CHESHIRE, the reigning champions, are on course to defend their British Veterans’ County Championship title after qualifying for finals day.

They were unbeaten in three matches at Esclusham Bowling Club, in Wrexham, where they recorded wins against hosts Wales (158-138) and Greater Manchester (153-138).

A tie with Potteries and District (146-146) was not enough to prevent the most successful side in the competition’s history from progressing to the next stage.

They join North Lancs & Fylde, Yorkshire and Warwick & Worcester in the last four.

Bowlers from clubs in the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association played their part.

They include Graham Donnelly (Wharton Cons), Chris Koral (Frodsham Red Lion), Gerald Merry (Delamere), Phil Scott (Rudheath) and Mark Winnington (Hazel Pear).

Noel Burrows (Sale Excelsior), Haydn Carless (Heswall RBL) and Malcolm Sims (Poynton) completed the eight-man squad.

Wharton Cons member Peter Kelly will join the side as a player-manager on Thursday, August 4.