Barrie wins nail-biting county singles title

Barrie Forse.

Barrie Forse. - Credit: Archant

Barrie Forse, from St Andrews Bowls Club, won the Somerset County Indoor Singles Championship in a nail-biting finish.

St Andrews bowler Barrie Forse won the Somerset County Indoor Singles Championship in a nail-biting finish at Taunton Deane.

Aiming to win the championship for the first time, Forse got off to a fast start in the final against defending champion John Hick (Clevedon) and led 18-7 after 14 ends, needing only three more shots for victory.

However, he allowed his opponent back into the game by dropping full-house fours on the 15th and 18th ends, his lead down to one shot.

Forse looked like going behind on the next, but fluked the shot with his last wood, which left him needing two for victory. Then, with Forse holding match lie, Hick fired the jack into the ditch. However, the St Andrews man held his nerve and drew two woods close to the ditch to restore his winning position and Hick could not match them.

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The victory brought huge relief not only for Forse but also for the large St Andrews contingent who had travelled to support him, including his wife Judy, who couldn’t watch the closing ends.

His success proved once again that the friendly, Bournville-based club can punch well above its weight in the big competitions.

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Earlier in the day, Forse, Ken Uglow and Phil Villis had suffered disappointment in the county triples final when they lost 22-6 to a Taunton Deane team skipped by World Indoor Bowls No 4 Rob Paxton. Forse, Villis and Darrell Johnston won that title last year.

The new champion was congratulated on his success the following morning at the annual meeting of the St Andrews indoor section.

At the meeting, members voted to revert to drawn partners for club competitions, despite the fact that this season’s choose-your-own-partners policy had resulted in an increase of entries.

Outgoing section chairman Paul Aldus was thanked for all his hard work over the previous four years

Officers elected – secretary: Ken Uglow; ladies’ captain: Sue Sinclair; fixture secretary: Barrie Forse; competition secretary: Brian Cracknell; league secretary: Brian Reeves; competition committee: Carolina Venn; ladies’ selectors: Pat Uglow (vice-captain), Mo Millard, Carolina Venn, Audrey Powell; men’s selectors: Nick Sell, George Webber.

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