Sport can be very cruel at times, with small margins being the difference between success and failure. Warwickshire's opening Middleton Cup fixture against Cornwall was such an occasion, the Bears winning three rinks and drawing another but losing 112-114, picking up seven points.
A good start for Warwickshire saw them leading overall by 13 after then ends, which was cut to nine with fifteen ends played on all rinks. Andy Prickett (Welford), Darren Ward (Rugby), Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (both Erdington Court) were four down heading into the final six ends, neither side could make inroads as they cancelled themselves out to leave the end score 18-15 to Cornwall. Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Gary Langford (Solihull Municipal), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) started the final six up by two, with two ends left the lead had doubled, a treble for Smith and co was countered with a Cornwall double, final score 19-14 to the Bears.
Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) held a seven shot lead on fifteen ends but Cornwall reduced that to two in the sixteenth end. Jacox’s rink added a single and double before Cornwall cut the deficit to just a shot with two ends to play. The Bears took the twentieth end with a single but Cornwall levelled the score on the final end, 22 all final score. Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Rob Maries (Avenue Leamington), Tom Millership (Rugby) and Dave Fallon (Nuneaton) were down 11-16 at the start of the run-in and failed to pick up any more shots despite playing well, Cornwall just finding something every end to win 27-11 in a rink where the score didn’t really reflect how well the Bears played.
Matt Wells (Rugby), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Dan Box (Little Compton) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) were five down after seventeen ends put pulled level with a five. Cornwall took the next two ends with singles leaving Wells and co two down heading into the final end. Knowing every shot was important Wells’ rink dug deep but it took Calvin Wells’ final wood to get the extra shot needed to clinch a terrific comeback and seal the 19-18 victory. Jordan Ward, Brian Boardman (Rugby), Steve Smith (Nuneaton) and Martin Timms (Welford) were the last to finish, leading thirteen at the top of the run in, Cornwall cut that to six with three to play. Timms and co took a single then a double around the same time Wells completed his comeback. With one end left in the whole game the match situation was Cornwall ahead by four, the final end was played with all eyes watching, the Bears took it but could only claim a double to give Timms and co a 26-15 victory.