EBA BOWLS: Drove clinch Group B crown at first attempt

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EBA Section Four (Spalding area) Club Championship: WHAPLODE Drove are celebrating a first-ever title in the EBA Section Four Club Championship after clinching the Group B crown.

Having only joined the league this season, Drove have enjoyed instant success, with an 8-2 triumph over nearest rivals Billingborough a fitting way to wrap things up.

Two of the rinks went their way, led by a big 22-8 return from E Moore, M Parkin, J Redden and J Ivatt. The other successful set were T Parkin, M Gavaghan, P Beeken and R Harris (18-3).

The eight-point haul moves Whaplode an unassailable 12 points clear with just one game left to play – and also demoted Boro to third place, in what was their final outing of the campaign.

That has opened the door for Bourne Town and Deepings to snare second place, with the former in the box seat after a maximum 10-0 triumph over Spalding Town B.

In a dominant display, two of the three rinks won with ease to move the Bourne side ten points clear of Deepings having played a game more.

Top scoring for the victors were T Brooks, P Tory, A Farmer and M Northern (25-8).

Deepings also managed to bag ten points from their home tussle with lowly Royal Mail Cart B to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Their success was inspired by R Lynch, S Stone, A Windsor and B Hodges, who racked up 29 shots on their own.

Meanwhile, Gosberton are certain to finish in the bottom two of Group A following a 8-2 reverse at Moulton Harrox.

A massive 32-13 return from red-hot quartet N Pentney, J Stanley, A Richardson and skip M Dennis was the highlight for Harrox, who ensured themselves top tier bowls for another season.

Castle look likely to finish in the bottom two as well, but they gave themselves a lifeline by seeing off third-from-bottom Consti 8-2.

In a nip and tuck affair, a narrow 22-21 win from D Marriott, T Mackie, P Banks and G West proved critical.

At the top, champions Carter’s Park registered a 14th victory from 15 games by edging out Ayscoughfee 6-4.

Having only won on one rink, a 16-2 rink return from P Saltor, C Hammond, D Hibbins and A Dunham saw the Holbeach side pinch the aggregate spoils – and indeed the match – 51-50.

In Triples A, Goodfellowship remain on-course for the title after a timely whitewash win sent them 22 points clear with three games to play.

Fosdyke’s finest blew Long Sutton away 10-0 to secure a 13th win from 15 games, with top trio J Reader, A Everitt and J Moore top scoring 24-11.

Second-placed Carter’s Park A are refusing to throw in the towel, though. They knocked off struggling Bourne Town 10-0 to keep their feint hopes alive.

All three rinks were impressive for the Holbeach side, but a 30-14 victory from R West, J Pateman and L Allen stole the show.

The Triples B title is pretty much done and dusted though. Long-term leaders Billingborough bounced back from last week’s wobble to register a 9-1 success over Holbeach USC A, going 28 points clear in the process.

A 28-18 win from red-hot trio S Hall, S Greenhough and S Long was the highlight.

Only Castle’s A and B teams can potentially catch Boro, but they’ll need to win two games in hand apiece and hope the leaders lose one of their last pair of games.