BOWLS: New champions on RBA finals day

Heather Mills and Brian Mace-Humphries won the Tony Dean Memorial Trophy
Heather Mills and Brian Mace-Humphries won the Tony Dean Memorial Trophy

Thrilling matches at the Grange

PICTURES BY CLAIRE OAKES

Britannia Plate ladies' pairs winners Maureen Edwards and Pat Bax with RBA President Peter Litchfield

Britannia Plate ladies' pairs winners Maureen Edwards and Pat Bax with RBA President Peter Litchfield

The 2017 RBA Competition Finals at the Grange Bowling Club started with a Sunday morning match as two bowlers had other matches later. Continuing in the afternoon and with some sunshine at times, the bowlers produced four thrilling finals observed by a gallery of family and friends as well as other bowlers from neighbouring clubs, writes Keith Oakes.

Heather Mills and Brian Mace-Humphries (Grange BC) contested the final of the ‘Tony Dean Memorial Trophy’ (4 wood 21 ends) against Abby Ward and Miles Wilcox (Rugby Club) in the morning. From the off, despite it being a bit chilly, Heather & Brian took 4 shots on the first end, Abby & Miles replied with 3 shots on the second end but then failed to score until the 7th end, by this time the Grange pairing had taken a 6, 3, and 2 singles to lead 15 shots to 4. With another 4 shots at the 8th and 18th ends making the score 30 shots to 12, Abby and Miles conceded the match, making Heather and Brian the ‘Tony Dean’ Mixed Pairs Champions after 18 ends.

The ‘Britannia Plate’ is a ladies’ pairs competition (4 woods, 21 ends), which brought together Carol Mace-Humphries & Heather Mills (Grange BC) playing Maureen Edwards & Pat Bax (Thornfield BC) A slow start with both pairs scoring just 1s & 2s gave Carol & Heather a small lead of 7 shots to 4 up and at 8 ends. With a little surge of 2s & 3s and a 4, Maureen & Pat had now taken a lead of 18 shots to 8 shots on the 15th end. Not to be out done, Carol & Heather came back to within 4 shots, but lost 5 on the remaining closing ends to go down 23 shots to 15 giving Maureen & Pat the Ladies’ Pairs Championship.

The Coronation Cup is better known as the men’s pairs competition (4 wood, 21 ends) and this year’s final saw the return of last year’s losing finalists, Craig Carter & Liam Pearcey (Rugby Club). Would their opponents from Oakfield BC, Howard Wilkins & Tony Mosteckyj who have also been finalists, stop them from being champions in 2017? Craig & Liam raced off to 6 shots to nil start after 3 ends, Howard & Tony kept their cool and gained a couple of 1s, a 4 & 5 to lead 11 shots to 9 at 8 ends, but unfortunately, they could not keep the Rugby Club pair from obtaining 18 shots to 3 shots in the next 10 ends and conceded the match at 18 ends to the new Men’s Pairs Championship, Craig & Liam.

Britannia Plate runners-up Heather Mills and Carol Mace-Humphries receive their trophy from RBA President Peter Litchfield

Britannia Plate runners-up Heather Mills and Carol Mace-Humphries receive their trophy from RBA President Peter Litchfield

The Dick Avery Trophy is a 4 wood men’s singles competition, first to attain 21 shots is the winner. Keith Mason (Rugby Club) and Andy Sturgess (Oakfield BC) took to the rink to do battle for the title, Andy having been a previous runner-up and hoping to go one better. Pretty even scoring at the start with Andy leading 5 shots to 4 at 5 ends, continuing to 10 & 15 ends with a 5 shot lead, 15 to 10, then picking up two 3s on the 16th & 17th, Andy took the championship title with the required 21 shots.

The Ralph Robins ‘Super Singles’ is also a men’s competition of 4 wood’s needing 21 shots to win. Brian Mace-Humphries took to the green for the second time having already won the mixed pairs, but singles are a lot different, and to stop Brian from a double win, his opponent was Peter Dymond (Thornfield BC). Peter flew off at the start with 13 shots to nil, until Brian took 1 shot at the 7th. Again, even scoring up to the 12th & 13th when Brian took two 3s, but Peter still out in front with 17 shots to 10 at 15 ends. Mainly scoring single shots from then on, Peter kept the pressure up and on the 20th end, Brian shook hands with the champion after the 21 shots had been achieved.

Due to Anita Wasson having sustained a leg/back injury during the week, she could not play in the Ladies’ Singles competition final against the 2016 finalist, Maureen Edwards. After careful and deliberate discussions, and this being finals day, it was decided to award the title of Ladies Pairs Champion to Maureen Edwards. Hopefully Anita will make a full recovery.

The team competitions won in 2017 were as follows: - Friendship Cup winners were Rugby Railway and runners-up were Thornfield. The Finch Cup was won by Rugby Club and runners-up were the Grange. The Len Taylor Triples trophy went to Thornfield with the Oakfield trio being runner-up.

Champion Andy Sturgess with the Dick Avery Trophy

Champion Andy Sturgess with the Dick Avery Trophy

Finally, thanks must go to the markers, Terry Fuller and Brian Sturgess, Umpire Nigel Hewitson for their attendance, the ground maintenance and rink setting out and club members who made the day at the Grange Bowling Club.

Keith Oakes

Ralph Robins singles winner Peter Dymond with RBA President Peter Litchfield

Ralph Robins singles winner Peter Dymond with RBA President Peter Litchfield

Ralph Robins singles runner-up Brian Mace-Humphries with Peter Litchfield, RBA President

Ralph Robins singles runner-up Brian Mace-Humphries with Peter Litchfield, RBA President

Coronation Cup Men's Pairs winners Craig Carter and Liam Pearcey with RBA President Peter Litchfield

Coronation Cup Men's Pairs winners Craig Carter and Liam Pearcey with RBA President Peter Litchfield