By Alan Jackson
Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowls Clubs season came to an end with the culmination of the club competitions. Those people who came to watch during the finals weekend were treated to some truly fantastic matches, many with dramatic finishes.
Oliver Fowler made a good early start in the Men’s Two Woods but Howard Wilkins pulled it back to trail 5-4 with six ends played. Fowler then reeled off 12 unanswered shots before Wilkins added a brace to his tally. Oliver Fowler took the next end with a single to seal the victory. Carol Ryan hit the ground running to lead 8-0 after six ends in the Ladies’ Two Woods against Jane Redfern. With eleven ends played Ryan led 10-6 and five ends later the lead remained as four shots, 13-9. After nineteen ends the deficit had been cut to one, Ryan doubled that leaving Redfern needing two to force and extra end but she could only pick up a single, Carol Ryan won the Two Woods 14-13.
The four wood singles was a rematch of the two wood singles, Howard Wilkins facing Oliver Fowler. This time it was Wilkins who took the early lead, 10-3. Fowler then scored 8 on the bounce to take the lead. Wilkins again took control taking the score to 20-16. Fowler then scored a four to turn the game into a one end shoot out. Wilkins had the final wood and found himself a couple down, his wood trailed the jack and it looked like he had taken the shot, then his bowl fell down making it a measure. The crowd went quiet as the marker measured the shot before indicating that Oliver Fowler had taken it to secure the Championship.
Maureen Edwards became the latest person to try and wrestle the Ladies’ Championship out of Bev Bale’s hands but a bad start saw her trailing 12-2. Edwards fought back and eventually reached parity at 16 all. The players traded shots, the score now 19-19, Bale took a double to complete a hat-trick of Ladies’ Singles Championships.
Howard Wilkins and Gary Tubb reached ten ends leading 11-4 against Wayne & John Kilsby. Four ends later that lead had been extended to 17-6. The Kilsby’s then fought back, pulling the score back to 17-16. A couple of singles by Wilkins and Tubb left them three shots clear with one end left, despite their best efforts Wayne & John Kilsby could only pick up one, leaving Howard Wilkins and Gary Tubb Pairs winners by a score of 19-17.
Despite scoring a five on the first end Rose Furness and Jane Redfern were level on 10 all with Mandy and Pat Dahlgren after eight ends. The Dahlgren’s then took charge of the game, limiting their opponents to five more shots while gaining fifteen themselves, Mandy and Pat Dahlgren winning the Pairs 25-15.
Ewan Mason, Sam Troop and Darren Ward were level 3-3 with Oliver Fowler, Jordan Ward and Liam Pearcey after five ends. After 12 ends the sides were locked on 9 all and three ends later it was 12 all. With one end to play Darren Ward and co led by one and took the final end to win the Mens Triples 15-13. Carol Ryan, Jean Hagues and Janet Arkell took an early 7-0 lead but a fourth end six brought Molly Fowler, Bev Bale and Abbie Ward right back in the tie. They then took a 14-10 lead after eight ends but had to settle for parity after thirteen. Arkell and co then scored seven in four ends to leave Ward with a mountain to climb in the final ends. A 24-19 score gave Carol Ryan, Jean Hagues and Janet Arkell the Ladies’ Triples crown.
With eleven ends played Keith Mason, Andy Fowler, Craig Carter and Liam Pearcey held a 13-3 lead over Wayne Kilsby, Brian Lambert, John Barnett and John Kilsby. Kilsby and co cut the deficit to five but Pearcey’s fours extended the lead to 20-8 with three ends left. A single, double and treble helped cut the deficit but Keith Mason, Andy Fowler, Craig Carter and Liam Pearcey won the Men’s Fours 20-14.
