BOWLS: Gloucestershire no match for star-studded Devon

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: County golf County golf

GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S hopes of reaching the regional finals of the Balcomb Trophy evaporated against a Devon side, comprising of six internationals, who won 50-29 at Topsham BC.

Balcomb Trophy

Devon 50

Gloucestershire 29

The rink of John Smallwood, Paul Bryant (both Olveston) Dave Howes (Stroud) and Mike Woodbridge (Cheltenham) battled back against James Webber when from 7-1 down and 17-8 down they hit a purple patch and won four out of five ends.

In that run they grabbed a two and a five to be 17-15 down and then jumped into a 24-18 lead with a six and a three to finish on top 24-21.

Nathan Kitchen, Mark Perry, Steve Knight and Matt Cuthbert (all Cheltenham) faced an uphill struggle against Sam Tolchard when they lost the first seven ends to be 12 shots behind. Never recovering they dropped three consecutive twos and a five and finished up losing 29-5.

Middleton Cup

GLOUCESTERSHIRE travel to Rugby BC to play Warwickshire in the Middleton Cup on Saturday (June 14) with the knowledge that they must pick up a win as well as hoping to win all six rinks to have any chance of progressing.

Following the defeat to Wiltshire, Ben Coldrick (Dowty) and Nigel Cansdale ( Cirencester) return after holiday and team manager John Horsted has made some other positional changes in an effort to stop the slide.

Last time out the team were winning after 13 ends then suffered a slump and conceded 31 shots across the rinks.

The side includes: Roger Bird (Tetbury BC), Nigel Cansdale (Cirencester BC) and reserve Pete Stinchcombe (Tetbury BC).

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