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Kent need five points from their final Middleton Cup group match against Sussex next month to clinch a place in the quarter-finals. A 129-95 win over the Isle of Wight on a neutral green at Cranleigh in Surrey on Saturday leaves them top, 18 points ahead of Middlesex and 20 clear of Sussex ahead of their trip to Popes Mead Bowls Club in Horsham on Saturday, July 9. Kent arrived to find the green heavy, following flooding earlier in the week, but started well and gained an early lead which they never relinquished, adapting much better to the wet conditions than their opponents. Team manager Mick Collins was forced to make three changes from the team that beat Middlesex in the opening match, but all the reserves played well as Kent won five of the six rinks.
Ashford Rail’s Keith Smith has reached the quarter-finals of the County Unbadged singles. Smith beat P Philpott of Boughtonunder-Blean 21-19. Two Tenterden players,Ray Walker and Malcolm Nelmes, have advanced to the fourth round – Walker beating D Easton (Grove, Tunbridge Wells) 21-8, while Nelmes was a 22-3 winner against B Chalkin (Tonbridge). In club matches, Rail were successful on four out of six rinks for a 132-75 win in a mixed triples at Kearsney on Sunday. Tony Playford, Linda Greenhalgh and Gordon Samson were the best scorers, with a 30-8 rink victory. Skip Ian Payne, Ivor Groves and Clare Cunningham were Ashford Town’s leading rink performers in their 78-64 friendly home win against Charing on Sunday. Town won 115-101 in their East Kent Mixed Triples at Cliftonville the previous day. Ashford lost 136-86 at home to Birchington in the same competition. Town ladies were beaten 36-31 in their Shepway League match at Lyminge. Tenterden beat Northiam 68-60 in the Mermaid League on Sunday. Judith Pickford, Mark Pope and Ray Walker were the best winning rink (18-11). Andrea Crosser, Tub Dixon and Tony Masters triumphed 22-7 in the best rink score in a 66-51 friendly win against Biddenden. Tenterden had mixed fortunes in their latest Weald League matches, the A team claiming eight points in a 54-45 win over Bearsted C, but the B team finished pointless in a 54-31 home defeat by Hunton B. Hamstreet won three points in a 74-59 Mermaid League defeat – Denise Rossington, Len Scott and Robin Collick, the only winning rink. They also lost 77-54 in a friendly at Guestling with skip Dick Baldwin, Kathy Nicholl and Gwen Colley winning their rink 18-12.
Charing’s Barbara Rich watched by Ashford Town’s Elona Griggs in the Sunday’s mixed triples match
Left, Ashford Town’s Mike Goddard. Right Charing’s Paul Rich