Somerset 126 (6) Wiltshire 127 (16).     

The first game in this year’s series commenced this Saturday afternoon on a well prepared Victoria Bowls Club surface, against a competitive Wiltshire team. Although there has been a number of changes this year following the very competitive trials, it was an honour to welcome two new Middleton Cup players into the team, Liam White and Adam Sparey. It was also a
pleasure to welcome back a few old faces Craig Doughty, Neil Yeoman, Peter Birmingham, Andrew Owens and Craig Walker. It was a great occasion and I can only thank the Victoria Club and its members along with all those that attended the game to create such a great atmosphere.
The early exchanges did not go well, despite Captain Neil Westlake’s rallying cry pre game, and after 5 ends across the board Somerset found themselves 40 shots down, with only Kevin Jones rink in-front. From there on the Somerset team rallied over the next 15 ends of the game and showed that we do have great players in our County, with the rinks skipped by Neil
Sanders, Nick Pearce, Sam Steel as well as Kevin Jones all in front on their respective rinks. At the same time the remaining 2 rinks of James Amery and Neil Yeoman significantly closing the deficit and with only several ends left in the game Somerset took a 4 shot lead.
Despite the historic come back unfortunately it was not to be not our day and Wiltshire took the game by 1 shot, with both teams winning on 3 rinks.
Somerset’s 3 winning Rinks were, Nick Pearce, Neil Saunders and Kevin Jones
Unsurprisingly I’m disappointed not to get the result that looked so possible, but really encouraged by the character and great fighting spirit shown by all. We move on to St Austell and Cornwall next Saturday (2pm) with an unchanged Team.
On Sunday Morning (11am) we visit Wotton Bassett to play Wiltshire in the Balcombe Trophy.
Please come and support our Team.
Dave Alder
Middleton Cup Team Manager