Dramatic final shot is the Pick of the action in Top Club thriller

Lynn Houghton eased to a singles victory as Avenue edged past Lillington in the National Top Club.
Lynn Houghton eased to a singles victory as Avenue edged past Lillington in the National Top Club.
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Avenue’s Yvonne Pick produced a stunning final shot to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at Lillington in the area final of the National Top Club.

Avenue’s Lynn Houghton won her singles 21-5, while Hannah Smith, Margaret Lawson and skip Lisa Smith claimed the triples 21-8.

However, a 39-6 defeat for the rink of Pat Harris, Sally Hayes, Hazel Higgins and Terry Taylor (skip) meant Pick and Bernadette O’Donnell had to win or draw their pairs match for Avenue to progress.

Playing the last end, they were four down with one bowl left. Pick’s only hope was to put the jack in the ditch to secure the four and she held her nerve superbly to secure a dramatic 18-18 draw.

Avenue were on fine form in their friendly match at Bidford, winning three of the four rinks on their way to a 84-44 success.

Their highest winning rink went to Bill Port (skip), Rick Hayes, Tony Kent and Steve Franklin with a 29-5 success.

This was closely followed by the John Harris-skipped rink of Barry Connolly, Mick Preedy and Graham Parker who claimed a 25-9 win.

Nick Ward, Tony Farmer, Stewart Aitken and Mike Jacobs won 19-14, with Nicky Walker, Adam Smith, Mark Pearl and Richard Muir going down 16-11.

Avenue’s Smith family will be representing Warwickshire at the Nationals, with Mark Smith having reached the semi-finals of the county singles, sister Hannah making the final of the junior pairs and mum Lisa into the county final of the Benevolent Triples.

Lisa, her mum Yvonne Pick, Hannah and Lynn Houghton have qualified for the county fours final, while Adam Smith has made it to the area final of the county junior singles alongside Matt Wordingham.

There was more success for Avenue with Bill Port and Phil Wadland beating Phil Yeoman and Terry Fuller (LMRCA) 20-13 to reach the area final of the national over-55 pairs.

However, there was disappointment in the area final of the national two-fours with Avenue going down by three shots to Rugby and in the South Warwickshire Triples where Mick Preedy (skip), Ron Walton and Barry Connolly suffered a 25-6 defeat to John Hughes (skip), Stewart Aitken and Dean Whyte.