Bowls: England give chase to runaway Wales

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Wales could only pick up one point from yesterday morning's women's matches, but still held a four-point lead in the European Indoor Team Championship in Jersey.

Their solitary point came in the triples, in which Val Howell, Ann Dainton and Rita Jones had to settle for an 11-11 draw with Scotland's Kate Adams, Jeanette Conlan and Joyce Lindores. The Welsh trio led 10-3 after nine ends, but the Scots rallied and forced their share of the spoils with a final-end single.

In the pairs, Wales' Cynthia Morgan and Julie Davies lost for the first time - 20-15 to Ireland's Muriel Wilkinson and Margaret Johnston. Wales led 7-2 after six ends, but then failed to score on any of the next eight ends with Ireland going 13-7 up on their way to victory.

England closed the gap on Wales in second place when their pairs team, Jayne Roylance and Mary Price, beat Scotland's Sarah Gourlay and Jan Woodley 28-14 thanks largely to two counts of six.

England failed to make up even more ground on the Welsh when Edna Bessell's triples side lost 17-13 to the Jersey side skipped by Jean Lowery. The home trio trailed 12-10 with just three ends to play but counts of four and three gave them victory.

There was no such mistake by the men as England claimed wins in the opening singles and fours. The World indoor champion, Andy Thomson, set the ball rolling when he beat former United Kingdom champion, Stephen Rees, in four sets.

England moved in touch of Wales when David Holt, Greg Harlow, Gary Smith and Tony Allcock took the fours points, leading from the opening end to beat Robert Weale's Welsh rink 18-14.

Scotland stayed in third place when they picked up a maximum three points from Graham Robertson's 7-4 7-3 7-6 win over Guernsey's John Quirepel.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 28