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County Veterans Team Championship
Group Four Qualifying Round – 13th July 2017
Venue – Walsgrave BC Coventry (N. Midlands)
Shropshire, despite winning two of their three Group Four round robin games were once again denied a place in the final stages by a Warwick & Worcs side who are rapidly becoming their nemesis as we just missed out progressing further in this competition.
On a mild summer’s day, our squad of 9 players along with County President, Mike Caddick and team manager, Mike Potter arrived at the venue with high expectations to do well and were rewarded with a fine 26 chalk win over hosts the North Midlands. With the teams playing with 3 on each card. Keith Owen raced from 11-10 to 17-10 only to be pegged back managing to only add another chalk as he fell to 18-21. Mark Thomas saw his run of 10 chalks cancelled out and trail 13-15 before regaining control and almost run out to win 21-16. John Clarke played out a close game where from 9-9 neither player got ahead by more than 2 and that’s how it ended as john just dipped out 19-21. Allan Faulkner played the deep holes on the green masterfully as he converted 14-4 into 19-6 and won 21-7. Bill Tarrell’s even game saw the card read 10-10, 14-14 and 17-17 but from 18-18 Bill seized the jack and finished 21-18. In a reversal of that, Dave Povey tight game saw him from 19-19 dip out 19-21. Selector and player, Tony Roche fought hard to turn his 11-13 deficit into 18-13 and then win 21-15. Whilst anchorman, Cedric Bancroft maintained a comfortable lead down the card as he led 11-6, 15-9 and eventually finished 21-16.
Shropshire 161-135 +26 chalks
Hopes were high after learning their victory over Staffordshire was by an inferior margin than ours as we began our second match against Warwick & Worcs where playing in the same order except where Bill Tarrell stepped aside for Dave Beer to make his first appearance. The unthinkable unfortunately though became a reality as the squad were stunned when one by one, no one managed to convert their game to win that saw Keith Owen go from 6-13 to 16-13 then 19-19 and finally 19-21. Mark Thomas struggled from 9-11 to get back to 13-16 and stalled, going down 13-21. Similarly John Clarke from 11-11 and 15-15 could not add finished 15-21. Alan Faulkner, in a complete reversal to his first game found his form in the greens holes desert him as from 7-8 he could only manage to add a single chalk 8-21 down. Holding his own Dave Beer in his first game of the day was holding his own as the game went 9-9 and 13-13 but also couldn’t add to his tally from 16-16, missing out 16-21. Dave Povey played out another close game 11-11, 15-15, 17-17 and just fell short from 19-19, losing 19-21. Tony Roche struggled from 5-5 to go 8-15 and 10-18 before succumbing to a loss of 11-21. And in yet another close hard fought game Cedric Bancroft scored 9-9, 12-12, 17-17 and slipped to an agonising 20-21 defeat.
Shropshire 121 – 168 -47 chalks
With this 47 chalk deficit, qualification would depend on an unlikely big win for North Midlands over Warwick & Worcs and also for us to beat Staffordshire, our opponents in the third round match. Mark Thomas again found to going tough from 6-6 to trail 6-15 and could not avoid a 11-21 loss. Keith Owen from 7-7 took control to go 13-7 only to be pegged bac to 13-13 then pulled away to 20-14 to be pegged back again until he found the 21-18 winner. Bill Tarrell in another tight game of 10-10, 16-16 and 18-18 just dipped short to lose 19-21. Dave Povey from 5-6 converted to 13-6 and soon finished with a fine 21-8 win. Dave Beer struggled to stay within a couple of chalks until from 11-13 found himself on wrong end of 12-21. Alan Faulkner re-found his weight to run out from 12-11 to post a 21-11 card. Cedric Bancroft raced into an 13-4 lead which from 13-9 he almost ran out to win 21-10. Tony Roche was in control going 12-6 up and after being pegged back to 12-11 went again to 18-11 and eventually 21-15.
Shropshire 147 – 125 +22 chalks
After restoring some pride, the Shropshire finished the day in a creditable second place in the group with an agg of +1
The team that took part in the event. Back from left: Mike Potter (team manager), Dave Povey, Mark Thomas, Tony Roche, Bill Tarrell, Cedric Bancroft & Mike Caddick (County President).
Front from left: Keith Owen, John Clarke, Dave Beer & Alan Faulkner.