Warwick Boat Club sunk by Royal Leamington Spa

Keith Lemmon, Fran Parker, Stewart Aitken and Bernadette McDonnell are caught up in the moment as Pottertons and Avenue play out a friendly.
Keith Lemmon, Fran Parker, Stewart Aitken and Bernadette McDonnell are caught up in the moment as Pottertons and Avenue play out a friendly.
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Royal Leamington Spa’s men continued their fine start to the season with another two friendly victories.

In a three-rink triples encounter at Warwick Boat Club, there was little to separate the two sides up to the halfway point.

However, over the second half of the match, Spa’s Chris Bearman, Dave Wigman and Malcolm Wickens extended a two-shot lead to win 24-14.

With Dick Allibon overturning an 8-6 deficit to win 18-14, it meant a 19-10 defeat for Roger Mann proved immaterial as Spa got home by five shots.

Against traditionally strong opposition at Sherwood Park on Saturday, Spa maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with another closely fought victory, this time in a six-rink match.

Making the most of their home advantage, the south Birmingham side edged ahead over the opening ends but by the halfway point Spa had fought back to lead by 14 shots.

Once ahead, Spa maintained their lead to come away with a 111-100 victory.

Bill Claridge, Rex Fox, George Fox and Jerry Horne (20-10) comprised Spa’s best performing rink, while there were also wins for Malcolm Wickens (20-16), John Rheams (19-15) and Jim Tighe (27-24).

Griffin (20-16) and Peter Higgins (19-13) both suffered defeats.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, following another two victories, Royal Leamington Spa’s ladies can also point to a flawless start.

In their first encounter against Stoke it looked for most of the afternoon as if Spa would take the honours on all three rinks as they built up an 18-shot lead by the halfway point.

However, while a 22-9 win for Spa’s Bonny Claridge, Sue Deavall, Sheena Harris and Jenny Wickens and a 19-14 success for Donna Kerr ensured victory for Spa, the visitors’ honour was upheld on the other rink as they fought back from 14-9 down over the final eight ends to beat Spa’s Vi Palmer 21-16.

The following day, the standout performance in Spa’s three triples match at home to Bilton came from Dawn Horne, Cherry Plant and Janice White.

Trailing 8-1 after four ends, the Spa threesome then found their form and proceeded to demolish their opponents over the next 14 ends to run out winners by 33 shots to 13.

Despite both Donna Kerr (18-9) and Jenny Wickens (13-11) suffering defeats on the other rinks, White’s winning margin was sufficiently large to see Spa home by 53 shots to 44.

Meanwhile, Avenue came through a close encounter at Stratford 66-61, with a 23-7 win for the rink of Matt Wordingham, Peter Hooper and David Deakin proving decisive.

Their other winning rink came from Andy Sparkes, Mick Preedy and Richard Muir (23-18).

Pottertons were unable to field a full team against Avenue last Saturday, with their members joining the home side in a friendly mixed encounter.

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