Swansea well beaten but remain above danger zone
A DEPLETED Swansea side were well beaten at Rhondda in their rearranged National Club Bowls Championship Premier League fixture.
But the four points they picked up give them a 53 points cushion over bottom of the table Radnorshire with just four games left to play.
The first of two sessions at the Rhondda Sports Centre saw the home side lead by 15 shots and after an excellent opening five ends in the second session Rhondda had increased their advantage to 32 shots.
It was a lead they comfortably held onto to win by 38 shots at the close.
The Swansea rink of Brian Fender battled gamely in the first session to beat Kevin Jones 15-12 and the other two rinks skipped by Billy Potter and Andrew Hopkins both produced a late flourish to reduce their deficits to four and 14 shots against Ceri Evans and Mark Thomas respectively.
The second session saw the Swansea quartet of Jake Phillips, Arnie James, Mark Watkins and Alan Watkins finish brightly to beat Chris Price 25-19, but there was no joy for Alun Jones and Archie Phillips as they were both well beaten by Alan Withers and Anthony Smith respectively.
Premier League standings: Cardiff 152pts, Islwyn 135, Llanelli 117, Port Talbot 114, Swansea 111, Cynon Valley 98, Rhondda 95, Radnor 58.
There was further disappointment for Swansea in the KO Cup as they went down by 20 shots against Islwyn, while Cynon Valley eased past Merthyr and last season's champions defeated Newport.
Premier League leaders Cardiff were awarded their quarter-final tie when Ogwr failed to raise a team.
Semi-final line-up: Islwyn v Cynon Valley, Cardiff v Rhondda.
Swansea's Over-60s team booked a mouthwatering semi-final clash against neighbouring Earlswood in the National Over-60s Team Championship after recording a convincing 38 shots win against Radnorshire at Cynon Valley IBC.
Swansea started well to lead by 11 shots after the opening quarter and they increased their lead to 13 shots at halfway before going on to win 94-56 at the close.
The Swansea quartet of John Packington, Arnie James, Clive Taylor and Denny James were in fine form as they top scored with a 27-14 win.
The other three rinks, skipped by Billy Potter, Archie Phillips and Alun Jones, all played well as Swansea comfortably booked their passage into the next round.
Earlswood had to dig deep before finally getting the better of Newport 87-76 at Swansea and they will now meet at Cynon Valley on Tuesday, March 5. The other semi-final sees holders Caerfilli take on Ffrith on the same date and at the same venue.