Junior bowlers through to national finals

HAVING beaten their opponents at home earlier in the season, Sully Indoor Bowls Club were in confident mood for their Welsh team championship game against Taff Ely on Saturday.

With the Pontypridd IBC having just three rinks, three rinks played in a morning session and three in the afternoon, and Sully's early fours were skipped by Brian Foscolo, Brian Griffiths and David Wright . The early exchanges went in favour of the home team who led 23-12, and the trend continued up to the 10th end where Taff Ely maintained their advantage to lead 38-23, with only the rink of Foscolo (Cogbill, Eastment and Doyle) holding its own. As the game progressed, Foscolo’s rink led by 12 shots at the15th end, with Wright’s rink recovering to trail by just two. Unfortunately, Griffiths' rink, who have played well all season, struggled and were 12 shots down.

Foscolo continued the good work to forge ahead and win 38-16, which included a count of seven on the last end. Wright's rink showed its fighting qualities again to come back and triumph 18-16, even allowing for a count of four against on the last end, but, unfortunately, Griffiths’ rink struggled badly throughout and went down 8-33. The morning session finished with Sully trailing 64-65.

The afternoon session started positively for Sully who led 23-20 after 10 ends. The rink of Martin Clarke (skip), Dave Curtis, Roy

Richards and Mike Davies were in fine form to lead 16-2 at this stage, but, with the rink of Fred Phillips struggling at 4-15,

and Ken McLeod’s four holding a narrow one-shot lead, the overall score favoured Sully by just three shots.

At 15 ends, the overall score remained close, with Sully still ahead by two shots, but then McLeod also started to struggle, dropping 10 shots over the final six ends. Phillips’ rink also dropped five shots in the finishing straight and, although Clarke's four retained their form, finally winning 24-11, the afternoon session went in favour of the visitors (57-67) to give them an overall victory (121-132) and 16 of the 22 points.

On a more positive note, three Sully junior players, Joe Coles, Louis Peters and Rhys Phillips, who would have been playing in the Taff Ely game, were representing the club in the national junior triples at Newport. In the first round, the Sully boys adapted well to the home green to gain a comfortable 17-6 win over the Newport trio. Up against a strong Blaenau Gwent trio in the second round, the Sully boys trailed 6-1 after four ends but then picked up a count of seven. The game continued to be closely fought, with excellent bowling from all players, but the Sully trio emphasised their talent and ability to play the pressure bowls and triumph 12-8 for a place in the finals in the New Year.

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