The N. D. Toy & Partners Ltd sponsored Tenby team got back to winning ways after their disappointing defeat to Haverfordwest at their Sutton Street headquarters the prevous weekend by defeating Whitland 10-4 on Saturday (writes Le Shark) . Returning to the team for the trip to Whitland were Pat Currie, James Criddle, Luke Guymer and Joe Richards, with Dai Rees adding his support to the champions by making his long-awaited debut.
Unfortunately, players were again missing due to their participation in the Under 21 Academy match the following day in Llandrindod Wells and as such being unable to obtain time off from their jobs on two consecutive days. However, despite missing several players and fielding a team of 15 instead of the normal 16, due to the second division team also having many players missing for one reason or another, a very impressive victory was obtained against a very strong Whitland team.
The rink of Criddle, Currie, Guymer and Guymer started badly, falling behind 7-1 after only four ends. A count of ‘4’ on the next ‘end’ saw signs of a recovery, but then a further eight shots dropped to two saw a deficit at ‘tea’ of 15-7. The gap was too big to recover and a final score of 25-20 saw Whitland secure the two points for the rink win.
The Tenby captain, Andrew Muskett, led his rink to a very impressive win against the current Gold Cup holder, Steve Reese. The MVP award came from the ever-impressive Jon Webb, who is certainly starting the season in fine form. David Rees, on his Tenby debut, did not disappoint and I cannot remember any player having such a fine debut performance, especially away from home, and no doubt this will not be the last time that David’s services will be called upon. The rink was always in control and won 23-14.
John Roberts played against his international colleague Alan Whitehouse and certainly gave no quarter as he raced into a 15-4 lead after 10 ends. Neil Dickinson, at lead, staked his claim on why he should be playing for the county team this season with another solid performance. Ben Simmons has settled into the Tenby team with ease and with no little amount of skill and is another who should enjoy a spot in the Pembrokeshire side. Finally, the experience that double singles champion (Peter) Day brings to any rink is there for all to see. His calming affect on his skip ensured that more ‘drawing’ took place than the ‘usual running woods and drives’ and this was very much a foundation for success, the final score being 28-14.
Tenby’s own Gold Cup winner, Paul Diment, volunteered to ‘skip’ the triple (one player missing from the rink) and as the most prolific player on display for Tenby it was a justified decision from the Tenby captain. Cameron White was again very consistent and Mike Jackson again enjoyed a change of tactics which seemed more suited to his ‘drawing’ game.
However, it must be said that the Whitland rink were very impressive and, although lost the game 19-16 in terms of actual scoring, won the game after the compulsory 25 per cent was deducted from the Tenby rink’s score for having a player missing, making it 16 to 14.25 to the home four.
In summary, not only a very good win, but also an equally impressive performance against one of the title contenders. Another defeat this early would not have meant failure to successfully win a sixth consecutive league title, but would have definitely made the task much harder.
The next three matches see the start of the Welsh Club Championship, the Carruthers Shield, Tenby having won the title in 2009 and visited the semi-final stage both in 2010 and last year (2012) under the captaincy of Jon Webb. Tenby make the visit to Milford Haven next Saturday, followed by a home fixture against Fishguard and Goodwick and finally conclude their group matches against Neyland (away).
The Tenby captain, in his speech, congratulated the Tenby Five Arches who had defeated Whitland’s second string in Pembrokeshire League division two and wished those players selected for the Open Double Rink Competition in Llandrindod Wells and the Pembrokeshire team manager, Colin Wynn, success on May 12.