COMPETITIVE County levels bowls matches will continue being played at Ilminster Bowling & Tennis Club after the club secured the contract until 2027.

The bowling club announced the deal at the weekend just gone.

It means that the partnership between Ilminster Bowls and Somerset Mens Performance Teams will continue until 2027 and the Middleton Cup & Balcomb Trophy will be played in Ilminster for that period.

A spokesperson from the club said: "Ilminster have been working hard with Somerset manager Dave Alder to offer the best possible package for the performance teams to play and enjoy the clubs facilities.

"The deal also includes an extension option taking this deal to 2030.

"This for the club is a special moment as the goal when the green was resurfaced in 2019 was to host the Somerset Middleton Cup & Bowls England regional finals."

This deal between Ilminster and Somerset creates a stable base for the long term success of Somerset and also provides ample opportunity for local bowls players to play at a higher level.

The new deal came off the back of Ilminster successfully hosting the group games of the Middleton Cup this season.

Ilminster hosted the final group game of the Middleton Cup with Somerset taking on Worcestershire at the weekend.

Somerset won 17-5 against top of the table Worcestershire, but unfortunately not doing enough to qualify.

The club said after the days play: "Thanks to all the players, officials, club members and staff for all the support this season.

"To Dave Alder, Pip Branfield, Reg Birmingham and all the hard work each year to keep trying to move the Somerset Middleton Cup team forward."

In other news at the club, young bowler Oli Collins recently trialled at the England Junior Trials Day.

If selected, he will go on to represent his country in the Under 18's team.

During a pep talk Nicola Bowe, junior international manager, gave the Under 18's a pep talk on the day.

She said: "You've been spotted, at some point on your journey, to potentially represent England."

Good luck to Oli during the selection process.

Finally, Ilminster took on Clevedon in the BE Two Fours Area Final last week away from home.

It was a close fought match that Clevedon ended up winning by two shots, which means they advance to the Zone Final.

Ever gracious in defeat, the club said: "Unfortunately not the final result we wanted last night at Clevedon in the double rink . Small margins in a close encounter with a good team losing by 2 shots.

"Best of luck to Clevedon in the zone final , carry the flag for Somerset."