Sunday 12th August saw the playing of the Frank Etherington Memorial Trophy at Highworth Bowls Club and played with a nod to two of Frank’s passions, namely bowls and soccer. The competition is open to clubs around Swindon and beyond, as well as Highworth’s own social members, and involves teams of four players, named after football clubs and wearing that team’s colours on the green. Whilst the weather could certainly have been much kinder this year it did not prevent the event from being fulfilled and enjoyed.
With ten teams entered, the norm is to see Premier League and local team names listed, but this year it was Airdrieonians, a team comprising of Highworth’s Roy Read, Maggie & John Jordan and Hugh Linning (see picture), that carried off the cup, overcoming Everton (Highworth’s Neil & Christine Biles, Stuart Murray & David Murray) in the final
A really good fun day for all participants with catering provided and cooked by Frank’s family and a big thank you to them for all their efforts in organizing the event.
In the midst of the competition, as well as honouring Frank’s memory, the aim of the Etherington family is to raise money for the Brighter Futures charity. Monies raised this year totalled £400, so a huge thanks to all who contributed.
Neil Hope, a former member of Highworth Bowls Club, was part of the victorious Leicestershire side that secured the Middleton Cup for the first time since 1964 on Saturday 3rd August, beating Devon in the final. Leicestershire had trailed by four shots with one rink still to complete their 21 ends and they duly collected the shots required, levelling the match 119 – 119 and forcing the playing of an extra end across all rinks.
All rinks then went back on to the green, with the shot scores from the each rink’s extra end counting towards the outcome. The Leicestershire rink that had brought about the tie then recorded five shots on their extra end and with three of the other four completed extra ends won, the 9-1 outcome meant that the title was Leicestershire’s.
Bowls Wiltshire Ladies’ (BWL) Johns Trophy team, featuring Highworth’s Joanna Hicks, Maggie Jordan and Linda Young, went to the National Finals at Leamington on Saturday 3rd August seeking to bring the trophy back to Wiltshire for the first time since 1995.
With both semi-final and final to be played on a hot and humid day, the Wiltshire ladies set about Yorkshire in their semi-final and were never seriously troubled during the match, eventually running out 129 – 79 winners. Jo, Maggie & Linda, playing with Bev Lilley from Devizes, had the tightest of struggles, but just lost out at 12 – 13.
In the other semi-, Surrey edged Northamptonshire 117 – 110 to set up a Wiltshire vs Surrey final.
In the final, Surrey got off to a good start and within 10 ends were 20 points to the good, but Wiltshire responded and quickly reduced the deficit to four before seeing the game drift out of their grasp, Surrey finishing 125 – 109 to the good. Both sides finished with three winning rinks each but, whilst the Highworth ladies laid claim to being Wiltshire’s best winning rink with a 27 – 17 success, the scale of the losses elsewhere outweighed the combined efforts of the winners.
So commiserations to the ladies, but well done on getting to the final and hopefully next year the team can go one better.
Linda Young got her hands on the Bowls Wiltshire Ladies’ County Singles title on Saturday 28th July at the BWL Finals Day, which was held at Avon Bowls Club, when she beat Lucy Smith of Royal Wootton Bassett 21 – 17.
Well done to Linda and a great boost for her just ahead of Leamington and the Nationals.
Well done to Jo Hicks, Linda Young & Maggie Jordan, who have been part of Wiltshire Ladies’ winning teams in the Johns Trophy this month.
On June 2nd, Wilts Ladies took on Dorset at Sherborne Bowls Club and came away with a 124 – 109 (16 – 6) victory
On June 23rd, the Ladies again hit the road, this time facing Cornwall, and recorded an even wider winning margin racking up 134 to Cornwall’s 96 (17 – 5).
Below is the team photograph from the Cornwall match