Co-op Funeralcare Waterloo Handicap last 32 review

We came, we watched and we witnessed….

The Co-op Funeralcare Waterloo Handicap resumed on Monday as the last thirty-two players returned to try and claim their place on the ultimate bowls honours board.

To start the day we had two of the games living legends slug it out and set a standard for the rest of the players to try and live up to.

Noel Burrows playing Graeme Wilson
Noel Burrows playing Graeme Wilson

Noel Burrows and Graeme Wilson have history of competition wins that most cannot match. They lit up this famous green with exceptional play which delighted the expectant crowd. It seemed that it was going to be relatively comfortable for Graeme, at 17-12 up and looking good then Noel got on the road edge and had a six break.

Graeme won with s sensational bowl when it was nineteen each, it could have gone horribly wrong but it was perfectly executed and it was a heart breaker for Noel. Many would say it was the wrong bowl to play,  if it had gone wrong and it could given the game to Noel. Noel lead bowl was 4 foot away to the back and Graeme left his bowl six inch to the side of the jack. Noel then beat this and Graeme could not afford to to move his own bowl or the jack at the speed he played his second bowl. The fact that it didn’t was a testimony to Graeme’s skill.

Graeme will play Stuart Mort, live on ITV 4, on Tuesday. Stuart battled past Paul Dudley thanks to his better use of the jack. If Paul could have led the way Stuart did the game may have had a different outcome.

Terry Glover had a tough game against Ryan Clark. Terry had a big lead which Ryan kept eating away at until he was only two behind. What Ryan could not afford to do was have loose end, he did and Terry took advantage to claim the game.

Simon Coupe playing Darren Allsopp
Simon Coupe playing Darren Allsopp

Terry will play Simon Coupe who was sensationally good in the corners against Darren Allsopp. It looked as if Darren wouldn’t score but he played a brilliant bowl in the pub corner to stop the whitewash. Simon claimed game with a six-inch bowl next end.

Tommy’s Johnstone and King had a fine contest which was decided on Tommy’s fantastic ability to turn less than a foot of room into room to claim two. Tommy King didn’t do much wrong at all but Tommy Johnstone was imperious.

Tim Houghton was too good for Ross Meese who couldn’t match his performance of Saturday. Tim led well and stepped in when Ross left any room.

James Grimston and Steve Harrison were both happy to play each others length. It was a tighter game than the score suggested with small margins deciding each game. James will make it tough for anyone on here playing like he did.

James will play Jamie Bramley in the last game of the morning session tomorrow. Jamie dominated Matt Gillies and didn’t let Matt off the hook. Jamie is known as the Pea-launcher and will be looking to play his good leads again tomorrow to similar effect.

Jason Jones and Dave Baskerville had a quiet but really tough game. Jason leads so well to his own jack but found Dave Baskerville a tougher opponent than he could handle. Dave was particularly playing the diagonal corners to the shop and back.

Mark Allmän playing Steve Ellis
Mark Allmän playing Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis and Mark Allman had a game that was all about having the jack. Mark started well then had what for him was a loose end. This gave Steve the opportunity to change the length of the game as he went from 11-5 down to 17-12 up. Then Mark got the jack bank and put the pressure on Steve who seemed to need a single point for the game for an age. The last end saw Steve play a runner to beat Mark’s six inch lead for game.

Mark Hughes and Michael Coupe saw the Leeds man lead to well for Michael to be able to cope with. Try as he might Michael couldn’t get back into the game.

Mike Tunstall playing John Bailey
Mike Tunstall playing John Bailey

Mark will play John Bailey tomorrow. John was too good for Mike Tunstall on the day. Mike really needed John to stop beating his 18 inch leads and John was relentless. John will be hard to beat playing the way he did, sound judges of the game have him to go a long way in this year’s Co-op Funeralcare Waterloo.

Glen McGaffertey and Stuart Goodwin put on a fine exhibition for the crowd. Glen was just able to hit top form at the business end of the game and this proved decisive.

Glen will play Glynn Cookson who beat Mike Leach by the narrowest of margins. This game saw Glynn play his normal close bowls in the corners and then Mike shorten the game to great effect. The last end saw Mike take Glynn on the pub edge and Glynn’s last bowl looked to be pegging out before propping on Mike’s bowl to claim game.

The game of the Lee’s saw the honours go to Lee Heaton. Lee just had too much knowledge of the green for Lee Dale. This is not to say that Lee Dale didn’t play well. It was just too good a game from the Croston man who kept up his form from yesterday when he claimed the Rastrick title.

Callum Wraight playing Gary Ellis
Callum Wraight playing Gary Ellis

The last game of the day was anticipated by all the crowd. Could Callum Wraight repeat his sensational performance of Saturday. Callum won the Midland Masters yesterday and his mojo was to much for Gary. Callum played his normal to the middle of the green game and Gary had no answers today.

Draw for Tuesday (Skybet odds):

Graeme Wilson 7/2 v Stuart Mort 20/1, Terry Glover 25/1 v Simon Coupe 9/2 , Tommy Johnstone 8/1 v Tim Houghton 16/1, James Grimston 14/1 v Jamie Bramley 20/1, Dave Baskerville 25/1 v Steve Ellis 33/1, Mark Hughes 25/1 v John Bailey 7/1 , Glen McGaffertey 33/1 v Glynn Cookson 8/1 , Lee Heaton 12/1 v Callum Wraight 7/2

Tomorrow all the action will be live on ITV 4. Every moment of the action will be beamed across the world by Input Media, on behalf of ITV, and Globegig Media on behalf of the BCGBA. This is the chance for the sport to prove it is has more to it than Drone Racing which has just signed a deal to be broadcast with another broadcaster. Hopefully the watching TV audience will watch sensational bowling and experience the fantastic Waterloo atmosphere.

Ladies and Gentleman this is our chance to shine…

Steve Davies

Throughout his bowling career Steve has always supported the admin side of the game. As a club secretary, association secretary, county delegate on the BCGBA (National Governing Body) Management Committee, Merseyside champion in 2002 and Merseyside County President (2014-15) Steve has always been keen to promote the game especially through the broadcast of the game on TV or Internet. Steve set up the LIVE BOWLS YouTube channel and, through the LDBA, runs national competitions. Seeing an avenue to report and promote the game Steve set up the Bowls Observer on-line magazine after consulting with respected figures in the game and journalism.