Adie takes the top prize

Worcester bowler Adie Burbridge gave a superb display in the final of the Weston Men’s Open tournament singles final to defeat Malcolm Dare of Torquay.

ALTHOUGH the singles and men’s pair’s titles went to formidable visitors, local players earned a good chunk of the prize-money in the Weston Men’s Open Bowls Tournament, sponsored by local opticians Optika, at Clarence Park.

Worcester’s Adie Burbridge gave a superb display in the final against Malcolm Dare (Torquay) to take the singles title for the sixth time. The 61-year-old Worcestershire Middleton Cup skip cruised home 21-7, having had his toughest test in the semi-final against his son Gareth (33), whom he beat 21-20, having been 11 shots behind at one point.

A marathon pairs final, lasting more than three hours, was decided on the last of the 21 ends when the massive John Horsted and pencil-slim Mike Humphries, from GB Britton, Bristol, lost by one against two other heavyweights, Steve Gough and Tony Bourne from Vines Park, Droitwich.

It was the second match of the day for the new champions, who had to play their semi-final in the morning because of Humphries’s commitments in the singles and mixed pairs the previous day.

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The first main local success of finals day came in the men’s triples when the experienced Clarence duo Ivan Barnbrook and Barrie Forse partnered singles finalist Dare to a ten-shot victory over Roger Bennett, Bob Gravenall and Tony Tudge (Brotherhood, Worcester).

The decisive moment came on the 10th end when Tudge, aiming to take out his opponents’ shot, moved the jack to their back woods and conceded a seven. There was no way back against such a skilful opposing skip as Forse.

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Next, Wessex Ladies’ president Christine Peart took to the green for the mixed pairs final. She and Mike Ricketts (Ledbury) had never met before the tournament, but he needed a partner for the mixed and she agreed to do the job.

Peart had been one of six players from Wessex to reach the third round of the event, with three of them, Peart, club secretary Joan Davis and Ann Fewings getting to the quarter-finals.

In the final, Peart and Ricketts faced Sue and Mike Cooper, from local club Victoria, the previous year’s runners-up. Peart and Ricketts got off a fast start and, though their opponents played well, they could not recover, conceding the match with one end left and giving a delighted Peart her first tournament title.

There was a strong Clarence representation in the two Gala Fours finals, which were the first events of the day. The competitors in the first-place final included 75-year-old John Kellaway, who had been about to go shopping on Friday morning when tournament registrar Paul Tubb called to ask if he would step in as the fourth player in a team from Worcester Bowling Club.

Kellaway, who has rejoined Clarence after a year out, missed the first match, but played in the others and helped his team to the final with four victories out of four. He, Ken Bowen and husband and wife Clive and Sue Hall took the �100 first prize with a four-shot victory over a team which included local player Malcolm Campbell (Victoria).

In an exciting third-fourth place final, the Clarence quartet of Terry Cockcroft, Bob Cornwall, Trevor Ward and Chris Read picked up two shots on the last end to beat a team from Barbourne, Worcester, whose lead was Clarence’s visually-impaired star Bob Rossiter.

At the prize presentation, all agreed that it had been a great week, with players from as far afield as Lowestoft and Sussex thoroughly enjoying themselves and the weather staying mainly dry. Many thanks were given to Optika for their continuing and invaluable sponsorship of both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

TOURNAMENT prize-winners - singles champion: A Burbridge (Worcester) Dauncey Cup/�250; runner-up: M Dare (Torquay) Weston Hotels Trophy/�125; semi-finalists G Burbridge (Worcester), J Wherlock (W Backwell) �50 each.

Pairs champions S Gough/T Bourne (Vines Pk, Droitwich), Walter Wake Trophy/�200; M Humphries/J Horsted (GB Britton, Bristol) �100; semi-finalists R Coleman (Manor Park, Malvern)/L Harwood (Ledbury), A Lyne (Lowestoft)/C Neal (Crowborough) �50.

Mixed pairs champions C Peart (Wessex Ladies, Weston)/M Ricketts (Ledbury) Optika Cup/�200; S Cooper/M Cooper (Victoria, Weston) �100; semi-finalists C Prosser/M Prosser (Gloucester Spa), P Barnbrook (Clarence Ladies)/M Stocker (Victoria, Weston).

Men’s triples champions M Dare (Torquay)/I Barnbrook/B Forse (Clarence) Phoenicia Cup/�300; R Bennett/B Gravenall/T Tudge (Brotherhood, Worcester) �150; semi-finalists D Jones/R Bywater/G Parker (Monmouth), P Green/L Perkins (Vines Park, Droitwich)/D Fairhurst (unatt) �75.

Sunday triples winners P Barnbrook (Clarence Ladies)/I Barnbrook/B Forse (Clarence) �300; J Dyer/J Sparkes/J Tapscott (Bristol St Andrews) �150; T Cockcroft (Clarence)/J Davis (Wessex Ladies)/M Dare (Torquay) �75; M Handcock/J Muschamp/T Parker (Monmouth) �45.

Gala fours winners K Bowen (Worcester)/J Kellaway (Clarence)/C Hall/S Hall (Worcester) �100; M Campbell (Victoria, Weston)/T Farmer (Leamington Ave)/M Butler/J Butler (Barbourne, Worcester) �60; T Cockcroft/B Cornwall/T Ward/C Read (Clarence) �40; B Rossiter (Clarence)/A King/B Lindon/T Arnold (Barbourne, Worcester) �20.

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