BOWLS: RBA champions crowned

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Finals day at The Grange

The RBA summer outdoor bowls season has ended with quite a few new names to be added to the annual trophies that were contested on finals day at the Grange Bowling Club.

The day started with the final of the Britannia Plate Ladies Pairs at 10.15 am, earlier than usual as the two ladies representing Rugby BC were in a singles and pairs finals in the afternoon.

A valiant effort was made by the mother and daughter pair, Kim Tubb & Gemma Jones representing Oakfield BC, but they could not hold Pat Bax & Jean Hagues from going on to win the match by 21 shots to 15 shots.

There were five finals played at the same time in the afternoon, so after a short break for lunch, Jean Hagues contested the final of the Ladies singles with Rugby Rail’s Vanessa Brazier.

A very close contest ensued and although Jean went ahead by 9 shots early on, Vanessa brought her score back to 20-19 on the 25th end. As the match is the first bowler to gain 21 shots, it was now a contest of nerves and composure as well as good bowling and on the last end Jean gained those two shots required to take the title 21-20.

The Dick Avery men’s singles was also fiercely contested between Fred Bastock of Thornfield BC and Phil Bale of Grange BC.

Fred started well, picking up five shots to nil in the first four ends until Phil regained his way and by the 17th end he was five shots clear. Fred got to grips and at the 26th end the score was in his favour, 20-19.

Unfortunately for Fred, Phil proved too good and picked up the two shots required on the last end and became champion, 21-20.

The Ralph Robins singles match was the third to be played for and this too became a game not for the faint hearted. Oakfield’s Peter Winn won this final in 2014, so it was now up to brother, Martin to try to defeat Lee Maughan from the Grange BC.

At the outset, Martin took a five-shot lead but not for long as Lee battled back to lead 12-10 at the 10th end, but that was the only time Lee was leading due to Martin picking up 8 on the next three ends. The winning line came for Martin at the 19th end when he achieved his goal of 21 shots to Lee’s 18.

The Tony Dean Memorial Trophy is a mixed pairs competition over 21 ends of bowling. Last year’s winners, Wendy Baxter & Dave Commons representing Rugby Rail, were in action again competing against Pat Bax & Nigel Hewitson from Rugby BC.

Although the end result does not reflect the effort put in by both pairs, it was a win for Pat & Nigel 22-12.

The men’s pairs Coronation Cup is also played over 21 ends and this battle was between Keith Mason & Darren Ward, Rugby BC and Brian Beere & Stuart Miles, Grange BC. Again from the start, Brian & Stuart took an eight-shot lead after four ends but were slowly clawed back to 14 shots each at end 16. With some good bowling to follow, it only took Keith & Darren another four ends to gain enough shots to put them out of reach, so as Brian & Stuart would not be able to acquire nine shots on the last end, the final result was a win to Keith & Darren 23-14.

If you were not at the Grange Bowling Club to see the Rugby Bowling Association finals you missed a good day’s bowling. If you are interested in taking up bowls there are plenty of clubs who would be willing to see you and put you in touch with the right people.