HEREFORDSHIRE marched into the knockout stages of the English Short Mat Bowling Association's Inter County Competition on the back of six successive victories.

The county completed a clean sweep by achieving a satisfying league double over rivals and second-placed Gloucestershire at the Quedgeley Community Centre.

Gloucestershire held a three-shot advantage at the end of the morning session, but in the afternoon's play the 20-strong Herefordshire team, under the captaincy of Larruperz's Les Phillips, pulled away to secure a 21-15 triumph.

Meanwhile, Larruperz have opened up an eight-point advantage over second-placed Fownhope at the half-way stage in Division 1 of the Herefordshire Short Mat Bowling League.

Reigning champions Wool-hope trail the leaders by 22 points but have games in hand, while last year's Division 2 winners Weston-under-Penyard are faring well in higher company.

Division 2 pacesetters Woolhope have a 15-point lead over second-placed Sellack, while newcomers Tarrington are third and still possess an unbeaten record.

Division 1: Larruperz played 9, points 64; Fownhope 8, 56; Ross A 9, 53; Lea 9, 47; Woolhope 6, 42; Weston 8, 32; Eskley 8, 29; Ross B 8, 19; Aston Ingham 5, 8.

Division 2: Woolhope 11, 76; Sellack 8, 61; Tarrington B 7, 58; Fownhope 9, 52; Madley 9, 46; Larruperz 9, 35; Bishopswood 9, 29; Lea 10, 27; Tarrington A 10, 26.