Woolhope Come Out on Top in Competitive County Fours Championship

The Woolhope rink of Darren Payne, Pam Park, Matt Baker and Anthony Rogers took victory in the County Fours Championship on Saturday 18th March at the Larruperz Centre, Ross-on-Wye. Rogers, defending the title he won last season alongside Shirley Cox, Bryan Watkins and John Mills, secured his second championship of the season following his victory in the County Singles in February.

Ten teams, split into two groups of five, entered the competition with five clubs represented. Group One saw both Woolhope teams, Weston, Fownhope and Ross 1 drawn together whilst Group Two featured two Ross and two St Martin’s teams as well as Gorsley Chapel. Following some incredibly close games, it was Becci Cox’s Woolhope team who topped Group One with a perfect group stage. The battle for second demonstrated just how competitive the group had been with Tim Rigden’s Weston, Ian Roe’s Ross and Anthony Rogers’ Woolhope level on four points. Shot difference decided the overall qualifier with Rogers’ team going through to the Semi-Finals on +14, with Roe and Rigden tied for third in the group on -2. Group Two saw a similar story with David Watkins’ Ross and Joe Loveys’ Gorsley level on 5 points and David Millington-Jones’ Ross just behind on 4 points going into the final game. Gorsley topped the group overall, finishing on 7 points, with Millington-Jones’ team edging out their clubmates on 6 points.

The Semi-Finals drew the group winners against the runners-up of the opposing group with Rogers’ Woolhope taking on Gorsley and Cox’s Woolhope facing off against Ross. The first Semi-Final saw Rogers’ side jump into an early lead against the Gorsley rink, keeping them at arms length throughout the contest to take the game 12-9 and book their place in the final. Meanwhile, the second Semi-Final saw Ross overturn an early 3-0 deficit in dramatic style, securing a 7 on the fifth end to take the game 12-3 and set up a familiar Ross vs Woolhope showdown in the final.

A game that saw an equal number of ends won for each team- with Ross picking up Ends 1, 3, 5 and 7 and Woolhope winning 2, 4, 6 and 8- the scores were tied at 3-3 following the fifth end. A 3 for Woolhope on the sixth put them in command, restricting Ross to a 1 on the seventh before sealing victory with another 3 on the final end to win the game 9-4 and retain the Ian Park Memorial Trophy.

Following the final, Competition Organiser Becci Cox thanked all of those who entered for making a successful and competitive days bowling. The Association is pleased to have seen increased entry across all competitions this year and hopes to see this continue into next season. For further information about HSMBA competitions please contact Becci Cox (competitionsec@hsmba.org).