January 2020

The recent County Triples Championship saw a young Herefordshire bowler capture his fourth county title of the season.

The tournament at Ross Bowling Club saw 15 teams competing initially in 4 round robin groups before the group winners progressed to the semi-finals. Two of the previous year’s Gorsley Chapel losing finalists, Dean Rudman & Joe Loveys, playing this year with Kate Williams of Ross, had to survive a scare and hold their nerve to take their place in their second successive final, recovering from an early 10-0 deficit in their semi-final to eventually squeeze past Ian Park, Rob George & Ian Roe (Ross) in the final end of the game. In the other semi-final the Woolhope team of Shirley Cox, Anthony Rogers and John Mills secured their final place with a more comfortable 11-5 victory over David Millington Jones, Peter Wright (Weston) & Jill Howells (Golden Valley). The final, whilst closely fought, saw the Gorsley / Ross team gradually ease ahead, leaving Woolhope chasing the match but unable to make up the deficit, eventually losing 10-5. The result gave Joe Loveys an incredible fourth concurrent county title, having already won the Singles, Pairs and Fours events earlier in the season.

The Herefordshire Premier county team finished their qualifying group of the National Inter County Championship competition extremely strongly. First, they secured a memorable victory in their first match of 2020 when they beat local rivals Gloucestershire 23-17. Not only was the victory secured in an away fixture but it is believed to be the first time that Herefordshire have ever beaten their neighbours in a Premier level county championship fixture either home or away. Herefordshire then followed this up with another memorable win, this time defeating the reigning ICC champions West Midlands 21-19 in their final qualification group match. Despite these results, and having secured at least one victory against every team in their five-team qualifying group, other results meant that Herefordshire finished in third place and missed out on a place in the main knockout section of the competition. They will, however, go into the consolation knockout section full of confidence.