Neyland 55 Tenby 113 (2 Points)
After starting the defence of the Welsh Club Championship (Carruthers Shield) with a win over local rivals, Saundersfoot, last week, the Tenby sponsored Layton and Company Solicitors and Chandler Rogers Estate Agents travelled to Neyland and won by 58 shots and took the maximum two points.
Neyland is always a difficult team to face due, in the main, to their ‘green’ which is a very heavy and tricky surface to master. Tenby however were in no mood to surrender their unbeaten start to the season and took a 17 shot lead as early as the fifth end. At 10 ends the champions had increased their lead to 21 shots before a surge over the next 5 ends to lead by 33. The victory never looked in doubt as at 18 ends they had amassed a lead of 46 and concluded with an overall victory of 58 shots and picked up a two further points to ensure that one more victory would guarantee entry into the knock out stages of the Welsh Club Championship.
Rink 1 saw the rink of Paul Diment take on Neyland’s Bill Barratt and the Tenby quartet went into an early 8-3 lead. At 10 ends the Neyland rink played very well to level the match at 9 all and then surge ahead by the 15th end by five shots (11-16). The Tenby rink did manage to slightly close the gap at 18 ends (13-17) but went down at the close 15-18. It is ironic that the rink performance mirrored the defeat of Pat Currie’s rink the week before and recorded Tenby’s second rink defeat all season. Both defeats by 3 shots. Gerald Hewitt and Mike Jackson both played well as did Peter Day but some bad luck ensured that the Neyland four took the honours.
Pat Currie’s rink was still smarting after their first league defeat of the season against Saundersfoot. A quality sign of a good rink however is their ‘bounce back ability’ and boy did they do that. After dropping a single shot on the first end, they then won the next nine (ends) to lead 21-1. At 15 ends the lead had grown further to 27 shots (30-3). This quality rink were not letting things lie at this and they continued to punish the Neyland four by taking five shots on the last end to win by 37 shots (41-4). What a great performance by the Tenby four who only lost 4 singles in the entire match. Neil Dickinson once again impressed as did John Baggott who was superb. It is such a shame that John cannot play for Pembrokeshire as he is the Team Manager and rules do not permit player managers. If not for this rule, he would be one of the first names on the County Teams team sheet. Jon Webb and Pat Currie showed what a great combination they are forming by their overall play and leadership on the rink.
Andrew Muskett’s rinks were, like Pat Currie, out of the blocks quickly and took an early lead of 12-0 after only 4 ends. A spirited comeback back the Neyland rink lead by Gordon Robson saw that lead whittle down to 4 shots at 10 ends (15-11). The Tenby rink proved however that they are very much second half experts by taking a further two ‘fours’ and a ‘five’ to win by 33-19. Dai Spencer was very impressive on what he has described as his favourite green as to was Welsh International John Roberts. Joe Richards has matured quickly into his new position and played extremely well. With these front three players playing so well it allowed Andrew to experiment on the new delivery he has adapted after a brief conversation with Gareth Humphries the previous Tuesday.
Phil Carpenters rink saw a late change after the withdrawal of Luke Guymer due to work commitments. The ‘rink’ still maintained their 100% winning record. Cameron White came into the rink as ‘second’ and was very impressive. This likeable young man has composure beyond his years and I must applaud his attitude during the first three games of the season. Being a part of the Carruthers winning squad, Cameron has failed to make an appearance for the Tenby Team this year. This is not down to his ability but rather that all the Tenby ‘front end’ are playing so well. Luke Rees, Welsh finalist (with Ben Cloake) in the Under 16’s pair’s championship last year once again played well. It may have been considered a risk, in some quarters, to put two young players together as a front end combination. These two players however, have no fear and are playing as well as any experienced front end players in the County. Craig Guymer and Phil controlled matters well and although they were 2-7 down after 5 ends (same as last week) they rallied to lead by 4 at 15 ends (16-12). After 18 ends they led 22-12 and finished with a 10 shot victory (24-14)
To conclude, credit to the Tenby Team who looked upon this game as the crucial match in qualifying due to the nature of the Neyland surface. Tenby now face Milford Haven next Saturday at Sutton Street to conclude their group matches. A victory or draw will see them qualify and even a defeat will probably be enough as the Team has amassed a shot difference of 100 shots in only two games. The win would be expected however against a Milford Team very much in a transitional period.
It is also my pleasure to report that two further Tenby team players have been selected for Pembrokeshire for the first time. Luke Rees and Neil Dickinson make their debuts against Montgomeryshire in June at Milford Haven.
Rink 1: G Hewitt, M Jackson, P Day and Paul Diment 15-18 B Barrett
Rink 2: J. Richards, D Spencer, J Roberts and A. Muskett 33-19 G Robson
Rink 3: L. Rees, C White, C. Guymer and P Carpenter 24-14 A King
Rink 4. N Dickinson, J Baggott, J Webb and P Currie 41-4 G Nuthall
5 ends, Tenby 30-13 Neyland
10 ends, Tenby 52-31 Neyland
15 ends, Tenby 80-47 Neyland
18 ends, Tenby 96-50 Neyland
21 ends, Tenby 113-55 Neyland