park.

Home Guard’s highest winning rink in the 55-52 defeat was skipped by Fred Sawyer, supported by Pete Shone, Mike Hall and Neil Duxbury.

Dennis Crossfield and Mike Harrison both edged to victory by three-shot margins.

Home Guard returned to winning ways with a convincing 95-56 success over visitors Lillington.

Dennis Crossfield skipped Ray Pratt, Ron Franklin and captain Les Woodfield to a 19-shot win.

Fred Sawyer (11 shots), Bernard Rose (9 shots) and Dave Ballade (5 shots) completed the winning home skips.

Martin Preedy, assisted by Ron Cooke, Ian Henderson and Mick Smith, claimed Lillington’s only winning rink.

Lillington suffered another reverse on Saturday, this time at Bidford, losing all six-rinks to go down to a comprehensive 141-82 defeat.