The Co-op funeralcare Waterloo Handicap continued to delight, surprise and amaze with amazing bowling action yesterday.
The action started with second favourite Callum Wraight having a glorious battle with Steve Baskerville. Steve took control early in the game, dictating the pattern of play, with sweeping corner marks. Callum took over in the second half of the game and play a brave bowl to lie up. Incredibly he knocked the jack to Steve’s back bowl. Steve was ruthless from then on denying Callum a chance to get back into the game.
Phil Lee was very impressive in the Lancashire champion and Waterloo expert Kevan Shaw. Although Kev will rightly look at some very unlucky bowls during the game it was Phil who was grouping his bowls so well.
Tournament favourite Greg Smith was giving a one-point start to Cumbria’s Andy Thornton. It was a battle, it was tense, neither played to their best but it was an enthralling contest. Greg led out at twenty-across towards the pub corner. He played good bowls but Andy pushed his own yard short bowl to count the decisive winning point.
Ryan Clark and Roger Crowther was very close early on, it could have gone either way. Then halfway through the game Rayn took control. He used good jack positioning against the left-handed Roger and didn’t give him a chance.
Malcolm Sims was celebrating his birthday, I won’t say the number, and enjoyed a victory in a close game against Gareth Coates. Malcolm didn’t let Gareth play the short marks he used so effectively in his last game. It was close and second to last end a measure Gareth was not happy with ultimately decided the game rather than a somewhat wayward last end.
Ritchie Goddard and Peter Dunkley was also close early on. Ritchie just didn’t let Pete have control of the jack and scored decisively when he could.
Billy Speed and Simon Coupe was a battle many in the crowd were looking forward to. It was close it was tense but Simon had control of the jack more and used it to great effect.
Andy Hughes and Tony Mellor was a tense game. Andy took control and breezed to 17 and then got stuck. It looked like every point was an effort. Tony was playing well and got closer and closer. In truth Andy somewhat fell over the line but was a deserved winner.
Ray Goodhand was impressive on Saturday and he repeated that form today. Dave Watters was given little opportunity to show his game. The last end was somewhat typical of the game. Ray led towards the shop and West stand. He put a bowl a foot short and Dave beat it with a bowl just behind the jack. Ray couldn’t beat it and such was the pressure in the game Dave thought he had to go for another. It was too far, too aggressive and sliced the jack to Ray’s bowl for game.
Glynn Cookson and Chris Ward was probably one of the picks of the day. Glynn was awesome on Saturday, as was Chris. Chris carried that form into this game and Glynn probably didn’t hit the same form. Chris skilfully placed the jack in difficult places for Glynn and was a worthy winner.
Simon Brown and Mike Beer was close. Mike was initially in control then Simon took over. Both used short and longer length marks to good effect. It was Mike who had the better form and took the honours.
Ian Grady and Wayne Ditchfield also kept the crowd enthralled. It was Wayne in control and scored heavily when he could. Using the green he knows so well he gave Ian little opportunity.
Duncan Watkins and Lee Heaton was a battle. Neither played as well as they could and Lee had a glorious in-off to get Dunc’s head shaking. Lee led better throughout and that was decisive in the end. The last end saw Lee fire off Duncans counting bowl in front of the stands.
Chris Brown and Dave McDermott was a good contest. It was Chris who scored more heavily when he could. It was the form that got Chris so close a couple of years ago which proved decisive.
Michael Leach was very impressive early on. Grouping his bowl around the jack and gave Richard a lot of problems. Then Richard got control of the jack and took the initiative. Clsoer and closer he got and Mike had to use all his experience to get over the line.
The final game saw Jason Jones and Ryan Sandham bring and end to the day. Jason had better control of his game and scored heavily. The Welshman never let Ryan settle in the game and took every opportunity he could.
The scores from the Co-op Funerlcare Waterloo Handicap last 32 and games in the last 16 are below.
Steve Baskerville (Altrincham) 21 v Callum Wraight (Shrewsbury) 19
Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton) 9 v Phil Lee (Liverpool) 21
Greg Smith (Alvechurch) 20 v Andy Thornton (Cumbria) 21
Ryan Clark (Sheffield) 21 v Roger Crowther (Huddersfield) 10
Gareth Coates (Halifax) 18 v Malcolm Sims (Poynton) 21
Pete Dunkley (Birmingham) 14 v Ritchie Goddard (Shrewsbury) 21
Billy Speed (Wigan) 12 v Simon Coupe (Preston) 21
Andy Hughes (Cunliffe) 21 v Antony Mellor (Heywood) 19
Ray Goodhand (Warrington) 21 v Dave Watters (Preston) 11
Chris Ward (Victoria Park) 21 v Glynn Cookson (Winsford) 14
Simon Brown (Ulverston) 13 v Mike Beer (Shrewsbury) 21
Ian Grady (Skemersdale) 13 v Wayne Ditchfield (Eccleston) 21
Duncan Watkins (Bolton) 16 v Lee Heaton (Croston) 21
Chris Brown (Sheffield) 21 v Dave McDermott (Wirral) 14
Michael Leach (Blackpool) 21 v Richard Hargreaves (Keithley BC) 18
Jason Jones (Abergale) 21 v Ryan Sandham (Poynton Sports) 12
The draw for Tuesday, live on ITV4 is:
Steve Baskerville (Altrincham) v Phil Lee (Liverpool)
Andy Thornton (Cumbria) v Ryan Clark (Sheffield)
Malcolm Sims (Poynton) v Ritchie Goddard (Shrewsbury)
Simon Coupe (Preston) v Andy Hughes (Cunliffe)
Ray Goodhand (Warrington) v Chris Ward (Victoria Park)
Mike Beer (Shrewsbury) v Wayne Ditchfield (Eccleston)
Lee Heaton (Croston) v Chris Brown (Sheffield)
Michael Leach (Blackpool) v Jason Jones (Abergale)