Early casualties in men’s open tournament

Alison Harwood from Sponsor Optika bowling the first wood watched by Mayor Keith Morris, tournament

Alison Harwood from Sponsor Optika bowling the first wood watched by Mayor Keith Morris, tournament officials and players. - Credit: Archant

Just three players from host club Clarence survived the first rounds of the singles in the 92nd Weston Men’s Open Bowls Tournament.

JUST three players from host club Clarence survived the first rounds of the singles on Monday in the 92nd Weston Men’s Open Bowls Tournament, sponsored by Optika.

One of them was Somerset under-25 captain Grant Aldridge, who beat clubmate Don Towie by a surprisingly large margin. His next opponent, on Wednesday, is the experienced Colin Gazzard, from Clarence’s local rivals Victoria.

Also through for Clarence is veteran Harry Sparks, who beat D Morgan, from the Brotherhood club, Worcester 21-15. The third Clarence survivor is Brian Ballinger, a last-minute substitute. He beat P Wyatt (Victoria) 21-11.

Singles champion Adie Burbridge (Worcester) came through two rounds comfortably, as did his son Gareth. Barrie Forse, from local club St Andrews, a former champion, won his match, as did Victoria’s Mike Cooper, last year’s runner-up.

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Best winner of the day was probably former Bristol rugby player John Eardley, an occasional bowler who practises at Clarence but does not belong to any club. He won a morning marathon by one shot, then beat John Newman, the Victoria club fixtures secretary, in a 28-end epic during the afternoon.

Monday’s results - singles – Prel 1: R Povey (Kineton) 21, P Tubb (Clarence) 20; AC Smith (City of Wells) 22, D Stott (Clarence) 20; E Furze (Clevedon Prom) 21, M Adams (Clarence) 18; A Woodward (Ryl Leamington Spa) 21, G Cooper (St Andrews, Weston) 10; J Newman (Victoria) 22, M Taylor (Brotherhood) 20; T Arnold (Barbourne) 20, J Eardley (Unatt) 21; D Fairhurst (Victoria) 21, B Duffy (Clarence) 10; G Burbridge (Worcester) 21, E Roberts (Ashcombe) 5; M Humphries (Olveston) 21, B Underwood (Clarence) 5; J Gibbon (Unatt) 22, W Lloyd (Vines Park) 7.

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Prel 2: M Dare (Torquay) 22, B Lindon (Barbourne) 13; I Trunks (Watchet) 21, M Edlin (Clarence) 10; P Villis (Banwell) 12, A Burbridge (Worcester) 21; W Port (Ryl Leamington Spa) 15, T Farmer (Kineton) 21; D Hurst (Victoria) 11, M Dicks (club unknown) 24; A Rendell (Watchet) 23, R Bennett (Brotherhood) 11; R G Poynter (Abergavenny) 21, A Diston (Whitnash) 12l J Knowles (St Martins) 23, J Tighe (Home Guard, Leam Spa) 4; D Ellery (Brotherhood) 21, T Tudge (Brotherhood) 17; D Lewis (Gloucester City) 22, D Brunning (Vines Park) 5; M Cooper (Victoria) 21, L Summerfield (Olveston) 10.

Round 1 A: Povey 21, AC Smith 19; Furze 22, Woodward 11; Newman 19, Eardley 22; Fairhurst 12, G Burbridge 21; Humphries 21, Gibbon 10; Dare 21, Trunks 3; A Burbridge 21, Farmer 6; Dicks 6, Rendell 21; Poynter 21, Knowles 11; Ellery 12, Lewis 21; M Cooper 21, D Jackman (Clarence) 5; R Turner (Brotherhood) 13, M Laight (Pershore) 21; R Walker (Brotherhood) 1, P Branfield (Malvern Victoria) 21; J Scurr (Chepstow) 20, B Hunt (Rodbourne Cheney) 21; S Gough (Community) 21, E Lewis (Charford) 15; B Ballinger (Clarence) 21, P Wyatt (Victoria) 11.

Round 1 B: N Stocker (Victoria) 10, A Townsend (Kineton) 22; K Tyack (Bristol Arrow) 11, M Handcock (Chepstow) 21; R Stacey (Clarence) 19, B Ford (Brotherhood) 22; E Davies (Blue Anchor) 20, M Ricketts (Ledbury) 22; B Forse (St Andrews, Weston) 21, M Prosser (Gloucester Spa) 15; T Bourne (Worcester) 21, S Hooper (Watchet) 18; W Brown (Vines Park) 20, R Akhurst (Southampton) 21; J Cambridge (Brotherhood) 21, J Keay (Clarence) 10; T Bray (Victoria) 7, B Rossiter (Clarence) 21; T Duggan (Vines Park) 21, S Neal (Whitehall) 6; D Morgan (Brotherhood) 15, H Sparks (Clarence) 21; K Bird (Clevedon) 21, B Fear (club unknown) 20; G Aldridge (Clarence ) 21, D Towie (Clarence) 8; C Gazzard (Victoria) 21, P Green (Vines Park) 5; B Gravenall (Brotherhood) 21, T Mangan (Olveston) 10; M Simpson (club unknown) 15, M Stocker (Victoria) 21.

Sunday’s All-Day Open Triples was won by the Stocker family from Victoria. Father Mike and sons Nathan and Lee won 8-4 in the final against Steve Davies, Barrie Forse (St Andrews) and Ted Mangan (Olveston). The Stockers were the only team to win all their games, yet Lee began playing bowls only this year.

Third place went to John Clark (GB Britton), Julian Dyer and Jason Sparkes (St Andrews, Bristol). They were 13-5 winners against Clarence husband and wife Trevor and Sarie Pritchard and their clubmate Grant Aldridge.

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