Herefordshire Short Mat Bowling Association


Match Report: Herefordshire 29 – 11 Gloucestershire (03/12/23)

The Bulls entered their penultimate group stage game knowing that a win would put them in good stead to finish top with second placed Wiltshire trailing by 17 points. Having already recorded their best ever start to the season, Herefordshire hoped to do the double over close neighbours Gloucestershire, potentially opening up the prospect of a first ever unbeaten group stage.

The first session opened with two nip and tuck games in the singles as Joe Loveys and Tony Vitale fell to close defeats, keeping bonus point hopes alive in that discipline. Meanwhile, the pairs continued their fantastic form for the season as Claire Herbert & Peter Wright won 15-9 whilst Dave Watkins & Ian Roe took a 15-13 victory, putting the overall score at 4-4.

The close theme continued as the triple of Dean Rudman, Merion Attwood & Steve Kite won 13-9 whilst the other team of Nic Lloyd, Jill Howells and Jim Knowles just lost out 10-9 on the final end in spite of a fantastic final bowl from Knowles that came centimetres from giving his team the win. It was in the fours that The Bulls managed to tip the balance of the match in their favour, with a 13-6 and a 16-4 win for Shirley Cox, Linda Lewis, Sophie Heather-Warner & Becci Cox and David Millington Jones, Paul Nicholls, Bryan Watkins & John Mills respectively giving Herefordshire a narrow 10-6 lead at the halfway stage.

Session three proved to be crucial for The Bulls as the singles bounced back from the morning session to win 19-9 and 11-9 to also take the overall bonus points for the discipline and keep Loveys and Vitale smiling. In the pairs, a 15-8 win for Herbert and Wright was enough to secure the bonus points as Watkins & Roe fell on the final end to a 10-9 loss.

Herefordshire entered the final session 20-8 up and in the knowledge that defeat was impossible, with just one point needed from the twelve available to guarantee victory. Any fears of a nervous finish were put to bed early as the triples recorded 15-10 and 14-4 wins. However, Gloucestershire did land the final blow, picking up an 11-7 win and a 9-9 draw in the fours to leave the overall score at 29-11, with the strong shots from the morning session giving Herefordshire the bonus points for the discipline.