BOWLS: Thrilling finals weekend at Thornfield

Men's singles champion Doug Pitcher, with Thornfield chairman David Murley
Men's singles champion Doug Pitcher, with Thornfield chairman David Murley
0
Have your say

Champions of indoor competitions decided

Bowls by Alan Jackson

Ladies' singles champion Maureen Edwards with Thornfield chairman David Murley

Ladies' singles champion Maureen Edwards with Thornfield chairman David Murley

Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowls Club held their club competition finals weekend, with two days packed with fine bowling and plenty of tense drama.

Nothing could separate Jane Redfern and Maureen Edwards in the Ladies’ Championship early on. But four twos in a row saw Edwards build up an 18-7 lead. Redfern hit back to cut the lead by four but a brace of doubles took Edwards over the winning line to secure the Championship.

In the Men’s Championship Doug Pitcher took the opening end but Oliver Fowler hit nine unanswered shots to lead 9-2. Pitcher brought that back to 9-7 but again Fowler went on a run, reaching 17-7. Pitcher again cut the deficit down but a treble saw Fowler reach 20 shots, one away from becoming the clubs youngest male champion. A double and single saw the gap close to 20-14, the next end saw both players close enough for a measure, the marker couldn’t decide so called on an additional opinion. Pitcher took the shot by the narrowest of margins, the score now 20-15. Pitcher took a single on the next end but the following end again came down to a measure, again it went to Pitcher, a double on the next end saw the scores reach 20-19 both players now on the point of victory. With his final wood Pitcher sprang the jack to the edge of the bank, holding three shots but a good yard of room for Fowler’s final wood. Playing an incredibly high pressure shot Fowler put a bit too much weight on his bowl and it dropped into the ditch giving Pitcher a 21-20 win in an absolute thriller of a contest.

The Men’s and Ladies’ Two Wood Singles had nearly identical scores all the way throughout. For the Ladies Bev Bale led Maureen Edwards 9-4 after ten ends, while in the Men’s final it was Darren Ward ahead 9-4 at ten over Doug Pitcher.

Men's Two Woods winner Darren Ward with Thornfield chairman David Murley

Men's Two Woods winner Darren Ward with Thornfield chairman David Murley

Back in the Ladies’ final Edwards closed the gap by two to trail 8-11 on 15 ends. But for the men Ward opened up his lead to eight shots before being pulled back to 12-8 with six ends to play. Both games lasted just three more ends, Bev Bale scoring four unanswered shots to be crowned Ladies’ Two Wood champion with a 15-8 scoreline. Three singles was enough to give the Men’s title to Darren Ward, also with a 15-8 scoreline.

Despite hitting consecutive fours Mandy & Pat Dahlgren trailed Sandy Boulton & Pat Bax 14-8 after eight ends in the Ladies Pairs. The Dahlgren’s hit back with a treble but immediately dropped a four. After exchanging singles Bax & Boulton went on a run scoring three singles, a double and four to lead 29-12.

Although they took a treble on the next end the Dahlgren’s shook hands, giving Boulton & Bax a 29-15 win. A fifth end five gave Howard Wilkins & Matt Lever the early lead over Tom Ward & Chris Chapman and they continued to slowly build their lead. With four ends to go Lever and co led 21-11. Three doubles saw Chapman going into the final end trailing by four shots but Wilkins & Lever held them to three to win the Mens Pairs title 21-20.

The Ladies’ Triples final was a very one-sided affair with Jane Redfern, Pat Bax & Jamie Lea Winch hitting nine in the opening two ends. While Carol Ryan, Mary Duckett & Rose Furness responded with a single and four, Winch & co went on a scoring spree. Furness & co shook hands with the score on 28-6 to Winch’s trio.

Ladies' Two Woods winner Bev Bale with Thornfield chairman David Murley

Ladies' Two Woods winner Bev Bale with Thornfield chairman David Murley

Over in the Mens final Dave Furness, Dave Sands & Chris Chapman quickly opened up a 6-0 lead. John Cole, Bob Henderson & Garry Wilkinson replied with a double only for Chapman & co to hit 12 in five ends. The game lasted another four ends as Chapman’s trio secured a 20-5 win.

The Ladies’ Fours between Jan Barnett, Abi Ward, Yvonne Bromfield & Maureen Edwards and Mandy Dahlgren, Julia Scott, Bev Bale & Pat Dahlgren started off as a very tight affair. Five ends in and Edwards rink held a one shot advantage, a trio of threes took Dahlgren into the lead but parity was reached two ends later. With eight ends left to play Dahlgren’s four held a one shot advantage, the dynamics of the game then took a big twist, two fives in three ends saw Dahlgren and co charge clear. With two ends left to play the Edwards rink shook hands to give Dahlgren & co the 25-13 victory. For the Men’s final John Furness, Brian Smith, Bob Henderson & Howard Wilkins took an early 4-2 lead over Trevor Wells, Nigel Carter, Calvin Wells & Craig Carter but could not pull clear. With six ends left to go the sides were locked on nine all, the Carter rink took the lead for the first time but lost it straight away as Wilkins & co ran up seven shots with only one in response to take the crown 16-11.

