Round-up by Jenny Corn
Despite the threatened thunderstorms the Ladies’ County Finals at Blossomfield Bowling Club were played in the sunshine which encouraged the spectators to come along and enjoy two days of excellent bowling.
First on the green were the Fours – teams from Stratford – Liz Chedgzoy, Lynne Innes, Linda Linney and Debbie Bloxham; and their opponents from Lillington – Margaret Grosvenor, Pippa Mace, Jacqui Cook and Jenny Corn.
Whilst fairly evenly matched for the first few ends, 5 shots for Stratford on the 7th end appeared to put them in the driving seat but the 5 shots were soon pulled back and 4 shots on the 19th end gave Lillington the opportunity to draw level. However, the tables turned on the following end and Stratford were leading by 4 shots at the start of the final end and although Lillington managed to pull back three shots it wasn’t sufficient to win the game and they lost 20-21.
The Pairs from Avenue Leamington – Hannah and Lisa Smith; and their opponents from Kings Heath – Barbara Boscott and Kirsty Richards were 11 all on the 11th end but 5 shots on the 13th for the Avenue Leamington team put them in the driving seat and despite dropping 4 shots on the 15th end finished strongly to stay ahead 26-17.
The first of the Singles games was the Champion of Champions where Gill Maund (Sherwood Park) faced Di Medhurst (Stoke) in what was to be a game of two halves with Di storming ahead to lead 6-17 on the 12th end only to see Gill start to pull back but not enough to stop Di winning 21-15.
The Triples teams from Wolvey – Liz Crispin, Janet Greenwell and Trish Jarvis; and their opponents from Nuneaton – Jean Veart, Maxine Huxley and Joan Hall were under the cosh from the start 8-0 by the 4th end but the next 6 ends went to Nuneaton as they pulled back to level 8 all at 10 ends and continued fairly evenly until 6 shots on the 15th end put paid to Nuneaton’s chances as Wolvey went ahead to win 17-14.
The Unbadged Singles was contested by Vivienne Belt (Handsworth Wood) and Anita Cowdrill (Royal Leamington Spa).
It looked like a walkover for Anita as she was leading 11-3 at 11 ends, but that’s when the story changed and Vivienne started to come back eventually overtaking Anita to win a very close 21-19.
The 4 Wood Singles was contested by Kirsty Richards (Kings Heath) and Jenny Corn (Lillington) and they proved to be evenly matched 7 all on the 7th end but Jenny was then able to pull away and despite a spurt by Kirsty in the last quarter of the game Jenny managed to hold on to a 21-13 win.
The Benevolent Triples saw a 14-9 win for Maureen Tims (Whitnash), Di Thurlbeck (Lillington) and Pat Moore (Three Spires); against their opponents County President, Joy Cooke (Blossomfield), Margaret Grosvenor and Sue Hornsby (Lillington) in a close fought game.
Di Medhurst (Stoke) and Kirsty Richards (Kings Heath) were back on the green for the 2 Wood Singles and this time there was no doubt who was the most determined as Kirsty stormed to an 18-3 win.
The Mixed Pairs was contested between Hannah and Andy Smith (Avenue Leamington) and Gill Maund and Francis Fletcher (Sherwood Park) and proved to be an exciting game finishing with an Avenue win 23-16.
The second day of the finals saw the weather change from calm, sunny and hot to cooler and very windy but at least the rain held off until the very end.
The Junior Singles was contested by Kirsty Richards (Kings Heath) and Ellie Bonny (Norgren) who were fairly evenly matched to start but Kirsty’s experience soon showed and she was able to pull ahead to win 21-11.
The County Top Club Final with teams from Avenue Leamington and Welford was one of the most exciting and comprises 10 players in four disciplines – Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours.
The Singles contest was between Lynn Houghton (Avenue) and Moira Parsons (Welford) and was definitely a game of two halves with Lynn steaming ahead to lead 12-1 by the 9th end, but Moira was having none of it and pulled her way back to win 21-17 giving Welford a valuable one point lead.
Next to finish would be the Triples comprising Abbie Ward, Hannah and Lisa Smith (Avenue) against Wendy Hobbis, Anne Evans and Carole Simmons (Welford) who started well but weren’t able to retain the momentum leaving Avenue to take the honours 22-11, so one point to each team.
Next to finish would be the Pairs comprising Pat Harris and Yvonne Pick (Avenue) against Tracey Wheeler and Chris Rathbone (Welford) with the Welford team proving the stronger on the day to win 14-20, so 2-1 points to Avenue.
So it was all down to the Fours comprising Hazel Higgins, Fran Parker, Karen Rheams, Wendy Maries (Avenue) against Elaine Cooke, Wendy Holloway, Jan Hancock and Liz Westell (Welford) which led to an exciting finish right up to the last end with Welford needing 3 shots to draw the game and thus get the overall win.
In the end Avenue held on to win 19-18 making it a draw – 2 points all, and a win to Avenue by just 2 shots – 72-70.
Considerable thanks must go to County President, Joy Cooke, and her team of willing helpers who kept everyone well and truly fed and watered over the two days, no mean feat – many thanks to you all.