Clarence’s Brian puts up a determined battle in the men’s singles final

PUBLISHED: 09:11 30 June 2017

Singles champion.

Singles champion.


Clarence Park’s Brian Ballinger put up a brave fight in the final of the Weston 96th Men’s Open Tournament, before losing to Gareth Burbridge.

The Weston 96th Men’s Open Tournament, sponsored by local opticians Optika, was played on the greens at Clarence Park with mixed fortunes for local players.

The competitor most favoured for a title was Worcestershire’s Adrian Burbridge, who has won one title or another for the past 13 years or so. However, this was not to be his year, suffering defeat in all the disciplines he had entered.

His son, Gareth, however, having not bowled at all for two years, dusted off his woods to claim both the men’s pairs title with partner Douggie Lewis and then the blue riband men’s singles championship, beating Clarence’s Brian Ballinger, who put up a determined battle in the final.

Other notable local performances included the Clarence four of Shirley Searle, Pete Williams, Ronnie Jones and Rob Stacey, who took the gala fours prize, West Backwell’s Burt Budd, Jeremy Ashmore and Mike Windo, who lifted the men’s triples trophy, Christine Peart of Wessex Ladies who, with partner Mike Ricketts of Ledbury, was runner-up in the mixed pairs and the Banwell pairing of Graham Millard and Paul Aldus, who were runners-up in the men’s pairs.

Unfortunately, this was the last year of the men’s tournament. However, next year there will be two big one-day events run by Clarence Bowling Club, a Sunday Triples Open on June 24 and a mixed, gala fours open on August 19. Details and entry forms can be found on the club website at:

The last ladies’ open tournament will be played between August 20-26 and entries remain open for the Sunday triples and mixed fours disciplines. See the website for details and forms.

Results – singles champion: Gareth Burbridge (unattached); runner-up: Brian Ballinger (Clarence); semi-finalists: Adrian Burbridge (St Dunstan’s), Keith Caldicutt (St Martin’s). Pairs: Dougie Lewis (Gloucester City) and Gareth Burbridge; Graham Millard and Paul Aldus (Banwell); Adrian Burbridge and Mike Ricketts (Ledbury), John Davies and Darrell Johnston (Banwell).

Triples: Burt Budd, Jeremy Ashmore and Mike Windo (West Backwell); Keith Caldicutt, Ted Mangan (Olveston) and Barrie Forse (St Andrews); Paul Coumis, Colin Gazzard and Mike Cooper (Victoria), Don Towie (Clarence), Darrell Johnston and John Davies (Banwell).

Mixed pairs: Phillip Brown and Mary Brown (Llanbradach); Mike Ricketts and Christine Peart (Wessex); Barrie Forse and Pam Barnbrook (Clarence), David Fairhurst and Belinda Cardwell (Victoria).

Gala fours: Shirley Searle, Pete Williams, Veronica Jones and Rob Stacey (Clarence); Malcolm Campbell (Victoria), Christine and Ron Povey (Kineton) and Tony Farmer (Avenue, Leamington Spa); Tony Bray, Sam, Mike and Lee Stocker (Victoria), Ann Williams, Ali Ricketts, Peter Williams and Jim Knowles.

Sunday triples: Hugh Lorimer, John Matthews and Dennis Skehan (Purnell); Mason, Christian and Maggs Eldridge (Whitchurch); Rebecca McMillan, Craig Walker and Andy Owens (St Andrews), Lin Knowles, Keith Caldicutt and Jim Knowles (St Martin’s).

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