Welsh County Championship
CEREDIGION’s county bowlers put up a gallant fight in their quest to qualify for the first time ever for the Welsh Counties Finals, but in the end fell short to a powerful Monmouthshire team at Lampeter.
Both teams needed to win and win well, and the visitors showed their intent and respect for the Cardis by sending their strongest possible team. Indeed, all six Monmouthshire skips are internationals, while Ceredigion were without their two unavailable international players in Kevin James and Michael Newcombe.
After five ends, both teams were tied, but by the 15th end Monmouthshire had pulled 11 shots clear. End by end they gradually increased their lead, to finish up winners by 25 shots with a score of 122 to 97, to secure their place in the national finals, to be held at Llandrindod Wells.
The Ceredigion bowlers, however, can be proud of their achievements throughout the season, having finished joint top of the Welsh double rinks competition, and gone into their final game of the season with a chance of qualifying, although it was always going to be a tall order.
Monmouthshire won four of the six rinks, and the rink skipped by Rowland Salmon (Aberystwyth), with Arwel Jones (Aberystwyth), Wyndham Jones (Aberaeron) and Marc James (Cardigan), went down by six shots, 12-18, after a hard battle against Roger Jones’ four - as did Henry Jones (Lampeter), with his rink of David Rees (New Quay), Peter Fleming (Lampeter) and David James (Aberystwyth), by 22-16 against Steve Batten.
A Jonathan Tomlinson-inspired rink meanwhile saw off William Jones (Tregaron), Aled Roberts (Lampeter), Brian EJ Davies (Cardigan) and Paul Monders (Cardigan) with a match-winning 30-13 scoreline, while Colin James (Cardigan), John White (Lampeter), Steve Entwistle (Lampeter) and Ian Pugh (Aberystwyth) went down 15-24 to Danny Davies junior.
The two winning Ceredigion rinks saw Nick Randell (Lampeter), ably assisted by Lewis Williams (Lampeter), Dewi Morris (Aberaeron) and Jamie James (Queen’s Road) beat Christof Klefenz 21-18, while county captain John Jones (Tregaron) led his rink of Andrew Wilson (Lampeter), debutant Emyr Thomas (Lampeter) and Martyn Phillips (Queen’s Road) to an impressive 20-10 win over the 99 times capped at outdoor and indoor, Ian Slade.
Selectors Glynne Jones, E Ron Thomas and Mansel Leonard have done an excellent job throughout the season, and the county’s thoughts at present are with Mansel Leonard, who has been unwell. Everyone wishes him a full recovery.
2017 Results: Pembrokeshire 121 Ceredigion 98 (at Pembroke Dock); Ceredigion 117 Carmarthen 104 (at New Quay); M Glamorgan 135 Ceredigion 98 (at Harlequins); Ceredigion 97 Monmouthshire 122 (at Lampeter).
On the following Tuesday, the County senior team, in their last match of 2017, won their first game of the season when they defeated South Glamorgan by three shots at Llandysul. Four of the six rinks went down by a margin of 24 shots, but two big victories by the rink of David Rees (New Quay), John Evans (Llandysul), Graham Rees (New Quay) and skip Brian Davies (Queen’s Road) by 15 shots (23-8) and Freddie Lloyd (Cardigan), Mal Evans (Aberteifi), Neil Immins (New Quay) and skip John Jones (Tregaron) by 12 shots (21-9), saw their team home.