Tolchard's stand-out rink helps Torquay past Ex men
STAND-OUT displays on several rinks helped Torquay United IBC squeeze past rivals Exonia in the first round of the Denny Cup on Saturday.
A remarkable 30-9 victory by Sam Tolchard's away rink was the highlight of the 77-64 win.
Tolchard's win – playing alongside Bob Condon, Craig Down and Ryan Whitlock – was made even more impressive by the fact that England star Ian Bond was the opposing skip.
But there was also a fine win at home for the Torquay rink of Lloyd Roberts, Mark Evans, John Evans and Danny Denison, as they beat Kevin Phillips 20-9 at Plainmoor.
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John Evans said the two winning rinks made up for defeats suffered by the away rink of Jamie Chestney and the home rink of Griff Sanders.
"There were two outstanding performances," he said.
"For Sam Tolchard to beat Ian Bond on his own rink is quite something, but it was almost matched by our rink down here.
"It was very pleasing – they were a tough opponent and had their best side out for a long time. The first game is always the tricky one.
"It was a fine team performance."
Chestney is expected to be ruled out of the next several rounds of the competition due to other commitments including travelling to Australia for the World Championships next month.
Current U25 international Aaron Southgate is expected to take Chestney's place in the squad, with Louis Ridout stepping up as skip on the second away rink.
Torquay now face Madeira in the next round on Saturday, November 3. The winners will play Mid Devon or South Hams in the area final a fortnight later.
Evans also said the surprise 15-25 defeat suffered by Griff Sanders' home rink was likely down to ring rust, as it was their first competitive outing of the new season.
He added: "We didn't expect to lose at home, but it was their first game of the season so we won't make any changes for the next game apart from the one enforced change.
"I think we have got a path through to the later rounds now.
"Obviously we've got to beat the local sides, but Saturday was probably the toughest game we will play until much later."
Meanwhile, Torquay United's mixed squad also swept past South Hams in the Egham Trophy on Sunday.
Wins on all four rinks helped Torquay ease into the next round, where they will play Isca.
Results – Denny Cup v Exonia (Torquay skips first): Danny Denison 20 Kevin Phillips 9; Griff Sanders 15 Simon Stevens 25; Jamie Chestney 12 Rob Paxton 21; Sam Tolchard 30 Ian Bond 9.
Egham Trophy v South Hams: Craig Down 17 R Kerswell 14; John Evans 21 Barry Geldard 15; Mark Evans 29 R Welham 13; Griff Sanders 24 J Fowler 17.