Tense tussle at tournament

Start of Weston Men's Bowls Tournament at Clarence Park.

Start of Weston Men's Bowls Tournament at Clarence Park. - Credit: Archant

There was a tense battle in the men’s singles at the Weston Men’s Open Tournament between former champion Barrie Forse and Brian Ballinger of the home club Clarence.

HIGHLIGHT of the second day of the tournament on Monday was a tense tussle in the men’s singles between former champion Barrie Forse (St Andrews) and Brian Ballinger, of the home Clarence club.

In a match lasting well over two hours, Ballinger led 11-6, then went behind and regained the lead to be 20-18 in front, only for Forse to snatch victory with three shots in the last two ends.

Two of the favourites for the singles title, defending champion Colin Gazzard (Victoria) and seven-times winner Adrian Burbridge (St Dunstans) came through without bowling a wood, given walkovers by their opponents. Fifteen-year-old Ashcombe player Fraser Ham gave the vastly-experienced Robert Poynter (Abergavenny) a good game before going out 21-12.

Although Victoria’s Mike Stocker lost to the promising Paul Poynter (Clevedon), his sons Nathan and Lee both went through – to meet each other in Tuesday’s second round.

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Clarence players enjoyed considerable success in the men’s pairs. Ninety-two years young Bert Cheffers and septuagenarian John Kelloway came in as late replacements and shocked a useful pair from Worcester’s Brotherhood contingent to get through.

Also into the first round are other Clarence duos Tony Mannion/Brian Ballinger and Dave Thomson/Mike Scoins. Two strong pairs clashed in the preliminary round, with Mike Ricketts and Adrian Burbridge proving too good for Barrie Forse and his St Andrews clubmate Andrew Owens, the England Bowls two-wood champion.

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Monday’s results: Men’s Pairs prel round – E Roberts/J McKenzie (Ashcombe) 18, M & N Stocker (Victoria) 11; M Scoins/D Thomson (Clarence) 15, J Collins (Avonmouth)/K Tyack (BAC) 14; A Smith (City of Wells)/J Atkins (Clarence) 9, J Eardley (unatt)/D Gregory (Portishead RBL 16; W Harrison/R Priddey (Vines Park) 17, B Johnson (Victoria)/D Scully (BAWA Bristol) 18; B Forse/A Owens (St Andrews) 13, M Ricketts (Ledbury)/A Burbridge (St Dunstans) 24; M Laight (Pershore)/T Arnold (Barbourne) 17, E Furze/J Fuidge (Clevedon Prom) 18; R Bennett/T Tudge (Brotherhood) 15, B Cheffers/J Kelloway (Clarence) 17; J Knowles/K Caldicutt (St Martins) 11, K Harvey/Will Harrison (Victoria) 21; T Mannion/B Ballinger (Clarence) 23, B Ford/D Mitchell (Brotherhood) 8; A Bishop/J Keay (Clarence) 11, P Poynter (Clevedon)/R Poynter (Abergavenny) 20.

Men’s Singles, first round – J Collins (Avonmouth) w/o v R Moule (Droitwich) scr; M Campbell (Victoria) 9, M Ricketts (Ledbury) 22; B Lindon (Barbourne) 21, B Ford (Brotherhood) 3; P Poynter (Clevedon) 22, M Stocker (Victoria) 13; P Brown (Llanbradach) 21, D Fairhurst (Victoria) 9; D Morgan (Brotherhood) 9, J Newman (Victoria) 21; J Cambridge (Brotherhood) 19, P Green (Vines Park 4; D Towie (Clarence) 21, M Jacobs (Uxbridge) 15; A Smith (City of Wells) 5, W Brown (Vines Park) 21; F Ham (Ashcombe) 12, R Poynter (Abergavenny) 21; D Hurst (Victoria) scr, C Gazzard (Victoria) w/o; B Ballinger (Clarence) 20, B Forse (St Andrews) 21; G Burbridge (unatt) 22, P Smith (Fairford) 15; R Povey (Kineton) 16, J Knowles (St Martins) 21; E Furze (Clevedon Prom) 21, R Akhurst (Southampton) 19; D Mitchell (Brotherhood) 21, R Bennett (Brotherhood) 12; K Marshall (Clarence) 21, M Simpson (St Andrews) 10; M Cooper (Victoria) 22, K Tyack (BAC) 6; J Beaton (club unknown) scr, A Burbridge (St Dunstans) w/o; T Tudge (Brotherhood) scr, P Wyatt (Victoria) w/o; N Stocker (Victoria) 21, T Farmer (Kineton) 10; J McKenzie (Ashcombe) 10, L Stocker (Victoria) 21; P Villis (Banwell) 21, E Roberts (Ashcombe) 9; B Rogers (St Andrews) 7, T Arnold (Barbourne) 21; M Taylor (Brotherhood) 21, J Keay (Clarence) 16; R Turner (Brotherhood) 10, N Coad (Carnham Down) 21; K Caldicutt (St Martins) 21, M Edlin (Clarence) 10; D Thomson (Clarence) 3, R Gravenall (Brotherhood) 21; G Webber (St Andrews) 13, M Laight (Pershore) 21; D Lewis (Gloucester City) 21, P Williams (Callington) 2; T Bourne (Worcester) 21, S Neal (Whitehall) 18; R Walker (Brotherhood), bye.

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