The Open Singles pitted Oliver Fowler and Dave Furness against each other. Early on things were tight but Furness put on a spurt to open up a 10-3 lead. Fowler pulled it back to 12-8 but Furness finished off the game with a double, treble and four to secure the Open Singles title 21-8. Jamie Lea Winch & Tom Millership made the early running in the Open Pairs, winning the first four ends with a single. Brian & Matt Lever replied with six in three ends. With 12 ends played the Lever’s led 8-7 and opened that up to 13-7 with five ends remaining. A four followed by a double brought an early end to the contest with Brian & Matt Lever winning 19-9.

In the Under 25s Singles Oliver Fowler hit the ground running to open up a 15-3 lead over Craig Carter. Carter hit back with a trio of singles, a double and treble to reduce the lead to 15-11 but Fowler responded with a single and treble to move within two of victory, which he took on the next end. Final score 21-11. Alfie Knight & Liam Pearcey got off to a good start in their Under 25s Pairs final against Tom Wheeler & Jordan Ward, reaching six ends 13-0 up.

Under 25s Pairs champions Liam Pearcey and Alfie Knight, with Thornfield chairman David Murley and Darren Ward

Under 25s Pairs champions Liam Pearcey and Alfie Knight, with Thornfield chairman David Murley and Darren Ward

They held that margin seven ends later, the score now 18-5. An 18th-end six for Knight & Pearcey broke the remaining resistance of Wheeler & Ward though they did finish off with a four but it was Knight & Pearcey who were the victors 31-11. The Under 25s Novices final is played in two sets of nine ends with a tie break set if needed.

In the first set Tom Wheeler took the first two ends by one shot but Alfie Knight reached the fourth end level on two all.

Wheeler again took the lead but Knight replied with a double and brace of singles to lead 6-4 with one end left. Wheeler took that end but was agonisingly short of securing the extra shot he needed to tie the set, Knight winning 6-5. The second set was equally tight, the scores level 3-3 after five ends. Knight took a single then a four to lead by five with two ends left.

Wheeler took three on the eighth end to again head into the final end trailing by two but this time knowing a draw would not do. Unfortunately Wheeler could not get the three needed to take the game to a tie break but did draw the set 8-8. Alfie Knight took the Novice title 1.5 sets to 0.5.

The Mixed Pairs final saw father go against son as Brian Lever teamed up with Pat Dahlgren while Bev Bale joined Matt Lever. Bale & co took the first blood with a five on the first end, only to see Dahlgren score a four and brace of twos to lead 8-5. Bale’s pair doubled their tally to retake the lead but after eight ends it was Dahlgren & co that held the 12-10 advantage. Bale & Lever then scored on seven consecutive ends, including a five and two trebles. The game lasted another three ends as Bev Bale & Matt Lever finished 28-13 winners.

In the Family Pairs father and son, Nigel & Craig Carter, took on daughter and father, Bev Bale & Dave Sands. The Carters got off to the better start, 5-1 up after four ends but the game was all square after nine ends. The Carters again started building a lead but Bale & Sands kept close. With the score 14-10 in favour of the Carters a five was enough to ensure they took the title.

Under 25s singles champion Oliver Fowler with Thornfield chairman David Murley and Darren Ward

Under 25s singles champion Oliver Fowler with Thornfield chairman David Murley and Darren Ward

Brian Smith scored a double in all but one of the opening six ends to take a 10-1 lead over Pat Bax in the Over 60s Singles. Bax cut the deficit to five shots only for Smith to reply with six shots of his own. Despite her best efforts Bax couldn’t close the gap, Smith taking the title with a 21-12 scoreline.

Team Manager Darren Ward has had three development teams playing in a round robin league all season. The winning team played a team made up of the other two teams in a double rink format. Glen Knight, Phil Blundell, Bob Page & Ron Davies (Team A1) would be playing Bill Brown, Cormac Sheenan, Tom Duggins & Colin Knapp (Team B1). Alfie Knight, Tom Buxton, Brian Rogers & Barry Davies (Team A2) played Ewan Mason, Tom Wheeler, Andy Fowler & Colin Hall (Team B2). Team B made the early running in both rinks, after three ends B1 led 3-1 and B2 6-0 but Team A used the first power end (score that end doubled) to their advantage making the scores A1 3-3 and A2 10-6. After seven ends Team A had increased their leads to 10-4 and 12-8, again they both won on the power end to lead 16-4 and 14-8. B1 got back into the game with five shots but again lost the next power end to trail 9-18 after twelve. A2 however kept on scoring, reaching fifteen ends 26-10 up. By end fifteen A1 led 22-10. Team B won both of the power ends to make the scores 22-12 and 26-22 to Team A. Heading into the final end A1 led 23-18 and A2 30-24 giving Team A an overall score of 53-42. Team B2 took their final end with a single which was doubled to leave Team B nine shots down overall. Five shots, which would be doubled to ten, for B1 would give Team B the win but they could only manage four to give them a 26-23 win. Team A win with a combined 53-52 score.