Molly Fowler, Ailish Sheehan, Mary Duckett and Maureen Edwards led Sandy Boulton, Sue Dean, Jane Redfern and Pat Bax 5-4 after five ends but trailed by two shots with ten ends played. After fifteen ends Edwards and co had again led but with two ends to go Bax held a four shot lead. Edwards took a six on the twentieth end to turn the game on its head, leaving Bax needing two to take the game to an extra end but her side could only pick up one. Molly Fowler, Ailish Sheehan, Mary Duckett and Maureen Edwards winning the Fours 20-19.
An early four helped Nigel Hewitson take a 13-5 lead against Roy Scott in the Over 60s Singles. Scott reduced the deficit to three but Hewitson quickly doubled that. A three took Hewitson to within touching range of the title and the next end he got the shot he required to win the Over 60s Singles 21-12. Nigel Hewitson was also in action in the Over 60s Pairs, partnering Pat Schofield against Brian Smith and Carol Ryan. For twelve ends little could separate the teams with Schofield & Hewitson one up, a four on the next end opened up a bit of breathing room but by the eighteenth end the scores were level on 16 all. Ryan and Smith took a double but dropped a single in the penultimate end to lead by one. This game had one last twist as Pat Schofield and Nigel Hewitson snatched the game with a double, winning the Over 60s Pairs 19-18.
The Under 25s Novices is played over two sets of nine ends, with a three end tie breaker if needed. Cormac Sheehan made a great start, reaching six ends 9-0, William Higham then settled down taking a single and treble but a final end single gave Sheehan the first set 10-4. The second set started much tighter, after four ends the score was 4-4, a treble and double helped Higham win 9-5. The tie break consists of up to three ends where only winning the end is recorded, not how many you win by. Cormac Sheehan let his experience show as he calmly took the tie break by winning the first two ends, winning the Under 25s Novices by 2 sets to 1.
Despite winning three of the first four ends Abbie Ward found herself 11-3 down after seven ends against Ewan Mason in the Under 25s Singles. After another six ends of play Mason had raced away to 19-4, though Ward fought back to 19-12 before Ewan Mason took a couple of singles to win the Under 25s Singles. Little could separate Molly Fowler & Ewan Mason from Cormac Sheehan & Abbie Ward for the first nine ends of the Under 25s Pairs, Sheehan and Ward leading 5-4. After twelve ends the gap was still one but Sheehan and Ward pulled away to lead 15-9 with four ends to play. A single and four saw Fowler and Mason cut the deficit back to just one but the lost the ends with singles, Cormac Sheehan and Abbie Ward winning the Under 25s Pairs 17-14.
An early lead for Darren Ward in the Open Singles was cut down to one by Alfie Knight. Ward again took control, taking the score to 16-7 before Knight halved the deficit to trail 13-17. The next end Darren Ward scored the four he needed to win 21-13. A good opening spell for David Knee and Phil Bale gave them a 5-1 lead over Craig Carter and Liam Pearcey after 6 ends of the Open Pairs. Carter and Pearcey then racked up sixteen shots with only two in reply, to lead by eight. Knee and Bale halved the deficit but a brace of singles, a double and four secured the Open Pairs title for Craig Carter and Liam Pearcey with a 25-13 scoreline.
With eleven ends played Molly & Oliver Fowler were level 7 all with Bev Bale and Chris Chapman in the Mixed Pairs. After fifteen ends Bale and Chapman held a one shot advantage, the game swung the next end as Bale and Chapman picked up a six. Both sides exchanged a double and a single, Bev Bale and Chris Chapman winning the Mixed Pairs 19-12. An early five helped Darren and Jordan Ward reach a 12-2 lead with six ends played against Keith and Ewan Mason in the Family Pairs. The Masons never really got going, Darren and Jordan Ward winning the Family Pairs with a comfortable 25-8 victory.
With eleven ends played Arnold and Pat Bax had a one shot lead over Jean and John Barnett in the Mr & Mrs Cup. The Bax’s pulled away to a 17-11 lead but the Barnett’s scored eight unanswered shots to lead 19-17 with one end left. Needing two to go into and extra end the Bax’s could only manage one, letting Jean and John Barnett win the Mr & Mrs 19-18.