WARWICKSHIRE got their Middleton Cup campaign off to the perfect start with a 125-112 victory over Dorset at Westlecot BC, picking up 18 out of the 22 points available.
Andy Prickett (Norgren), Darren Ward (Rugby), Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (both Erdington Court) started well, leading by eight at the halfway stage.
A four on the 18th end saw Dorset cut the deficit to three, but Ireland and Co closed out the game with a treble and brace of singles to win 24-16.
Mark Smith (Avenue Leamington), Neil Hancock (Little Compton), Alan Apsey (Welford) and Dan Box (Little Compton) raced away, turning a seven-shot advantage after five ends into a 15-shot lead with six ends to play.
Dorset shut the Bears out for the remaining ends, but couldn’t deny Box’s rink a 25-19 victory.
Adam Smith, Rob Maries, Martin Heitzman and Andy Smith (all Avenue Leamington) had a slender lead midway through, but opened it up to six with five ends to play.
A brace of trebles levelled the tie for Dorset, but Smith and Co replied with a four and the sides exchanged doubles before the Bears prevailed 24-20.
Martyn Murley (Nuneaton), Brian Boardman, Matt Wells (both Rugby) and Martin Timms (Welford) had their eight-shot lead cut down to four with four ends left.
Both teams added a double and single for a final score 17-13 to Timms’ rink.
Andy Manning, Dave Fallon (both Nuneaton), Colin Jacox (Avenue Coventry) and Calvin Wells (Nuneaton) trailed by three at the midway point, but five ends later they led by two.
With three ends to play the scores were level.
Wells and Co scored a double to move ahead again, but Dorset replied with a treble to lead by one heading into the final end. A double for Dorset saw the Bears fall 21-18.
Jordan Ward (Rugby), Lee Rowland (Avenue Leamington), Keith Wooding (Avenue Coventry) and Tom Millership (Rugby) were all square with four ends left and took the lead the next end with a single. A five for Dorset completed the scoring at 23-17 to Dorset.