HEREFORDSHIRE achieved their best result for several years when they beat Somerset by 124-122 shots and 16 points to 6 in the latest round of the Middleton Cup.
Herefordshire held a 25-shot lead at half-way but slowly over the run in Somerset reduced the gap. With three ends to play the scores showed Herefordshire ahead by two shorts, so the finish was critical.
The rink of Rob Jaynes (Ledbury), Mark Herbert (Eastnor), John Wear (Hereford) skipped by David Magness (Hereford) completed their 20th end first and they dropped a single shot leaving Herefordshire one ahead.
The only other rink on the green was Glyn Williams (Ross-On-Wye), Peter West (Ledbury), Tom Churchill (Eastnor) and skip Martin Smith (Ross-On-Wye) who had to play their last end three times as the Somerset skip Louis Ridout killed the end twice.
The final wood, delivered by Ridout, just missed the head and left the rink three up, giving Herefordshire a four-shot advantage.
David Magness suffered a two shot loss on the last end but ensured Herefordshire of a well deserved win.
Top performing rink on the day was Steve Jones (Eastnor), Bob Loveridge (Ledbury), Paul Rainthorpe (Ross-On-Wye) and skip Phil Middleton (Ross-On-Wye), who picked up a six on the eight end to lead 14-4 and held on to win 29-18 despite a Somerset fightback.
The second best rink was the Martin Smith rink, after nine ends they were 3-13 down but recovered well over the next three ends picking up a six, two and four to bring themselves back in the game at 15-13 up. By the 16th end they were 16-18 down, over the remaining ends they picked to win 28-19.
Rob Jaynes (Ledbury), Mark Herbert (Eastnor), John Wear (Hereford) skipped by David Magness (Hereford) 16-22.
Glyn Williams (Ross-On-Wye), Peter West (Ledbury), Tom Churchill (Eastnor) and skip Martin Smith (Ross-On-Wye) 28-19
Steve Jones (Eastnor), Bob Loveridge (Ledbury), Paul Rainthorpe (Ross-On-Wye) and skip Phil Middleton (Ross-On-Wye) 29-18
Ivan Beesley (Ross-On-Wye), Jeremy Watkins (Ross-On-Wye), Ashley Edwards (Brimfield) and Rob Gwilliam (Ross-On-Wye) 16-25
Tom Holmes (Ledbury), Colin Walters (Bodenham), Dan Palmer (Ross-On-Wye) and skip Shaun Jones (Ross-On-Wye) 23-17
Dan Holmes (Ledbury), Phil Holland (Hereford), Mike Holmes (Ledbury) and Mike Ricketts (Ledbury) finished 11-21 down,
Herefordshire entertained Oxfordshire at Bulmers and were defeated by 125 shots to 113, with each team having three winning rinks.
Russ Jones was in excellent form and skipped the top home rink to a 20-14 success, with Clive Handscombe's rink having a fine 20-17 win while Dave
Holloway's rink had a very close game and won 19-17.
Don Pugh's rink had a high-scoring match, and after being down 26-15 at 16 ends fought back to win four of the remaining ends and were unfortunate to
finish 27-25 down.
The rink skipped by Mike Charles led 17-16 after 17 ends but were caught up by the visitors in the remaining ends and were beaten 21-19.
John Colley's rink incurred the highest defeat, losing 29-10.
Somerset Tourists visited Eastnor for a match against Herefordshire and won by 130 shots to 87, winning on four rinks.
The top home rink was skipped by Don Pugh, and scored a last-end four shots for an 18-14 victory after being level at 14-14 at the 20th end, and John Colley's rink had a very close match before winning 16-14.
Dave Holloway's rink lost by 23-15 in a very tight game, and the rink skipped by Russ Jones started badly and were down 16-5 after 10 ends before finishing
The rink skipped by Clive Handscombe had a close game before finishing down by 16-11, and the remaining rink went down by 31-11.