Having already completed their E Division schedule, Branksome Park could only sit and hope that results went their way.

Unfortunately for the Squirrels, their nearest rivals New Milton and Argyll I both collected enough points to take the promotion places.

New Milton secured the title in style with a resounding 58-14.75 home win over Broadstone-Wessex. In ruthless mood, Margaret Hine, Beryl Midgley, Heather Coupar and Trish Elsden accumulated a 33-8 winning tally. Doris Gething’s crew won 25-6.75 to give New Milton maximum points.

Elsewhere, Argyll I were a little fortunate. They lost 4-2 to visitors Moordown but a superior shot difference saw them overhaul Branksome Park. Argyll skip Norma Ritchens (20-15) gathered the precious points for the hosts. Sheila Nelson, Carol Wheeler, Barbara Read and Pat Masters (22-13) secured the overall win for Moordown.

A second full house of the day for Redhill Park saw them edge to a narrow 34-29 win at Wimborne. Val Goodwin (14-13) combined with Margaret Colborne, Shirley Stevens, Hazel Rawlings and Mary Pearce (20-16) to give Redhill a top-half finish.

Argyll II conceded their match and six points to West Moors.

  • Depleted A Division champions Swanmore shrugged off the absence of key players to finish the season in style with a double-rink victory over nearest rivals Poole Park.

In the driving seat were rookie Rita Durette, Rosie Beales, Jennie Osborne and Jean Philip (17-14), while Viv Mansell’s cygnets (20-19) hung on to give the Swans maximum points.

Last year’s title winners Southbourne seized the opportunity to claim the runners-up spot with a 44-31 success over relegated New Milton. Southbourne gained the necessary points courtesy of Suzanne Ager, Lyn Mann, Liz Messer and Sue Dadson (25-10), who covered New Milton’s victorious skip Sheila Nicoll (21-19).

There was a big sigh of relief at West Moors. They escaped the drop on shot difference by overcoming visitors Braeside 45-23. Val Baxter, Val Burton, Maureen Burfield and Judith Simmons (28-10) were the inspiration behind the Moors’ Great Escape. Survival was sealed after Judith Miles’s squad (17-13) had secured a clean sweep.

But there was huge disappointment at Highcliffe who, despite their 4-2 win over Broadstone-Wessex, were relegated alongside New Milton. They were denied the necessary six points by Broadstone skip Ros Valentine who registered a last-end 20-19 win. Previously, Kathy Smith, Pat Jolley, Jane Seal and Janet Emerson (23-19) had raised Highcliffe’s hopes.

Pelhams returned home from their mid-table rubber at Richmond Park with four points thanks to a 19-16 return by Sandy Cox, Wendy Watton, Molly Lindsay and Val Charig. Jill Bryant (15-14) salvaged two points for the hosts.

  • In B Division, the top-two clash at Redhill resulted in the section champions taking all six points to jeopardise Ferndown’s chances of promotion. Jennie Cooper, Margaret Pittwood, Bobbie Saunders and Jean Dixon (25-13) put the Rangers in control. Pat Horgan then picked up four shots to win 20-19, which added to Ferndown’s fears.

Those fears were confirmed when Moordown secured back-to-back promotions following their 6-0 triumph at Kings Park. The visitors were always in charge after Barbara Roles, Jenny Hurrell, Mary Wilde and Pat Martin had checked in with a massive 34-6 win. Cathy France (23-16.5) ensured Moordown of all six points.

Milford-on-Sea claimed a top-half finish after completing a double-rink victory over relegated Fordingbridge. The Seasiders’ combo of Judy Spooner, Christina Newell, Carole Tearle and Chris Capron (19-15) just edged top honours from Diana Goodyear (24-21).

The remaining two fixtures also ended in maximum points for both Brockenhurst and Wimborne. The Brocks eased to a 42-30 home win over Broadstone-Wessex, thanks largely to Janet Lake, Janet Blizzard, Pam Lawford and Dorothy Bond (21-13).

In a tight match at Lymington, Wimborne took all six points. The 22-18 return by Margaret Longbone, Thelma Middleton, Maggie Wilkins and Pat Gallup proved crucial in the final countdown. Lorna Foreman (19-17) completed the Minster Maidens’ victory.

  • West Moors wrapped up the C Division title despite losing 4-2 at Iford Bridge. Renee Stanger carded a match-winning 27-19 return, which covered Moors’ successful skip Barbara Tite (22-17).

There was disappointment for Bournemouth who missed out on promotion after failing to clear the last hurdle at Verwood. Ann Ashcroft led her Belles to a 19-11 win, but this was eclipsed by the Verwood combination of Gill Farrance, Margaret Turner, Liz Lock and Sue Pearce (26-12).

But it was joy for Branksome Park who pipped Bournemouth for the runners-up spot with a six-point haul at Richmond Park. Carol Assal, Jen Cookson, Rosemary Staddon and Hilary Jenkins (25-16) just edged top honours ahead of Carol Williams’s rink (25-17).

Relegated Braeside went out with a bang by hammering visitors Southbourne on both rinks. Shirley Alford, Eryl King, Jean Andrews and Ann Seale (30-7) tied up the top honours by just edging Connie Phipps, Sheila Harris, Jeanette Hobby and Mary Southgate (36-14).

Pelhams finished in fourth place following their 6-0 win at Broadstone-Wessex. Maureen Barrett, Stella Feltham, Audrey Grinstead and Audrey Lewis (21-14) were the main contributors to Pelhams’ 42-26 victory.

  • Swanmore I emulated their top-flight colleagues by securing the D Division crown with a double-rink home victory over Braeside. Hazel Gabriel served the canapés by winning 24-10 before Carole Feetham, Linda Pocknell, Blanche Sheppard and Cathy Hayes provided the champagne following their 37-13 success.

Poole Park settled for the runners-up spot after their 43-38 triumph at Boscombe Cliff.

Joan Smith (20-19) saved two points for the hosts but a match-winning 24-18 return from Gill Brown, Fay Bowering, Joyce McIndoe and Doreen Tape secured four points for the Dolphins.

Highcliffe stayed clear of the drop zone with a 43-29 home win over New Milton. Brenda King, Diana Wansbury, Pat Stoveld and Thelma Richardson (23-13) combined with Trish Lever’s squad to make it a full house for the Castle Maidens.

Southbourne failed to climb out of the bottom two despite defeating visitors Swanmore II. Pearl Shepheard’s quartet (21-14) collected two points for the Swans, but fell short of Southbourne’s Sue Brown, Gwyn Baker, Ann Laird and Jan Pardy (27-14).