Last season Leicestershire inflicted a 22-0 on the Bears, Warwickshire travelled to Leicester BC looking to put one over on the reigning Middleton Cup holders. An exceptional performance saw the bear stun Leicestershire, winning five out of six rinks with a 148-90 scoreline, securing 20 of the available 22 points.
Lee Rowland (Avenue Leamington), Rob Robinson (Erdington Court), Matt Wells and Tom Millership (both Rugby) made a blistering start, reaching twelve ends 25-2 up. Leicestershire took four shots but Millership and co replied with nine of their own, the hosts scored two singles on the last two ends, final score 34-8 to the Bears. Andy Prickett (Norgren), Darren Ward (Rugby), Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (both Erdington Court) trailed by one after four ends but scored eighteen unanswered shots to lead 21-4 after twelve. With five ends to go the Bears had increased their lead to 23. The sides exchanged four shots and the Foxes took a last end four but it didn’t stop Ireland’s rink winning 32-13.
Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Stewart Smith (Nuneaton), Neil Hancock and Dan Box (both Little Compton) led by one after five ends and doubled that advantage by the halfway stage. With five ends left Box and co had increased that lead further, now six shots. Leicestershire cut the deficit to four with two ends left but the Bears finished strong, taking a brace of doubles to seal a 21-13 win. Adam Smith (Avenue Leamington), Gary Langford (Solihull Municipal), Keith Wooding and Colin Jacox (both Avenue Coventry) were level after six ends and also after fifteen. A pair of fours followed by a single and treble took the Bears twelve clear, Leicestershire finished with a five, Jacox’s rink 24-19 winners.
Jordan Ward, Brian Boardman (both Rugby), Steve Smith (Nuneaton) and Martin Timms (Welford) trailed by one after six ends but turned it around to lead by three at the midway point. With sixteen ends played the lead was still three but Leicestershire scored two singles and a four to lead by three. Timms and co took a double to trail by one heading into the final end and completed their comeback with another double, final score 19-18. Andy Manning, Dave Fallon (both Nuneaton), Martin Heitzman (Avenue Leamington) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) scored a five on the sixth end to take the lead. With twelve ends gone the Foxes had turned the game around to lead by five. Wells’ rink reached parity with three ends to go, the Foxes took two singles leaving the Bears two down with one end to go. Warwickshire fought back but could only take a single, the hosts winning 19-18.