HAMPSHIRE are the double-rink kings of England after capturing the Balcomb Trophy with a runaway 52-34 triumph against Essex at Worthing.

Devon, led by internationals Jamie Chestney and Jamie Webber, were clear favourites to lift the title.

But in the morning semi-final, David Payne and Boscombe Cliff trio Kevin Downs, Michael Hutley and Chris Daniels inflicted a 28-18 defeat on Chestney as Hampshire went on to progress 44-34. On the other rink, John Leggett, Tony Nixon, John Biggs and Ringwood skip Peter Ward held Webber 16-16.

After 11 ends of the final, Hampshire trailed 24-23 but then produced a fine second-half display to outscore Essex 29-10 over the remaining ends.

Ward, who scored a first-end six but trailed 9-7 on five ends, spearheaded the Hampshire assault with a 29-17 success.

  • An inspired performance from skip Linda Johnson steered Richmond Park to victory in the Hampshire benevolent triples at Banister Park.

She combined with Monica Niemier and Trish Gray to triumph 14-10 against 2012 champions Atherley.

Richmond Park could also be in line for the national title, which is decided on total shots scored in the competition.

Southbourne – winners of the Thornbery Trophy last year – lost 56-29 to Atherley in the final.

New Milton won the Golden Girls’ pairs through Chris Cooke and Sheila Nicol, while Swanmore’s Julie Hudson and Vivienne Mansell were runners-up in the over-55 pairs.