BOWLS: Finals weekend at Thornfield

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Exciting matches decide club titles

Spectators at Thornfield Indoor Bowls Club’s finals weekend were treated to a good display of bowls across both days.

In a game that looked like it would be tit for tat all the way through, Howard Wilkins led Craig Carter 11-8 in the Men’s Championship but Howard Wilkins then took command and fired off a series of shots to clinch the title 21-10.

The Ladies Championship started off tightly until a run of winning ends saw Jane Redfern take a 17-10 lead, end by end Jean Barnet chipped away at the deficit to reach parity before Redfern again took charge and took the honours 21-17.

Oliver Fowler & Liam Pearcey took on Howard Wilkins & Chris Chapman in the Men’s Pairs. By the tenth end the Chapman duo had built up an 11-3 lead but they were left reeling as Pearcey and Fowler hit two fours and a triple to edge in front. From there the young pair kept their opponents at arms length to win 22-16.

A fifth end five helped Elaine Taylor & Maureen Edwards take an early lead over Mary Entwistle & Yvonne Bromfield in the Ladies Pairs. A valiant fightback saw Bromfield & Entwistle close within one shot with seven ends left to play but again Taylor & Edwards rebuilt their lead to clinch a 20-14 win.

The Men’s Triples saw Dave Furness, Dave Sands & Chris Chapman card a couple of fives against John Barnett, Graham Howes & Liam Pearcey while also picking up singles and doubles at will. The teams shook hands on 16 ends giving Chapman and co the title with a 26-12 victory.

While the Ladies Triples didn’t have the big bangs of the Men’s, they more than made up for it in a thrilling encounter. Jamie Lea Winch, Jane Redfern & Pat Bax opened up a 12-4 lead after eight ends over Abbie Ward, Lesley Hartopp & Jean Hagues. With thirteen ends played their lead was 15-9 and all was looking good, the Hagues trio had other plans though as they won four out of the remaining five ends to finish the game level on 16 each. The extra end proved a bridge too far as Bax and co picked up a pair to seal a dramatic game.

A first end six proved to be the deciding factor for Lloyd Bale, Graham Howes, Dave Sands & Chris Chapman in their Men’s Fours final with Bob Henderson, John Furness, Brian Smith & Howard Wilkins. For the remaining 20 ends the sides exchanged shots, the closest the Wilkins rink got to their opponents was one shot but Chapman and co always replied in kind, final score 20-15 to Chapman’s rink.

Abbie Ward, Lesley Hartopp, Yvonne Bromfield & Maureen Edwards got off to a flying start to reach the midway point of their Ladies’ Fours encounter with Julia Scott, Mandy Dahlgren, Bev Bale & Pat Dahlgren 14-5 up. While the Dahlgren rink had a mini fightback to cut the deficit to five shots it was Edwards and co who finished strong to seize the title 22-13.

Darren Ward took on Bob Henderson in the Men’s Two Woods final. It was Ward that hit the ground running, reaching the sixth end with a 7-1 advantage. From there it was tit for tat until Henderson conceded the game on 19 ends with the score 15-8 to Ward. The Ladies’ Two Woods proved to be a much more thrilling encounter as Abbie Ward and Pat Bax exchanged shots end after end, neither able to build a lead. It was fitting that in such a tight encounter the game would go down to an extra end and it was Abbie Ward who claimed the end and the title.

The Under 25s Singles saw up and coming Oliver Fowler pitched against the more established Jamie Lea Winch. Little could separate the pair in the early stages, Fowler reaching nine ends with a 9-7 advantage. However four singles and a double by Winch saw her open up a 13-9 lead. After exchanging doubles Winch still held a four shot advantage but could only watch as Fowler reeled off two doubles, a four and a triple to win the Under 25s Singles 21-15.

Tom Wheeler & Jamie Lea Winch found themselves trailing 7-11 at the midway point of their Under 25s Pairs encounter with Abbie Ward & Liam Pearcey. Five ends later, however, and the tie was all square on 13 all. Going into the last end Ward & Pearcey held a five-shot advantage. Left with needing a big end Wheeler and Winch could only score two to end on the wrong side of a 15-18 scoreline.

The Under 25s Novices is played as two sets of nine ends, with a tie break set of three ends if needed. Abbie Ward looked like she would claim the first set, leading 7-3 over Euwan Mason with two ends to play but a single and treble saw Mason draw the first set. Mason took early command in the second set, 7-0 up after three ends, Ward staged a comeback but Evan held her off to secure the second set 10-5 and the title 1.5 sets to 0.5 sets.

After eleven ends Pat Bax held a one shot advantage over Andy Redfern in the Over 60s Singles. Six ends out and Bax still held the slender lead but Redfern hit six in three ends to turn the match in his favour, claiming the title with a 19-15 win.

The Over 60s Pairs also got off to a tight start with Carol Ryan & Ron Boulton holding a 9-8 lead over Bill Simpson & Pat Bax after nine ends. Four singles and three doubles saw Bax & Simpson race away into a clear lead, Boulton & Ryan finished strongly but fell two shots shy, final score 20-18 to Simpson & Bax.

Nothing could separate Matt Lever and Dave Furness in the early stages of the Open Singles, the pair reaching 12 ends with Lever holding a one shot advantage. Lever hit two singles to treble his lead but the last seven ends belonged to Furness as he fired off a single, four doubles and signed off with a four on his way to a 22-14 victory.

The Open Pairs was a very one-sided affair, Jamie Lea Winch & Tom Millership easily beating Jean Barnett & Trevor Wells 23-4.

A couple of threes helped Jamie Lea Winch & Chris Chapman take a halfway 10-7 lead against Jean Barnett & Trevor Wells in the Mixed Pairs. Four more doubles and a four were enough to secure the 22-11 victory for Winch & Chapman.

The Family Pairs pitted Nigel & Craig Carter against Brian & Matt Lever, with the Carters holding a slight advantage after 12 ends. A five and a two saw the Levers take a six shot lead which they held on to to win 24-18.

In the Mr & Mrs Pairs Jeanne & Dave Sands were two strong for Lloyd & Bev Bale, the Sands’ securing a 22-6 win.

On Saturday (April 26) Thornfield will be hosting the England Under 18s trials, with youngsters from all over the country meeting to try to impress the England selectors, start time 1pm. Spectators are more than welcome. On Sunday (April 27) Thornfield is again playing host, this time to the Wessex Cup finals, again spectators very welcome.