The national Top Club’s unusual scoring system may look a little unnecessary but Torquay United’s victory over the much-fancied Torbay team in Paignton was just as emphatic whichever way you counted the shots.
Two lots of two-wood singles, worth two points each, and the three disciplines of pairs, triples, and fours worth four points each made up each mixed team’s ambition for the day. And the first shock was not long in coming in the Men’s Two-wood.
Rob Honeywell for Torbay, one of the club’s top men and an accomplished singles player, suddenly found himself trailing 6-14 on 15 ends against Torquay’s Bryan Coad who would probably describe himself as just an ordinary club bowler.
But not surprisingly to those watching, Honeywell eased his way back into the game to lead it 20-19 twelve ends later. Yet it was surprising when Coad took the last two ends with singles to win the game 21-20 after thirty gruelling ends.
Surely Torbay’s Sue Bywaters, who is undoubtedly the home team’s top lady player, would redress the balance against the always determined Sue Pook.
It did not look that way on 16 ends when Pook led for the third time in the opening ends by six shots at 13-7.
Once again though the more fancied player gradually eroded the visitor’s lead to trail 12-13 on 19 ends before storming to the front by 18-16 on 25 ends.
But there we must leave this cliff-hanger for the moment because the remaining matches were also ending at this crucial juncture.
The Torbay four of Pat Phillips, Liz Lock, Mark Powell and Gary Foster were first off the green with an emphatic 27-13 win over Harry Aspinall’s Torquay rink. Nevertheless, the 3-1 finish for Torquay over the last two ends was to prove important later.
Next off the green was Charlotte Aspinall and Ryan Whitlock for Torquay who had demolished the husband and wife pairing of Sue and Gerry Coffield by 26-9. It seemed that the match would now depend on the close encounter between Kate Asher, Chris Ball and Alan Bowden for the home side and the visiting Torquay triple of Barbara Bellamy Geoff Bellamy and Will Stevens who then contrived to drop a five on their penultimate end to square their game at 17-17. All this, just as the marker was getting out the measure on the thirtieth end of two-wood encounter with the score at 20-20.
Sue Pook won that measure for Torquay and it took the pressure off the Torquay triple in the last game still on the green. It meant that the Alan Bowden triple now had to win their game to square the points at 8-8 to invoke a shot countback result. When a quick calculation revealed that they needed seven shots to do that, Bowden conceded the last end giving Torquay their shock 12-4 win on points.
Torquay now take on Exonia in the next round after they defeated Isca on shot countback by 101-74 Either Moonfleet or Ilminster follow that after Ilminster beat Taunton Deane 96-78 and Moonfleet beat Dorchester 10-6.