Ladies’ South West Counties League


HAVING secured their place in the semi-finals of the Atherley Inter-County Knockout competition, Dorset turned their attention to league duty and travelled to Donyatt Bowls Club to tackle Somerset, writes Frank Gwatkin.

The hosts were still smarting from the stinging defeat they suffered against Dorset in the last eight of the Atherley and were keen to gain revenge.

For Dorset, who fielded 18 Atherley players in their line up, it was a case of maintaining their current sparkling form, with the aim of securing as many of the 17 points on offer as possible, in order to regain the top spot in the league where Devon currently lead by three points.

Somerset bowlers were first to get shots on the board, winning the opening end on five of the six rinks to go 7-1 up.

The Dorset rink that did score was Sally Williams, Wendy Brown, Sue Dadson and England triallist Penny Cresswell.

Showing that they meant business, the Cresswell rink took shots on all of their opening six ends and stormed into a 13-0 lead.

Somerset skip Sue Osborne was in danger of being blown away but held on at 14-4, before crumbling to a massive 30-10 final score.

Gradually the majority of the Dorset rinks took control.

Sally Rowe, Jenny Trotman, Linda Johnson and Joan Halliwell worked themselves into a comfortable half-time lead (11- 5) and cleared out against Lyn Palmer’s Somerset four with an end score of 26-15.

The three Bridport bowlers – Frances Hewett, Pat Cornick, and Edna Cumberland – joined skip Janet Emmerson of East Dorset and were engaged in a battle royal over the first 11 ends, which produced 10 shots a piece.

Emerson and co then stepped up a gear and allowed Somerset’s Jill Price just one more winning end.

Emmerson came home with flying colours at 26-13.

Jill Bryant, Margaret Hooper, June Searle, and Lyn Howard shared a ding-dong encounter with Nola Edwards but finished more strongly in their 24-20 win.

It was the South Dorset bowlers – Carol Baker and Sheila Baker of Dorchester and skip Kath Desmond of Moonfleet – who stole the show alongside Dolphin’s Sandie Smith, with a blistering demolition of the Carole Parsons rink.

Desmond, who has been outstanding since she gained a regular skip position for Dorset, led her team to a Top Rink performance for the second time in a league match, winning 30-8.

Somerset did manage to avoid a whitewash when their four, skipped by Jean Murrell, prevented Dorset’s Sue Maggs, Margaret Clapp, Isabelle Addison and skip Freda Yates from collecting the two final points.

The Dorset players battled in vain on a tricky unforgiving outside rink, which Somerset managed to exploit more successfully in a 20-13 win.

The final tally of 15 points gained, away from home, was considered by the county team manager and selectors as a “good day at the office”.

The home fixture against Devon at Moonfleet on February 8 is likely to decide the outcome of the league title.

Dorset will be determined to go for a win in a bid to achieve their third South West League championship in a row.