CHAMPIONS Bournemouth ensured their first dip into Section Two proved brief as they secured an immediate return to the top tier.

This was the first season in Bournemouth’s 110-year history where they had found themselves outside of Section One.

However, they will be back in the big time next term after securing the Section Two title in style with a 12-2 (100-61) victory at Southbourne.

Gerry Potts’s combo of Les Cousins, John Barclay and Barry James (30-14) shared the plaudits with Jim Dustan, Phil Snell, Vic Druce and Alan Wilson (26-10). Three shots on the last end earned Southbourne’s Jack Mann a 20-20 tie.

New Milton blew their championship chances when, despite three winning rinks, they went down 8-6 (80-79) at West Moors. David Bird, Steve Riddington, Mike Tappenden and Chas Wake (28-13) were the Moors’ match-winners.

The Swans enjoyed the puddles on the Magic Carpet and inflicted an 11-3 (75-62) defeat on hosts Braeside. Swanmore’s Terry Tuck, Mike Pearson, Geoff Simmonds and Barrie Coates (24-13) revelled in the rain.

Branksome Park and Boscombe Cliff both collected valuable safety points with the Squirrels coming off better as they defeated the Cliff 10-4 (70-68).

Highcliffe were relegated to Section Three following their 11-3 defeat in the basement battle at Lymington. Ken Carter, Ian Brown, Bill Merrett and Vernon Cox (20-9) featured in the Lymos’ 80-72 victory.

  • In Section One, dominant Boscombe Cliff all but sealed their title with a 12-2 home win over top-flight first-timers Fordingbridge. Turks skip Nigel Hart (17-14) denied the Cliff all 14 points. The top return in the Cliff’s 79-61 winning total was registered by Tony Geary, Derek Ridyard, Alex Findlay and Alan Geary (28-14).

Southbourne’s title aspirations all but disappeared at Knyveton Gardens where the hosts ran out 87-71 winners. Brian Jones (22-17) salvaged two points for Southbourne by collecting six shots on the 20th end. Reg Davis, Mark Grimes, Lloyd Hemming and David Swindells (24-14) gave the Gardeners’ best return.

Poole Park closed in on Southbourne following their 81-61 win at Ringwood. With rinks shared, Chris Kane’s quartet (29-9) ensured the Dolphins of 10 points.

Home successes by the two basement teams Alexandra Park and Wimborne put pressure on Ringwood Fordingbridge and Broadstone-Wessex.

Alex were inspired to an 82-72 win over the Broadstone club by Vern Singleton, Bob Turnbull, Dave Hodgkiss and Derek Ames (28-14). Mike Stapleton made it three winning rinks with a last-end 19-17 victory, while Harry Hinton (28-11) fought a lone battle for the Wessex men.

Wimborne collected 10 points from their 79-77 triumph over Poole Park A, thanks in part to losing skip Chris Nappin (22-15) who picked up five shots on the last end. The Minster Men’s top return came from John Sweet, Doug Smith, David and Craig Shepherd who rounded up a 29-15 win.

  • The top three teams in Section Three all suffered defeats.

Knyveton Gardens came off the best after losing 8-6 in a rain-shortened match at windswept Milford-on-Sea.

With one rink tied 20-20 and host skips Tim Capron (13-10) and Derek Newell (10-6) all checked in, the Seasiders were holding the upper hand.

However, Gardeners’ John Blair (16-9) picked up three shots on the last end to square the match 52-52.

Iford Bridge remained second despite their 10-4 (68-62) defeat at Swanage.

Iford’s winning skips Colin Blakey (25-12) and Ian Underwood (23-6) were covered by even more impressive returns from the Purbeck men, the best of which was 26-7 from Graham Smooker, Bernard Chalk, Steve Leaton and Terry Buck.

Pelhams had a great opportunity to close the gap but lost 10-4 (80-76) to visitors Electric. The Sparkies were lit up by a great display from John Butchers, Michael Fay, Barrie Blake and Ray Cooke (30-17).

Argyll showed signs of their early-season form with a comprehensive 12-2 (85-67) home win over Branksome Park.

George Murdoch, Dave Cleave, Dave Charles and Franco Tinelli (27-11) starred for the Cliff Dwellers.

Braeside are now only two points clear of the bottom two following their 73-71 defeat at Kings Park.

In a tight match, the 22-16 return by the Royals quartet of Mike Hughes, Peter Saunders, Gerry Hardy and Steve Hack proved crucial in the final tally. Alan Watts (17-12) topped Braeside’s two winning rinks.

  • Section Four leaders Richmond Park crashed to a 14-0 (83-56) defeat at Broadstone-Wessex.

Once again, it was the Wessex combo of John Hall, John Bentall, Mike Sabine and Gordon Tompsett (24-13) who led the way.

Moordown went top following their four-rink victory at Knyveton Gardens. Bill Humphrey, Brian Lolley, Frank Shepherd and Gary Menday (32-11) were the main contributors to Moordown’s 107-62 winning total.

New Milton dropped out of the promotion frame when losing 70-64 to Wimborne. The Minster’s two successful rinks were headed by Eddie Day, Barry Smith, Lee Tilson and Roy Campbell (21-12).

Poole Park moved into third spot after their 12-2 (101-76) home win over lowly Redhill Park.

Relegated Highcliffe suffered more woe at the hands of Christchurch when going down on all four rinks. The Priorites won 90.5-59 after Richard Thomas, Joe Spicer and Ron Woodcock checked in with a 22.5-10 win.

  • Section Five frontrunners West Moors cruised to a 73-54 victory at Redhill Park. The Rangers clocked up two winning rinks but the 10 points went home with the Moors thanks mainly to Frank Partridge, John March, Ray Brinsden and Mike Riggs (25-9).

Argyll retained second place after also taking 10 points from their 83-73 success at Branksome Park.

Ringwood remained third after registering their fifth win on the trot when overcoming hosts Southbourne 77-65.

Lymington coasted to a 12-2 (90-72) win at Iford Bridge, while Ferndown made it five wins for the top half when defeating Boscombe Cliff 80-61.

  • In Section Six, Poole Park took the title in style by overwhelming lowly Southbourne 13-1 (104-60) – and also look favourites to top the Ton-up League.

Ferndown stayed second, just one point ahead of Bournemouth, after sharing rinks at Richmond Park but coming away with an 86-65.

At Meyrick, Bournemouth demolished visitors Milford 121-42, while another big win came at Swanmore where the promotion outsiders claimed a 13-1 (87-57) win over Pelhams.

Elsewhere, West Moors look set to finish in the top half following their 80-61 victory against Moordown.