white rose
Gloucestershire Bowls Association - Men’s Division
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White Rose Trophy

In what is thought to be an historic first, the Gloucestershire Under 25s team is through to the national finals in the White Rose Trophy.

The team had two tremendous wins on Sunday 17 June at West Backwell Bowls Club in Somerset in the White Rose Trophy.

In the morning they played Somerset in the regional sub-final. On one rink, Skip Steve Crowcombe (Cam Mills), Adam Smith (Cheltenham), Jack Grover (Cirencester) and Joe Hibbard (Page Park) started slowly and Somerset were six shots ahead after the first three ends. A four on the fourth end reduced the deficit but Somerset stretched their lead to 9 – 4 in the next three ends. The Gloucestershire team worked hard at supporting and encouraging each other through this troubled period and pulled back to level the scores at the thirteenth end. Somerset then again pulled ahead to lead by three but some fine bowling by all the team saw them win three shots on the last end to level the game.
 

The other all Cheltenham rink of Nathan Kitchen (skip), Ben Coldrick, Alex White and Jack Williams established their dominance over the Somerset rink right from the start. Six shots up after four ends, Somerset pulled back two shots on the fifth end but then failed to win another end until the twelfth by which time they were 18 – 3 down. Gloucestershire then continued to pull away so that by the end they were 28 – 10 ahead.

The regional final in the afternoon saw the Gloucestershire team facing Devon who had beaten Cornwall in the morning. Devon are national champions having won the trophy last year so a tough match was expected.

It rapidly became clear that the morning win had boosted the confidence of the Gloucestershire team. There was never much in it for the first half with Steve Crowcombe being just 7 – 11 down after the eleventh end. At this point, the whole team seemed to find an extra gear and didn’t lose another end, winning 22 – 11.

On the other rink, the experience of Nathan Kitchen (England Under 25 player) and Ben Coldrick (England trialist) showed through again. The score was close after eight ends, with only one shot in it when Nathan and team too found that extra bit which saw them stretch their lead to 28 – 13 at the end.

Whilst the play on the green is what matters in the end, much of the credit for the win must go the team manager, Rob Griffiths, who has been building this team for some years and has now seen these efforts come to fruition.

Gloucestershire now goes forward to the National Semi-Finals at Royal Leamington Spa in September.




Gloucestershire Under 25s through to National Finals