SOUTH Devon bowlers had a disappointing end to their first week at the Bowls England National Championships in Worthing, when they were defeated in their Balcomb Trophy semi-final by Hampshire, writes Felix Carpenter.
A rink skipped by Shaldon's James Webber drew the first match 16-16.
In the second rink, a Devon side fielding four England internationals, skipped by Torbay's own Jamie Chestney (Kings), lost 28-18, giving Hampshire a convincing 44-34 win in the match.
Hampshire went on to victory in the final against Essex.
Devon are hoping for greater success in the Middleton Cup, which wraps up the championships this Saturday.
Devon romped to the Balcomb Trophy final stages in style defeating Wiltshire 23-10 in the regional qualifiers.
Team manager Dave Tucker believed Devon could 'go on and win it' after such performances, and there was cautious optimism that glory would be achieved.
Devon have not won the Balcomb Trophy since it changed format from a single rink contest six years ago.
Shaldon's Steve Davies and Ryan Whitlock enjoyed early success cruising through their preliminary round match against Lancashire 22-15, in the pairs.
Sam Tolchard skipped a triple from Kings to the quarter-finals where they lost 17-8 margin to Berkshire.
Greater success was seen in the fours, where Chestney also skipped an all-Kings team through to the semi-finals, where they lost out narrowly to Cornwall 19-17.
DEFENDING champions Sophie Tolchard, Lorraine Hackett, Phil Hackett and Sam Tolchard from Kings in Torquay are due to meet Cambridgeshire's Ellen Falkner, Jayne Christie, Chris Falkner and Nick Brett today (Thursday) in the final of the 2013 Bowls England National Mixed Fours competition
In yesterday's morning's semi-finals at Beach House Park, Worthing, the Devon four beat Martin Law, Gill Costin, Donna Law and Malcolm Stark from Essex 18-15, whilst the Brett rink defeated Sussex's Helen Jones, Denise Latter, Martin Heitzman and David Hubbard 24-7.
To reach the last four the Devon team beat Hampshire 21-18 in the last 16 and Oxfordshire 25-13 in the quarter-finals.
SHALDON'S Lee Haywood made an early exit from the Men's National Two-Wood singles in Worthing.
Haywood overcame Alan Hutchison of Bishops Stortford 17-6 in the preliminary round to set up a first-round date with Mark Sykes of Banbury Borough. Sykes went through 15-12.
Louis Ridout, who plays indoors for Torquay United during the winter season, went through to round three.
TORQUAY Ladies' fairytale season is set to continue a little longer as they are through to the semi-finals of the Grace Matthews Top Club competition.
Torquay travelled to Tiverton West End where they defeated United Services Barnstaple in the last eight.
The tone was set early on with a superb performance from Val Davis that resulted in an 18-8 victory over Lynn Davies in the two-wood singles.
This was backed up by Liz Lock who powered her way to a 21-9 victory over Jean Beer in the four-wood singles.
The result of the match looked a formality as Jean Isherwood, leading for Beryl Leach in the pairs, maintained the high level of bowling on a rain-affected green. The game was eventually conceded with Torquay 29-8 ahead.
The four of June Skennerton, Rose Kenneford, Doreen Jordain and skip Sarah Vinnicombe also achieved a comfortable 25-12 victory after being 10-8 down at halfway with the only disappointment being the 10-25 defeat of Jean Murphy, June Wiggington and Eunice Griffin who never recovered from dropping a six on the first end.
This means a semi-final, and hopefully final date at Madeira on Sunday, September 1.
There is also a mouth-watering clash with England star Rob Paxton for Jean Murphy, Liz Lock and her husband Tim as they defeated the Madeira triple of Annette Flockhart, Terry Reardon and Cliff Skinner in the quarter-final of the county mixed triples.