Veterans dip out

Thank you to selector Mike Potter for writing this report below about our Veterans County team.

County Veterans Team Championship

Group Four Qualifying Round – Thursday, 11th July 2017

Venue – Goodyear Pavilion, Wolverhampton (Staffordshire)

An impressive display in their third match saw Shropshire be the first team to topple reigning champions Staffordshire, however with a win, a draw and a lost game in their three Group Four round robin games, they once again were denied a place to progress to the final stages of the competition.

On a mild summer’s day, our squad of 10 players arrived at 
the venue with high expectations to do well and got off to a good start in their opening match against North Midlands as both Keith Owen(21-20) & Martin Codd(21-15) before North Mids reeled off 5 winners of their own and our lead fell into an 11 chalk deficit as our lads were held, Derek Wright(20-21), Keith Walton(16-21), Tony Roche(17-21), Ian Foster(19-21), Cedric Bancroft(15-21), however, in amongst them our No.8 Mark Thomas(21-10) was putting together a fine run in the corners that proved just enough to earn us a drawn match that would keep our hopes alive, if we could win the next two matches.

Shropshire 150 - 150 North Midlands +0 chalks

After learning of the 17 chalk loss in their first match we began hoping to replicate the scoreline in our second match against Warwick & Worcs. But how wrong we were as the opening pairs fortunes were reversed with wins for their two and losses for ours as Martin Codd(14-21) and Keith Owen(4-21) both lost. Unfortunately for us, things didn’t get much better, save for sole winner, Derek Wright(21-19) & Mark Thomas(20-21) as the proverbial wheels flew off, as Keith Walton(9-21), Bill Tarrell(16-21), Ian Foster(13-21) & Ian Smith(11-21) all succumbed that added up to a 58 chalk defeat.

Shropshire 108 – 166 Warwick & Worcs -58 chalks

As rain began to fall, the third round of games began.

With qualification for finals day now gone, we set our sights on at least restoring some pride to the team as we faced strong favourites and defending champions, Staffordshire in our final match of the day. A strong start from openers Martin Codd(21-16) & Derek Wright(21-11) gave us an unlikely 15 chalk lead which was gradually eroded as Bill Tarrell(15-21), Mark Thomas(18-21), Ian Smith(17-21) battled hard along with Keith Owen(21-19) & Tony Roche(21-17) and with the sun now shining again, that left us 8 chalks to the good with Cedric Bancroft at 9-9 needing to get to 14 to secure the win. Tension filled air as Cedric fell behind 12-15 and 13-17, the biggest cheer came upon his scoring that 14th chalk as the Warwick & Worcs contingent joined in knowing they had won the group. Although he didn’t quite make it Cedric Bancroft(17-21) made enough to ensure our first match win of the day by 4 chalks.

Shropshire 147 – 125 Staffordshire +4 chalks

Thanks to Staffordshire for organising a great day of competitive yet friendly bowling between the four counties.

Full scores are here.

The Veterans Team. Back from left: Cedric Bancroft, Derek Wright, Keith Walton, Bill Tarrell, Mark Thomas & Ian Smith.
Front from left: Martin Codd, Tony Roche, Ian Foster & Keith Owen.

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