Under-25 Inter County Championship
DORSET 54 SOMERSET 20
DORSET have strolled into the quarter-finals of the EIBA Under-25 Double Rink Championship.
The under-25s earned a thoroughly comprehensive victory that has given the county a chance of a place in the national semi-final if they overcome Gloucestershire on December 2.
If they are successful next month, they will be no strangers to playing in the final stages of the event in which they have been strong contenders for the past five years, during which time they were crowned national champions in 2009 and 2011.
The opportunity to go all the way again this season was helped by a dominant all round performance from both the home rink and the away rink.
The Dorchester quartet that travelled to Taunton for the away leg consisted of Robbie Ward, George Spracklen, Dean Curtis and skip Nick Voss, who gave Dorset the best of starts with an opening score of five shots followed quickly by a couple of braces and were soon up and running at 9-1.
The Somerset rink of Green, Shadwell, Williams and Taylor struggled to compete and Dorset extended their lead to 16-6, and with three ends still to play and trailing 23-8, Somerset threw in the towel.
The overall superiority of the Dorset side was mirrored at Moonfleet where the home players of Marcus Smith, Chris Cook, and skip Martin Puckett were admirably supported by number three Ryan Stone who gave a very confident performance.
Puckett was hoping for a good start and his rink came out of the blocks with great gusto and took all of the opening five ends, including a score of six shots on the second end.
With a 12-0 lead the problem for Dorset was to avoid complacency.
At the same stage Voss was 9-2 ahead at Taunton and the aggregate score in favour of Dorset was 21-2, and bar any unexpected reversal of fortune they were firm favourites to go on and take the spoils.
The Somerset players – Groves, Steel, Smith, and Poolman – failed to stop the Puckett and co advance, and eventually came off the green having suffered a 31-12 reverse.
The quarter-final against Gloucester-shire promises to be a more competitive affair for Dorset, as their next opponents played out a very close tie with Wiltshire who they managed to beat by just four shots, 43-39.