Herefordshire Short Mat Bowling Association


Match Report: Herefordshire 35 – 5 Avon (07/01/24)

An emphatic win for The Bulls in the final group game of the season has seen them record their best ever group stage result, going unbeaten across all six group games to finish top and book their place in the “main” competition.

Herefordshire entered the game against bottom of the table Avon knowing that a win would be enough to secure first place but wary of their opponents who in spite of being bottom gave them a difficult game at Bristol in September. This cautiousness was justified as Avon started strongly, at one stage being ahead in three of the four first session games. However, a fightback from the Herefordshire teams saw them take six of the first eight points on offer as Joe Loveys took a 25-6 victory whilst Tony Vitale narrowly lost on the final end of his game 14-16. In the pairs, both teams saw off their opponents on the final end as Claire Herbert & Peter Wright and Dave Watkins & Ian Roe won 15-14 and 12-10 respectively.

With a warning shot fired, Avon came out equally as bright in the second session, once again taking an early lead across the majority of the mats. In the triples, Gary Peachey, Jill Howells & Jim Knowles won 12-7 whilst a late fightback from Dean Rudman, Merion Attwood & Steve Kite fell just short of victory with a 13-15 loss. The fours saw two equally close games as David Millington Jones, Kate Williams, Bryan Watkins & John Mills ran out 12-7 winners whilst Linda Lewis, Shirley Cox, Sophie Heather-Warner & Becci Cox secured a 9-9 draw to put The Bulls 11-5 up at the halfway stage.

Herefordshire entered the third session knowing that a strong start was needed and that was delivered with Loveys and Vitale picking up 22-4 and a 26-7 wins respectively to give Herefordshire the bonus points in the singles. The pairs was once again close on both mats but The Bulls dug in to win both games, take the bonus points and give Herefordshire a clean sweep for the session.

With the third session having tipped the game in Herefordshire’s favour, the triples and fours were looking to consolidate the victory and how better to start than with a 24-1 win, recorded by Peachey, Howells and Knowles in what was a fantastic all round performance. This was topped off with a 14-6 win for Rudman, Attwood and Kite to pick up the bonus points for the triples. The match was finished off in style by the fours as Cox and Mills’ rinks won 11-6 and 21-7 respectively to give Herefordshire a clean sweep for the afternoon session, recording their largest victory of the season and their best ever overall group stage result.

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