Host bowlers enjoy successful week

Pairs winners.

Pairs winners. - Credit: Archant

Bowlers from the three host clubs, Clarence men, ladies and Wessex ladies, enjoyed success at the Weston Ladies’ Open Bowls Tournament.

ALTHOUGH entries were down, enthusiasm was high, despite frequent rain, during the 61st Weston Ladies’ Open Bowls Tournament, which ended at Clarence Park.

The tournament, generously sponsored by local opticians Optika, may have a slightly different format next year, in an attempt to halt the decline in numbers.

However, the standard of bowls was as high as ever, with Warwickshire ladies’ county president Maureen Edwards retaining her singles title in a quality final against local Sue Cooper (Victoria). The singles was sponsored by Cedarwood Property Services.

The following day, Cooper partnered her clubmate Tiffany Ellis to the ladies’ pairs title. They beat Clevedon’s England international Stef Branfield and Sheila Short in the final, a remarkable achievement for Ellis, who began bowls only last year and is a county under-31 player already.

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Former Clarence men’s captain Mike Clay, who has been in Spain, had not picked up a wood since last September until the tournament, but was in form straight away and partnered Pat Bax (Rugby), one of his lodgers for the week, to the mixed pairs title, winning every game.

Thursday’s Unified Singles – ie, open to both sexes – sponsored by Worle Glass & Joinery, featured a wonderful run to the final by Clarence octogenarian Paul Tubb, the tournaments’ chairman, who came in at the last minute when an entrant dropped out.

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He won every group match to get through to play defending champion Adie Burbridge (St Dunstan’s, Worcester), the hot favourite. Some brilliant play by Tubb earned him the first nine-end set 9-6, but Burbridge raised his game to win the second and prevailed 2-0 in the deciding tie-break.

The ladies’ triples on Friday was the last chance for Clevedon’s county player Lyn Palmer to win something before going into hospital for a knee operation this month. She and clubmates Terri Cuff and Marlene Foster duly marched to the final.

Their opponents, were the Wessex Ladies’ duo Joan Davis and Chris Peart, skipped by Margaret Dyer, Clevedon Prom’s former England indoor international. They took the Clevedon trio all the way and it required a couple of superb woods by skip Palmer to earn her team a four-shot victory.

It was a good week generally for players from the three host clubs, Clarence men, Clarence ladies and Wessex ladies. So it was fitting that the winners of the last competition, the mixed fours, should come from these.

Husband-and-wife duos Ann and Trevor Ward and Joan and Brendan Duffy won all their group matches narrowly to qualify for the final against a team from Barbourne, Worcester, who had been registering big victories.

But the locals – Trevor and Brendan play for Clarence men, Ann and Joan for Wessex ladies – went into an early lead and never relinquished it, finishing one shot ahead.

Tournament registrar David Stott received some reward for all his hard work when he skipped Clarence clubmate Bob Rossiter, Margaret Dyer and Sue Cooper to victory in the third-place final.

Catering all week was provided by the Clarence ladies and Wessex ladies clubs, while Clarence men staffed the bar. At the presentation ceremony, Optika were thanked for their continued generous sponsorship, as were the other sponsors.

Finals results - ladies’ singles: M Edwards (Thornfield, Rugby) 15, S Cooper (Victoria) 10. Third-place play-off: C Peart (Wessex) 15, B Halligey (Pencoed) 14.

Ladies’ pairs: S Cooper/T Ellis (Victoria) 13, S Branfield/S Short (Clevedon) 9. Third-place play-off: J Drewer/J Butler (Barbourne, Worcester) 10, M Goodwin (Clarence)/D Williams (Thatcham) 9 (extra extra end).

Mixed pairs: P Bax (Rugby)/M Clay (Clarence) 12, S & K Bird (Frome Park) 9. Third-place play-off: G & R Fry (Gloucester Spa) 17, P Turner (Wessex)/J Keay (Clarence) 7.

Unified singles: G Burbridge (St Dunstan’s, Worcester) 3 pts, P Tubb (Clarence) 2 pts (shot-difference 16-13). Third-place play-off: B Forse (St Andrews) 4 pts, J Drewer (Barbourne, Worcester) 0 (24-9).

Ladies’ triples: T Cuff, M Foster, L Palmer (Clevedon) 14, J Davis, C Peart (Wessex Ladies), M Dyer (Clevedon Promenade) 10. Third-place play-off: J Forse (St Andrews), W Evans, P Hawkins (Monmouth) 14, G Hookway, M Angove (Clarence), B Mumford (Bidford, Warwicks) 11.

Mixed fours: T Ward (Clarence), A Ward, J Duffy (Wessex), B Duffy (Clarence) 10, J Drewer, M Butler, J Butler, A Clarke (Barbourne, Worcester) 9. Third-place play-off: B Rossiter (Clarence), M Dyer (Clevedon Promenade), S Cooper (Victoria), D Stott (Clarence) 17, Josie Sullivan, Jim Sullivan, S Cuss, P Smith (Fairford) 4.

Sunday triples: J Hull, M Seal, J Scurr (Chepstow) 7, J Davis (Wessex), D Grier, J Keay (Clarence) 4. Third-place play-off: D Harding (Clevedon), N Grenfell (Box, Wilts), M Dyer (Clevedon Promenade) 16, R McMillan (St Andrews), P Barnbrook (Clarence), M Edwards (Thornfield, Rugby) 3.

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