Atherley Trophy


DORSET Ladies are just two matches away from retaining their national Atherley title following another convincing win – this time over a Somerset side that failed to impress.

Having already disposed of Devon and Oxfordshire in previous rounds, Dorset were aiming to log their seventh consecutive victory in the competition having been unbeaten since January 2012.

The quarter-final clash at the Dolphin Club, Poole, got off to a good start for Dorset as the aggregate rink score after the first end showed an 8-2 advantage in their favour.

By five ends, the aggregate score had increased to 35-15 and the lead swelled to 40 shots at the halfway stage.

It was now apparent that, baring an unlikely collapse, Dorset were heading for the semi-finals.

The only question was the likely margin of the victory.

Somerset did trade shots over the second phase of the game but were unable to exert any real pressure on the champions, who only needed to keep their concentration over the final part of the game.

Penny Cresswell, playing at her own club, skipped the rink of Sally Williams, Wendy Brown and Sue Dadson to a top rink 30-11 score – winning 14 of the 21 ends played against Jean Murrell including a six and a five score en route.

This anchor score was backed up by Bridport players Frances Hewett and Pat Cornick along with back end Bournemouth players Julie Leake and Viv Mansell, both of whom were recently named in the full England squad this season.

Mansell and co gained a 25-17 success over Somerset skip Jill Price.

The all-Bournemouth rink of Jean Arnaud, Linda Johnson, Brenda Streater and Joan Halliwell also outsmarted their opponents, gaining a 24-18 advantage in their clash with the Somerset rink skipped by veteran Margaret Dyer.

Further success came the way of the multi-club rink of Julie Hudson (Bournemouth), Janet Emmerson (East Dorset), Sheila Baker (Dorchester) and Moonfleet skip Kath Desmond, who kept her unbeaten record intact with a fine 17-12 success over Sue Osborne.

Somerset skip Nova Edwards, who regularly appears at national competition finals, had to accept second best against Mary Lucas, Margaret Clapp, Isabelle Addison and Freda Yates.

Yates retained her 100 per cent record for the season with a narrow 21-18 win.

The only Dorset rink to fail to cross the winning line was Margaret Hooper, June Searle, Lyn Howard and Jill Bryant, who slipped from a promising and competitive 15-15 scoreline, to lose 19-15 over the final two ends against Somerset’s only winning skip, Linda Palmer.

Dorset will now face Kent in the semi-final on March 1 at the neutral venue of Lodden Vale, Basingstoke.

This will be a repeat of last season’s fixture which Dorset won 124-108.