Wealden Men made a confident start to regaining their First Division status in the Sussex League when they won their opening two home games of the season against King Alfred and Denton Island.
Against Denton Island the early ends were even balanced with the visitors holding a slender one shot advantage after five ends. But over the next few ends it was all Wealden as they quickly established a match-winning lead of 19 shots at the halfway stage.
The second half also belonged to Wealden as they steadily increased the margin, raising hope at one stage that the maximum 11 points would be coming their way.
It was not to be as Denton clinched victories in two of the games, by three and four shots respectively. There were big wins for the teams led by Malcolm Goman and Tony Plater as well as narrower victories for the Fours skipped by Peter Carter and Mike Marshall giving Wealden an overall nine points to two victory.
It was almost the same story in their game against King Alfred although from the outset this always looked likely to be going Wealden’s way as they swept into an early lead. Once again there were decisive wins for the teams led by Goman, Carter and Steve Perris that put the match beyond doubt well before the end. King Alfred fought back well to take the honours in two of the individual games left in play to give Wealden another comfortable 9-2 win.
The previous week, Wealden were defeated for the first time this season when they lost out to King Alfred in the first round of the Egham Trophy, a competition played by two mixed rinks at home and away venues.
At home the two Wealden teams led by Chris Thomas and John Baker were both ahead throughout their games and at the halfway stage had established a comfortable lead of ten shots. From then on the visitors made a spirited comeback and gradually whittled away the Wealden lead to reduce the deficit to just five shots with three ends left to play.
The final ends were closely fought but no decisive breakthrough emerged leaving the Wealden with a useful but not commanding lead of eight shots. The King Allfred venue is notoriously difficult and needs time to adjust to but the Four skipped by Alex Parsons piled on seven shots before their opponents responded.
The hosts fought back well and at one stage had nudged ahead by a single shot but a fine final burst by the Wealden team gave them the game by six shots, a fine performance away from home. With a cushion of fourteen shots there was every hope that Wealden would progress into the next round but in the remaining game the home team pulled away from the very first end.
At the interval Wealden still had a four shot advantage in the overall game but from then on it was all King Alfred as they ran away with the game to eventually win by 33 shots to 10. To win on three of the four rinks played and still lose the match by 76 shots to 85 is by no means unusual in this bowls format but is still a disappointing result.
All match results: Wealden 124 Denton Island 96: Mike Read 15 S Ansell 18, Mike Marshall 16 M Woods 15, Peter Carter 25 F Towner 20, Chris Thomas 12 R Willey 16, Malcolm Goman 25 F Laverick 15, Tony Plater 31 C Alexander 12.
Wealden 117 Mote Park 145: Sue Hanlon 13 R Twyman 21, Bob Smith 11 D Tampsett 15, Peter Flint 26 R Hickman 10, Wendy Botfield 12 D Cooper 24, Dave Lindsay 13 D Davies 17, John Osmond 12 O Monk 23, Derek Ayling 19 D Lock 10, Tommy Towner 11 B Gilbert 25.
Wealden 109 Grattons 128: Margaret Winton 21 P Capper 20, Pat Lane 18 C Woodward 20, Elizabeth Gooding 15 J Marchant 21, June Page 18 J Schollar 22, Janet Birch 13 J Morton 26, Wendy Botfield 24 S Brinkley 19.
Wealden 118 Langney 87: Steve Perris 21 C Smith 12, Peter Carter 27 A Rowden 8, Chris Thomas 12 S Holland 20, Mike Read 17 P Burgess 15, Malcolm Goman 24 A Craig 8, Mike Marshall 17 M Fuller 24.
Wealden 120 Horsham 79: June Page 17 J Bullen 9, Jan Noyes 24 B Strong 17, Janet Birch 27 M Dellard 9, Wendy Botfield 19 D Armstrong 16, Joan Howson 16 R Pickering 18, Margaret Smith 17 H Grant 10.
Wealden 130 Egerton Park 111: Dave Lindsay 18 E Oliver 21, Ray Fletcher 18 P Spillane 21, Tom Palmer 38 P Holland 8, Ivan Atkinson 13 M Hendle 25, John Dellar 13 A McBride 20, Margaret Liston 30 G Oliver 16.
Wealden 141 Worthing 89: Wendy Botfield 27 T Phillips 6, Elizabeth Gooding 21 S Ransom 18, Margaret Smith 28 W Davies 12, June Page 28 P Fulcher 8, Jan Noyes 25 C Tomsett 17, Stephanie Tuddenham 12 G Robinson 28.
Wealden 127 Stevenage 97: Norman Dobson 27 C Cooper 19, Stephanie Tuddenham 16 G Cleghorn 16, John Dellar 15 P Stacey 22, Robert May 15 K Saward 18, Steve Perris 28 T Hemmings 8, Peter Mennis 26 C Cole 14.
Wealden 76 King Alfred 85: Home: Chris Thomas 21 D Moses 16, John Baker 23 T Vine 20. Away: Alex Parsons 22 K Ross 16, Malcolm Goman 10 R Pickett 33.