IF they did not expect to go through in such comfort, it was not because Wharton Cons don’t back themselves.

But the Winsford team, hoping to banish the memory of a painful defeat in last season’s Cheshire County Bowling Association Brunner Cup final, were convincing during a 225-171 triumph against Lloyd Hotel on Saturday.

It secures for them a place in next month’s quarter-finals.

They adjusted better to a tricky green at Congleton Cricket Club, one which suited their strengths, against opponents that have won this competition on six previous occasions.

Their hopes of adding to that tally were dented when they trailed by 19 chalks following the first four blocks thanks to wins for Daniel Nixon, Glynn Cookson and Nicola Boulton.

A crushing 21-1 triumph for Tom Vickers against Chris Alderson in the next head-to-head softened the blow of captain Mark Winnington losing to single figures in his meeting with Matt Sands.

Wharton did not let up and Martin Kettle fought had to overturn an early deficit to see off Dave Phillips.

It was a trick repeated by both Mark Cookson and Owen Cookson, the latter playing with impressive assurance in a 21-10 victory against Nathan Brown.

None of those three played in a heavy reverse against Tixall in the 2018 showpiece, and all appear to have strengthened the side this time around.

There may be sterner tests to come in a testing half of the draw but to dispatch a rival that included five players selected to play for Cheshire the following afternoon is a statement of intent.


Cheshire County Bowling Association

Brunner Cup

Saturday, June 1

At Congleton Cricket Club

Lloyd Hotel 171-225 Wharton Cons

Ryan Sandham 12-21 Daniel Nixon

Jamie Bramley 15-21 Glynn Cookson

Graham Law 21-14 Pete Illidge

Pete Smith 10-21 Nicola Boulton

Chris Alderson 1-21 Tom Vickers

Matt Sands 21-6 Mark Winnington

Dave Phillips 16-21 Martin Kettle

Billy Hibbert 14-21 Mark Cookson

Nathan Brown 10-21 Owen Cookson

Mike Geraghty 14-21 Simon Cookson

Ben Phillips 16-21 Gareth Evans

Lee Fletcher 21-16 Graham Donnelly