BOWLS: By Alan Jackson

Rugby's Alan Apsey receives the Two Wood trophy from Immediate Past President Gareth Willcock
Rugby's Alan Apsey receives the Two Wood trophy from Immediate Past President Gareth Willcock

Men’s county finals

County Under 25s Singles 2013

Tom Millership (Nuneaton) – 21

Liam Pearcey (Rugby) – 13

The Under 25s Singles matched Bowls England Junior International Tom Millership (Nuneaton) against Rugby’s Liam Pearcey. Both players were part of the Warwickshire White Rose team that reached the Semi Finals in 2011.

A fairly tight start saw the pair exchanging shots with Millership holding a slight advantage with a 5-3 score after five ends played. The tie seemed to be racing towards completion as a four, pair of threes, two and brace of singles saw Millership extend his lead to 19-3 but Pearcey hit back with a triple, pair of twos and three singles to bring the score closer on 19-13. Millership then hit the double he needed to win his first County Under 25s title. A title he will be unable to defend next season due to no longer being classed as an under 25.

County Two Wood Singles 2013

Alan Apsey (Rugby) – 16

Karl Finch (Avenue, Coventry) – 7

The second year of the new Two Woods Singles competition saw a clash of Middleton Cup colleagues as Alan Apsey (Rugby) took on Karl Finch (Avenue Coventry).

Apsey got off to a good start, picking up a couple of maximums on his way to a 6-1 lead after five ends. With nine ends played Finch had cut the deficit down as he trailed 4-7 but Apsey’s response was to fire off four twos and a single with only a solitary shot in reply to lead 16-5 with six ends to play. Finch won the next two ends by one shot and conceeded the game as he could no longer overtake the man from Rugby.

County Mixed Pairs 2013

Trish Jarvis & John Bale (Wolvey) – 25

Jamie-Lea Winch & Darren Ward (Rugby Thornfield) – 24

Probably the most thrilling match of the finals day saw Trish Jarvis & John Bale (Wolvey) and Bowls England Junior & Senior International Jamie-Lea Winch & Darren Ward (Rugby Thornfield) go down to a final end decider.

A three and a seven on the first two ends saw the Thornfield pair take an early lead but by nine ends the Wolvey duo had reduced the deficit to just two shots. A single, double and four saw Winch & Ward rebuild their impressive lead, which they increased to 23-13 with five ends to play. A treble, single and five from Jarvis & Bale pulled them back to within one shot but a twentieth end single for Thornfield saw Wolvey trailing by two with one end left. An excellent last wood by John Bale helped grab a treble for Wolvey as they snatched a 25-24 win.

County Pairs 2013

Karl Finch & Graham Ashby (Avenue Coventry) – 22

Dave Mobbs & Bruce Truman (Rugby) – 5

The Rugby duo of Dave Mobbs and Bruce Truman got off to a good start, 4-1 up after four ends had been played but Karl Finch and Graham Ashby (Avenue Coventry) hit a four, two twos and three singles on their way to a 12-4 advantage after ten ends. Rugby hit another single but when the Avenue pair fired off four twos and and a couple of singles the sides shook hands a Mobbs & Truman conceeded to give Finch and Ashby a 22-5 victory.

County Fours 2013

Andy Manning, Geoff Millership, Tom Millership & Trevor Manning (Nuneaton) – 22

Alan Onion, Rob Robinson, Richard Brittan & Mark Ireland (Erdington Court) – 14

A tight start saw Alan Onion, Rob Robinson, Richard Brittan and Mark Ireland (Erdington Court) hold a slender 5-4 lead over the Nuneaton foursome of Andy Manning, Geoff & Tom Millership and Trevor Manning after six ends. Nuneaton jumped ahead after scoring a single, double and four but Erdington replied with a treble and single to reach the midway point trailing 9-11. With six ends to play Nuneaton led 17-9 and an even finish saw them hold on to that advantage to win 22-14.

County Singles 2013

Graham Ashby (Avenue, Coventry) – 21

Steve Taylor (Avenue, Coventry) – 2

A cool rainy afternoon at Lillington BC might not be the grandest of settings for the making of history but that didn’t daunt Graham Ashby (Avenue Coventry) in his quest to become the first Warwickshire bowler to win the Championship five times, his opponent would be fellow Senior Squad and Club colleague Steve Taylor aiming for his first title.

Wih three ends played Ashby had a 4-1 advantage, he then reeled off a brace of threes, a two and three singles without reply to take his lead to 15-1. Taylor responded with a single but saw his hopes of a recovery shattered as Ashby his a four and two singles to seal a 21-2 victory and his place in history.

At the start of the day Graham Ashby was level with Dr Wardrop on four titles, his previous wins being in 1999 (when he was at Stoke BC), 2005 & 2009 (at Avenue Coventry) and 2010 (at Rugby).

County Unbadged Singles 2013

Nigel Moreton (Highway) – 21

Dan Jones (Avenue Coventry) – 15

This year’s Unbadged Singles saw a clash made in Coventry as Nigel Moreton (Highway) took on current Under 25s player Dan Jones (Avenue Coventry).

There was little to separate the pair as each time one took the lead the other pulled the score back to parity. Five all became ten all, which in turn became fourteen all. Moreton then opened up a gap as a pair of twos and a pair of singles took him to within two shots of the finish post. Jones replied with a single but the following end Moreton took the two shots he needed to win a very entertaining encounter.

Ivens Cup 2013

SF: Rugby Thornfield 14-13 Three Spires A

SF: Norgren B 16-18 Bournville A

3/4: Three Spires A 22-9 Norgren B

F: Rugby Thornfield 3-22 Bournville A

The Area Finalists gathered at Lillington BC for the semi final draw of the Ivens Cup. Rugby Thornfield would face Three Spires A while Norgren B and Bournville A would be the other semi final.

A tight start saw Three Spires hold a one shot advantage after six ends but Thornfield hit a four and five singles to take a 12-4 lead with six ends to play. Three Spires cut the deficit to two but Thornfield hit a double to lead by four going into the last end. Despite their best efforts Three Spires could only gain three shots as Rugby Thornfield booked their place in the final with a 14-13 win. Norgren hit a ninth end six to help them claim a midway 10-7 lead over Bournville but the side from Birmingham replied with seven shots in four ends to move ahead 14-11. With two ends to play Norgren had again taken the lead, holding a two shot advantage but Bournville cut the deficit in half and then sealed a final slot with a last end three to win 18-16.

The third/fourth place play off saw Norgren take an early 4-1 lead. Three Spires then hit fifteen unanswered shots to open up an eleventh end 16-4 advantage. Norgren added five shots of their own but then conceeded after Three Spires reeled off a single, double and treble to claim a 22-9 win.

The Ivens final proved to be a one sided contest as Bournville raced ahead to a 10-1 lead after six ends. Thornfield scored another shot but conceded five in reply. Although Rugby Thornfield increased their score once more it was the Bournville rink that sealed the cup with a four and three singles to gain a 22-3 victory.