Devon men failed in their bid to win a fourth successive Bowls England Middleton Cup inter-county team title writes Tony Atkins.

But Harry Goodwin can hold his head high after the talented former Kingsbridge Community College all-rounder was unbeaten on finals day at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

Reigning champions Devon beat semi-final opponents Buckingham­shire 145-94 in the morning session before losing out in the afternoon, after the extra-end rule in the winner-takes-all-clash with Leicestershire.

In normal play, the match had ended in stalemate 119-119 after Jamie Chestney’s rink of Tom Davies, James Hampton and Stuart Evans conceded four shots on the last end of his game with Alistair Hollis. This resulted in an extra end across the board and, disappointingly for Commonwealth Games medallist Chestney, his rink carried on where they left off in dropping five shots. It was a massive blow and Leicestershire, 9-1 up after the extra end, lifted the trophy for the first time in 54 years.

At Leamington, Harry Goodwin played ahead of Ollie Lucas, Colin Woodc­ock and behind skip Griff Sanders in the semi-final defeat Trevor Room (Bucks) 30-11 and, in the final, they beat Shane Hayes 20-19 and then won the extra-end against Hayes 1-0.

On the day, Sanders and Goodwin could have done no more – they were both terrific.

The men’s and ladies England championships continue for another week.