The final match in the group stage of the Middleton Cup saw another long journey, this time to Victoria BC in Weston-super-Mare to take on Somerset. The Bears new they needed to win and win big to try and capitalise on any slip by Cornwall but as the temperature soared the Bears slumped to a 129-117 defeat, picking up just five points.
Andy Prickett (Welford), Darren Ward (Rugby), Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (both Erdington Court) raced to a 19-4 midway lead. With six ends to play the lead had risen to nineteen, where it stayed until the final ends when Ireland and co finished in style with a four to seal a 34-11 victory. Andy Manning (Nuneaton), Rob Maries (Avenue Leamington), Matt Wells (Rugby) and Alan Apsey (Welford) were 9-0 down after four ends but recovered to reach fifteen ends level on 13 all. Apsey’s rink opened up a six shot lead but had to settle for a four shot victory, final score 21-17.
Jordan Ward, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Steve Smith (Nuneaton) and Martin Timms (Welford) were level after five ends but moved five shots clear with four ends to play. Heading into the last end Timms and co still lead by five but the hosts stunned the Bears by taking five to level the rink 19-19. Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Steve Taylor (Avenue Coventry), Neil Hancock (Little Compton) and Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) struggled from the start, ten ends gone and they were thirteen down. The deficit drifted as high as seventeen but Jacox’ rink reduced it to eleven at the end, Somerset win 25-11.
Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Lee Maughan (Rugby), Gary Langford (Solihull Municipal) and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) also got off to a poor start, a nine shot deficit after ten ends became nineteen after fifteen ends. Smith and co knocked six of that to finish down 14-27. Karl Finch (Avenue Coventry), Mal Evans (Sherwood Park), Dan Box (Little Compton) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) trailed by six at the halfway stage. Somerset dominated the second half to win 30-15.
With Cornwall having a convincing victory in their final game, any chance the Bears had of moving to the regional stage faded, to add insult to injury Somerset leapfrogged Warwickshire to finish second in the group.