BOWLS: Alfie champion again in Thornfield’s Under 13s singles tournament

Winner Alfie Knight (Rugby Thornfield) with organiser and  Junior Section manager Darren Wheeler
Winner Alfie Knight (Rugby Thornfield) with organiser and Junior Section manager Darren Wheeler

Still places to enter next month’s competition for Under 16s

Twenty-two youngsters descended upon Rugby Thornfield Indoors Bowls Club to take part in the second running of their Open U13s Singles Tournament, writes Alan Jackson.

Young players at the Under 13s tournament at Thornfield Indoor Bowling Club

Young players at the Under 13s tournament at Thornfield Indoor Bowling Club

Split into six groups of three and one group of four, each player played two games with the group winners progressing to the quarter finals along with the best second place player. Games consisted of seven ends with just one scored on the first end. Winners gain ten points and a draw is worth five.

The players in Group 1 each won one and lost one so was decided on shot difference, Alfie Knight finished top with +7, Rhianna Russell second with +3 and William Higham third with -10, all with 10 points. Group 2 was a lot clearer, Owen Aspinall won both his games to finish first, Ailish Sheehan was second with 10 points while Haydn Chambers lost both games to finish third. Group 3 was equally easy, Jacob Mills first with 20 points, Tyler King second with 10 points and Jaimee Simpson third with 0 points.

Oliver Sloan won Group 4 with two victories, Connor Povey scored 10 points with Aneira Rowlands 0 points. Groups 5 and 6 followed the same pattern with Ellie-Marie Hamblett first, Josh Toon second and Daisy Povey third in Group 5. Isabelle Pymm won Group 6, Sam Ormiston second and Grace Wade third. Group 7 had four players, Samuel Brugnoli won both his games to finish top, Seren Rowlands and Erin Boyd-Hope both finished with 10 points, Seren taking second place with a +3 shot difference compared to Erin’s -1, Edward Higham completed the group with 0 points.

The wildcard spot had to be decided by shots for as both Connor Povey and Ailish Sheehan had a shot difference of +5, Connor scored 15 shots while Ailish scored 17, so Ailish Sheehan joined group winners Alfie Knight, Owen Aspinall, Jacob Mills, Oliver Sloan, Ellie-Marie Hamblett, Isabelle Pymm and Samuel Brugnoli in the quarter finals.

Runner-up Samuel Brugnoli (Huntingdon Indoor) with organiser, Thornfield's Junior Section manager Darren Wheeler

Runner-up Samuel Brugnoli (Huntingdon Indoor) with organiser, Thornfield's Junior Section manager Darren Wheeler

An early treble and double gave Alfie Knight the advantage over Ellie-Marie Hamblett, Ellie-Marie cut the deficit to three heading into the final end to stand an outside chance of either winning or forcing a tie breaker but Alfie took the final end to win 7-3. Owen Aspinall and Jacob Mills exchanged singles in the first two ends before Owen rattled off three singles to lead by three with two ends to play, Jacob cut the deficit to one in the penultimate end before scoring another two to snatch a 5-4 victory.

The match between Oliver Sloan and Ailish Sheehan saw Oliver leading 4-2 after five ends, Oliver scored a treble to put the tie out of the reach of Ailish, final score 8-2. Samuel Brugnoli also led 4-2 in his quarter final against Isabelle Pymm but with four ends played. He scored a four to leave Isabelle needing two maximums to force a tie break, she could only pick up one on the penultimate end and dropped two on the last end to give Samuel a 10-3 win.

Thornfield colleagues Alfie Knight and Jacob Mills were level after four ends but a couple of maximums helped the defending champion to book his place in the final with a 13-3 scoreline. The other semi-final went down to the last end, Gedling’s Oliver Sloan trailed Samuel Brugnoli (Huntingdon) by three after four ends, Oliver scored a double to cut the deficit to one but Samuel replied with a double of his own to again lead by three with one end to go. Despite his best efforts Oliver Sloan couldn’t book a place in the final, to make the 2018 final a rerun of the 2017 final, picking up a two to give Samuel a 6-5 win.

The tournament had already produced some excellent bowling and tense games, the final more than lived up to what had gone before. With four ends played Alfie Knight held a slender one shot lead over Samuel Brugnoli, Alfie took the next two ends to lead by three going into the final end. Alfie held his nerve to win the last end with another single but the final scoreline, 6-2 to Knight doesn’t reflect how close each end really was. The win meant that Thornfield’s Alfie Knight won the tournament for the second year and a row and is hoping to make it a hat-trick in 2019.

For more information on next year’s U13s Tournament or the U16s Tournament to be held at Thornfield on February 24, where there are a few places still available contact event organiser Darren Wheeler on 0788 550 9499 or daz.wheeler2010@hotmail.co.uk