Open tournament starts on Sunday

THE 90th Weston men’s open bowling tournament starts on Sunday on the three greens at Clarence Park.

THE 90th Weston men’s open bowling tournament, sponsored by local opticians Optika, starts on Sunday on the three greens at Clarence Park.

The number of entries has held up well this year and players from all over the South-West, West Midlands, South Wales and other parts of the country will be competing for prize money of more than �2,200 in the singles, pairs, mixed pairs, evening triples, Sunday triples and gala fours.

In the absence of last year’s two finalists, champion Ted Mangan (Victoria, Weston) and Lee Peacock (Greenbank, Bristol), the singles competition favourites are likely to include five-times winner Adrian Burbridge (Worcester), his son Gareth (also Worcester) and Gloucester City’s Doug Lewis, twice a winner.

Clarence duo Ivan Barnbrook and Barrie Forse will not be defending their pair’s title because the latter is giving the tournament a miss. This time, Barnbrook teams up with an old friend, Torquay’s Malcolm Dare. Runners-up Adrian Burbridge and Mike Ricketts (Hereford) will be trying to go one better this time.

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The pair’s field includes an all-Southern African team of Trevor Pritchard and Terry Cockcroft, both members of the home Clarence club.

Champions Doug Lewis and Pam Barnbrook (Clarence Ladies) are absent from the mixed pairs field. But trying again are husband-and-wife Mike and Sue Cooper (Victoria, Weston), who lost the final on an extra end last year.

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Alan Taylor (GB Britton, Bristol) is missing, so the other members of last year’s triples championship-winning team, Doug Lewis and Gareth Burbridge, are combining with Adrian Burbridge in a line-up that will take some stopping.

The tournament starts on the Sunday with an all-day triples competition and also includes a gala fours event on the Friday. The finals are on June 25.

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