Royal Leamington Spa open their season in style

Royal Leamington Spa claimed an opening-day win over Rugby at Victoria Park on Saturday. Pictures: Morris Troughton
Royal Leamington Spa claimed an opening-day win over Rugby at Victoria Park on Saturday. Pictures: Morris Troughton

Royal Leamington Spa’s men completed a convincing 99-71 victory over visitors Rugby in their traditional curtain-raiser at Victoria Park.

Jim Tighe started particularly strongly for Spa, scoring six shots on the fourth end to open up an early 9-1 lead. His rink was pegged back to 9-9 at half-way but Spa had built a 19-shot overall lead as their other four rinks started to ease ahead.

Spa’s dominance continued for the rest of the match, with Dave Turner (23-14), Graham White (19-10) and Ray White (22-13) all finishing nine shots ahead on their rinks.

With Dick Allibon also coming out on top (19-17), only a narrow 17-16 defeat for Tighe prevented Spa from completing the whitewash.

Meanwhile, Avenue lost their home two fours match with Welford 47-39.

John Hughes (skip), Barry Connolly, Colin Thomas and Dean Whyte found themselves 7-1 down at five ends before going on to suffer a 33-14 defeat.

In contrast, Bill Port (skip), Phil Wadland, Mick Preedy and Graham Parker were always in charge of their encounter, opening up a 16-5 lead at ten ends on their way to a 25-14 success.

Avenue bounced back in their away match at Wolvey, winning 89-85.

The highest winning rink of John Harris (skip), Barry Connolly, Dean Whyte and Graham Parker claimed a 25-9 success, while Ron Walton (skip), Stewart Aitken, Colin Thomas and David Deacon held on to win 19-17 after opening up a six-shot lead at ten ends.

Bill Port (skip), John Rheams, Fred Sawyer and Keith Orme were in total control at five ends having taken a 7-0 lead. However, the home side rallied and Avenue were relieved to cling on for a 17-16 win.

Phil Wadland (skip), Peter Hooper, Andy Hewitt and Dave Miller were involved in a see-saw encounter which they lost by a shot, while it was a bad couple of days for John Hughes who again found himself skipping a losing side alongside Rick Hayes, Paul Chapman and Mick Preedy, the quartet going down 25-14.

Lillington’s men claimed a comfortable 94-79 win at Coventry Avenue, winning four of the five rinks.

A rain shower helped Clive Antrobus, Philip Sampson, Bob Mann and skip Malcolm Welch reverse fortunes in their encounter, with the quartet fighting back from 11-1 down after eight ends to win 22-14.

Daniel Ellicott skipped Dave Print, P Wakem and captain Colin Daly to a deciding-end 17-16 win over Avenue captain Roy Lawrence, while Gordon Coates, Philip Page, Andy Hughes and skip Martin Preedy were 15-12 victors over E Walkinshaw.

Martin Buggins, Paul Smith, Hugh Matthews and skip John Buggins managed a slender lead after ten ends and were able to gradually extend it to a 26-12 win over Liz Wooding.

The rink of Mike Davies, Mathew King, Ian Henderson and skip Nigel Roach were unable to recover from two heavy dropped shot ends and went down 25-14.