Melmore and Evans lead Devon into semis
Devon, with 22-year-old Commonwealth Games champion Natalie Melmore in top form, defeated Surrey by a 134-105 margin in the quarter-finals of the women's national inter-county bowls championship at Warminster at the weekend.
Honiton's Sue Evans returned Devon's most impressive card – a 29-11 dismissal of a rink skipped by Surrey's new England international Pat Bourne. Melmore, who steered her rink to a 27-10 win over Maggie Smith, was not far behind; City Bus star Sharon Parnell beat another former England international, Pam Garden, 23-18, and Kingsbridge Park's Tina Thomas tied 16-16 with Debbie Souter.
The losing Devon rinks, skipped by Nikki Payne and Liz Smerdon, kept their losing margins to a respectable five and six shots respectively.
Although thrilled to reach the semis, Devon are unaware of exactly who stands between them and a place in the final. An administrative blunder means that the Bowls England Year Book states that Devon will face Cambridgeshire, but the national body's website insists it will be Somerset, who excelled in beating Nottinghamshire 142-101.
The men of Devon and Cornwall's crunch encounter at Exonia, with a Middleton Cup quarter-final place at stake, was washed out for a second time when rain saturated the green on Saturday morning.
Weather permitting, they will now meet next Saturday, but the quarter final with Oxfordshire, scheduled for July 21, will have to be postponed.