Victoria Park is on the horizon for history-making Spa ladies

Royal Leamington Spa's ladies progressed to the last 16 of the National Top Club after edging out Brimfield and Little Hereford on shots won.

Royal Leamington Spa's ladies progressed to the last 16 of the National Top Club after edging out Brimfield and Little Hereford on shots won.

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Royal Leamington Spa ladies have advanced to the last 16 of the Bowls England Women’s National Top Club competition for the first time in their history.

Having already won the Warwickshire section, they faced stiff opposition in the form of Herefordshire winners Brimfield and Little Hereford.

Played in cold, showery conditions, there was never a great deal between the two sides.

After an hour’s play, the rink and pairs games were both all square while a tremendous start by the Spa trio of Bonny Claridge, Jenny Wickens and Donna Kerr in the triples, which saw them open up an 8-1 lead, was offset by a lead for Brimfield in the singles, where county champion and National quarter-finalist Karen Tandler led Spa’s Dawn Horne 13-8.

However, a strong run by the Spa pair of Lyn Williams and Janice White saw them open up a 14-4 lead to take control in their match against the Herefordshire pairs champions.

Although the singles match was lost 21-13, Spa maintained their lead in the triples.

Meanwhile, in the rink game, the Spa quartet of Jan Allibon, Karen Rheams, Sonia Stranks and Wyn Jackson were fighting hard to keep their game tight.

As the match entered the final stages, the Spa rink briefly took the lead to offer the prospect of a 3-1 overall win, but Brimfield came back over the final three ends to just edge the game 20-16.

However, with Spa securing convincing wins in both the triples (22-13) and pairs (22-9) , they progressed 73-63 on shots won.

Spa will play the winners of the clash between the champion clubs of Devon and Cornwall in the last 16 with the carrot of an appearance on home turf for the National Top Club competition finals, which take place at Victoria Park on September 12 and 13.