Herefordshire’s recent record of gradual improvement in performances at the National Championships has culminated in a national title being brought back to the county. The 2020 National Mixed Fours championship at Solihull was won by Kate Williams (Ross), Shirley Cox, John Mills (Woolhope) and Joe Loveys (Gorsley Chapel). Three of the four had equalled the county’s best ever showing at the Nationals by reaching the semi-finals of this discipline in 2018 but they went all the way this time.
The Herefordshire four dominated their qualifying group, winning all 3 games to top the group and progress to the knockout stages which would prove to be tense and exciting throughout. Their first 3 knockout rounds all resulted in tied matches which had to be decided by an extra end. First up was Cheshire who almost ended the run before it had begun – leading Herefordshire by 3 shots going into the last end before a 3 from Herefordshire forced the extra end which they won.
The situation was reversed in the next round as Herefordshire conceded a 3 to Dorset in the final end before again winning the extra end. Herefordshire once again came from behind against a Hampshire team in the quarter finals to force the extra end and match their previous run to the semi-finals.
Trailing again going into the last end in the semi-final against an Avon four, Herefordshire held their nerve and scored 4 to win the game by a single shot and secure their place in the final. They started the final against the North Yorkshire team slowly and trailed 7-3 after 5 ends but the match was turned on its head by Herefordshire scoring a magnificent 7 in the 6th end to take a lead which they never surrendered, seeing the game out with a 12-10 victory to secure the county’s historic first ever national title.