Victory for Valley as experience all telling
THE latest round of bowls' National Club Championship saw Cardiff extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table after a comfortable home win against Port Talbot yielded them 19 points.
Nearest rivals Islwyn picked up 16 points from their match at Rhondda, while Llanelli are well situated in third with a game in hand on the top two after they picked up maximum points from their 137-84 win against Radnorshire at the Selwyn Samuel Centre.
The game at Swansea's Beaufort Road Stadium went right down to the wire with Cynon Valley winning by a single shot.
The visitors started slightly the better team to lead by six shots after the opening quarter and at halfway they still held a narrow three shots lead before Swansea took command over the following five ends to lead by a dozen shots.
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But Cynon Valley's greater Premier League experience was vital in the closing stages as some of the Swansea skips made poor tactical decisions which ultimately cost them their unbeaten home record.
The Swansea quartet of Lewis Buse, Gavin Rees, Ken Vaughan and Alun Jones top scored with a 25-14 win against Phil Carpenter, although this score could have been far greater but for the heroics of the Cynon Valley skip.
The home side returned one other winning combination when Archie Phillips beat Ross Owen 22-14, although Phillips was found wanting on the final two ends firstly with two poor bowls on the penultimate end and then tactically on the last end when the overall scores were tied.
Cynon Valley secured three rink wins when Chris Keating, John Downey and Dai Prosser beat Jonathan Williams, Malcolm Bishop and Bryan Kingdon respectively, while the game between Billy Potter and Jamie Lewis finished all square to leave the points score 17-5 in favour of the visitors.
Pontardawe produced a great performance in their West Section match at home to last year's winners Earlswood.
The home side dominated from the start to pick up 19 points from their excellent 151-90 victory and have given themselves a real chance of bouncing back into the Premier League ahead of an important match at leaders Heatherton on Saturday.
The Pontardawe rink skipped by Simon Ace were in fine form as they top scored with a 45-7 win against Elved Beynon and the home side returned three further successes when Alun Jones, Richard Ace and Haydn Bowen defeated Lenny Davies, Keith Wilkins and Phil Jones respectively.
Earlswood returned one winning combination when Jason Matthews beat Ieuan Terry 16-13, while the game between Steve Allan and Emlyn Williams finished all square.
NATIONAL CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP PREMIER LEAGUE: Llanelli 137 (22) Radnorshire 84 (0), Rhondda 118 (6) Islwyn 132 (16), Swansea 112 (5) Cynon Valley 113 (17).
Positions: Cardiff P6 102pts, Islwyn P6 84pts, Llanelli P5 72pts, Port Talbot P5 57pts, Swansea P5 51pts, Rhondda P6 47pts, Cynon Valley P5 40pts, Radnorshire P6 31pts.
WEST SECTION: Pontardawe 151 (19), Earlswood 90 (3).
Positions: Heatherton P6 89pts, Pontardawe P5 82pts, Dinefwr P5 63pts, Pembrokeshire P6 59pts, Earlswood P4 42pts, Bro Myrddin P6 17pts.