BOWLS: Champions Dorset fade as Devon storm back

Dorset Echo: TOP RINK: Dorset’s best result came from Wendy Brown, Sue Dadson, Sally Williams and Penny Cresswell TOP RINK: Dorset’s best result came from Wendy Brown, Sue Dadson, Sally Williams and Penny Cresswell

DEVON 117 (13pts) DORSET 106 (4pts)

AS current champions, Dorset were hoping to consolidate their position at the top of the South West Counties League when tackling Devon at Exeter but faded when well placed to win the match.

The pattern of the game was dictated over the first five ends as Devon took control on four of the six rinks to lead 29-17.

Dorset battled to get back on terms and, at one stage, squared the score at 64-64.

They seemed to have weathered the storm, but fortunes turned in favour of Devon between the 15th and 18th ends, after which time the hosts had a 23-shot advantage at 107-84.

The champions did claw back a dozen shots on the run-in but only managed to take the points on two rinks and lose out on four. Devon collected 13 points and Dorset had to settle for just four.

Top performers for Dorset were Sally Williams, Wendy Brown, Sue Dadson and Penny Cress-well, who rattled up a 31 shots to 13 win over the Devon rink skip-ped by county president Mavis Wellington.

Another success for Dorset was achieved by Rosie Beales, Mar-garet Clapp, Isabelle Addison and Freda Yates, who continue to finish on the winning side. This time by 19 shots to 12 against Devon skip Hilary Avent.

Jan Meyers, Joy Tappin, Sheila Baker and Kath Desmond were under the cosh at 18-4 down against Devon skip Sue Evans, before staging a highly commendable comeback to fail narrowly, 23-19.

Hopes of a third rink win were high when Margaret Hooper, June Searle, Lyn Howard and Jill Bryant led Carol Binmore’s rink 11-4 before losing eight of the final nine ends in an 18-13 reverse.

It was another case of almost but not quite when Frances Hewett, Pat Cornick, Sandie Smith and Janet Emmerson pulled back from 7-2 down against Val Lander to level at 9-9, only to be out bowled over the back end of the game in a 24-14 loss.

Joan Halliwell discovered that a week is a long time in bowls.

Having secured a massive Atherley Trophy 40-3 win against Oxford the previous week, she had to play the role of the vanquished this time around.

Her rink of Val Baxter, Mary Lucas and Linda Johnson bore the brunt of a Devon onslaught led by Devon’s Eileen Rich, who amassed a top rink score of 27-10.

Dorset now need to regroup in preparation for their Atherley Trophy quarter-final tie against Somerset in a home fixture on January 5 at the Dolphin Bowls Club in Poole.

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