Imogen triumphs at Weston Ladies’ Open

PUBLISHED: 09:38 01 September 2017

Imogen Cracknell.

Imogen Cracknell.

Archant

Imogen Cracknell of St Andrews emerged the winner of the Weston Ladies’ Open Bowling Tournament.

Imogen Cracknell of St Andrew’s Bowling Club, has had a fantastic week at the 64th (and last) Weston Ladies’ Open Bowling Tournament, sponsored by Optika, played on the magnificent greens at Clarence Park.

Somerset junior Imogen, aged 15, not only won the prestigious ladies’singles championship, but was also runner-up in the ladies’ pairs with Chew Stoke’s Celia Whitmarsh.

After a few showers early in the week, the weather steadily improved and the semi-finals and finals were played in glorious sunshine in front of a good number of spectators and supporters.

The ladies’ pairs final was a close-fought affair with superb bowling from all four competitors. Shots went first one way and then the other until the 16th (and scheduled last) end when the scores were level, the resulting extra end and the title, being won by Imogen’s club-mate Rebecca McMillan, partnered by Pat Bax from Rugby.

The singles final, between Imogen and Hemyock’s Sue Cridland started off as a one-sided affair with Imogen storming ahead to lead 20-7, despite this being her fourth full game of the day.

However, Sue wasn’t going to capitulate without a fight and started a brilliant come-back to get to 17 shots before Imogen clinched it with a magnificent wood to dislodge the jack and give her three shots on what turned out to be the last (and incidentally Imogen’s 83rd) end of the day.

Not only will Imogen go down as the last-ever winner of the tournament - she will also probably be in the record books as the youngest ever ladies’ singles champion at Weston.

Tournament registrar David Stott thanked all those who had helped make the tournament the success it has been - not only the players who have entered year-on-year - but also the members of Clarence and Wessex Bowling Clubs who have given of their time and talents doing all the necessary back-room work including catering, bar services, greens and grounds maintenance, cleaning, car park stewarding, etc.

In his closing remarks, David paid special tribute to umpire Pete Sheppard of Ashcombe, who has umpired virtually every session at the tournaments for a number of years.

Senior controller Barrie Underwood was also thanked for the support he has given during a difficult period while the tournament secretary position has been vacant and also following the sad death of chairman Paul Tubb, who passed away in April.

Lack of people coming forward to do the necessary work, David’s other commitments to Clarence, Disability Bowls England, Visually Impaired Bowls England and the Weston Visually Impaired Tournament, coupled with falling entries and revenue, have made the tournament no longer viable.

Although this marks the end of the Weston Open Bowling Tournaments, Clarence Bowling Club will be running two, one-day competitions next year - the ever-popular Sunday triples in June and the gala mixed fours in August.

Entry forms are available on the Clarence website: www.clarencebowls.org, from the club or by contacting David Stott on 01934 625404 or by email: djstott1952@aol.com

Full results - Sunday triples winners: Martyn West, Jill Wilkinson and Joan McInally (Ashcombe); runners-up: Andy McMillan (St Andrews) , Maureen Edwards (Rugby Thornfield) and Pat Bax (Rugby). Third: Brenda Williams, Hannah Frye and Kay Wilson (Victoria); fourth: Mike and Sue Cooper, Colin Gazzard (Victoria).

Ladies’ singles (The Gaze Cup): Imogen Cracknell (St Andrews); runner-up: Sue Cridland (Hemyock, Devon). Losing semi-finalists: Carol Edlin (Clarence), Rebecca McMillan (St Andrews).

Ladies’ pairs (The Grey Cup): Rebecca McMillan (St Andrews) and Pat Bax (Rugby); runners-up: Celia Whitmarsh (Chew Stoke) and Imogen Cracknell (St Andrews). Losing semi-finalists: Jennifer McMillan (St Andrews) and Maureen Edwards (Rugby Thornfield); Rosalie Cleeves and Sue Cooper (Victoria).

Mixed pairs (The Alpha Cup): Sue and Mike Cooper (Victoria); runners-up (The Ken Blake Cup): Margaret Dyer (Clevedon Prom) and Nick Grenfell (Spencer Moulton).

Third: Christine Peart (Wessex) and John Marshall (West Wimbledon); fourth: Pat Bax (Rugby) and Barrie Forse (St Andrews).

Ladies’ triples: Rebecca McMillan (St Andrews), Pat Bax (Rugby) and Maureen Edwards (Rugby Thornfield); runners-up: Chris Sage, Sue Newman and Margaret Hillman (Victoria). Third: Christine Hooper, Mary Davison and Carol Edlin (Clarence); fourth: Janice Hartree, Debbie Welfare and Eileen Wade (Wessex).

Mixed fours: Carol Grenfell (Box), Gary Fippen (Spencer Moulton), Margaret Dyer (Clevedon Prom) and Nick Grenfell (Spencer Moulton); runners-up: Joan Harvey, Pan Edge, Bob Edge and David Bendall (Keynsham). Third: Imogen Cracknell (St Andrews), Sam Stocker and Lee Stocker (Victoria); fourth: Jennifer and Andrew McMillan (St Andrews), Pat Bax (Rugby) and Maureen Edwards (Rugby Thornfield).

The Ron Swain Trophy (best North Somerset non-winning lady - singles): shared by Carol Edlin (Clarence) and Rebecca McMillan (St Andrews).

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