With all Bowls England competitions cancelled in 2020 Warwickshire’s defence of the Balcomb Trophy they won in 2019 was put on hold. The first test would be a tricky away game against Herefordshire, it was the home team that took advantage of home knowledge to knock the holders out 41-32.
The Bears were represented by Mark Smith, Adam Smith (both Avenue Leamington), Matt Wells and Calvin Wells (both Nuneaton); Andy Prickett, Martin Timms (both Welford), Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (both Erdington Court). Ireland’s rink got off to a shaky start, trailing 7-1 after five ends. Wells and co however edged the opening five ends to lead by one. By the midway stage Ireland and co had recovered and now led by a shot but Wells’ rink trailed by four. A thirteenth end five took Ireland five clear, while Wells chalked up a treble on the fourteenth end to trail by six, the overall deficit now just one shot.
With four ends to play Wells trailed by four and Ireland led by two, the next three ends put the game almost out of reach for the Bears, Ireland now three down with the deficit on Wells’ rink increased to ten. Both rinks won the last end with doubles, Wells finishing 15-23 and Ireland 17-18, overall the Bears lost 32-41.