Herefordshire Short Mat Bowling Association


Match Report: Wiltshire 16 – 24 Herefordshire (15/10/23)

A second journey in a month down the M5 for Herefordshire saw a trip to Springfield Community Campus, Corsham for a match with an edge. Having lost to Wiltshire in last year’s Premier 2 Semi-Final, The Bulls were keen to take revenge on a sports hall floor that provided a different challenge to traditional hard floor venues.

The first session saw contrasting fortunes in the Singles and Pairs with Joe Loveys and Tony Vitale losing out in two nip and tuck games whilst the all Ross pairings of Linda Lewis & Peter Wright and Dave Watkins & Ian Roe both won convincingly to leave the scores at 4-4 following the first session. The second session delivered a clean sweep for Herefordshire, with all four mats picking up wins to put the team 12-4 up at half time.

Session Three saw a split of the points again, with Joe Loveys’ win in the singles not enough to take the bonus points for the discipline whilst Dave Watkins & Ian Roe continued their impressive form for the season to secure the bonus in the pairs, leaving the scores at 18-10 heading into the final session.

Wiltshire required 11 of the 12 points on offer to take victory in the final session and what a start they made! At the halfway stage, all four Herefordshire teams found themselves down, with Wiltshire knowing that they still required the bonus points in both disciplines as they looked to overturn an 11 and 16 shot deficit in the triples and fours respectively. Having been 5-13 down at one stage, the triple of Dean Rudman, Merion Attwood and Steve Kite fought back to an 11-17 loss to leave a 5 shot advantage. Meanwhile, some strong game management from Dave Rush, Jill Howells and Jim Knowles ensured that the bonus points would come to Herefordshire as they battled to an 11-14 loss. In the fours, a fantastic comeback from the rink of David Millington Jones, Kate Williams, Bryan Watkins and John Mills to win 11-10 secured the victory and the bonus points for The Bulls as the second rink of Jo Millington, Dawn Cox, Sophie Heather-Warner & Becci Cox could not overturn their early deficit in a 5-15 loss.

The final score saw Herefordshire take a 24-16 (218-183) victory as they look forward to the return leg on 5th November, the first ICC game at their new home venue in Leominster.