The annual pilgrimage to the Waterloo for the September festival is often regarded as the highlight of the bowls year.
For the hardy and the brave its bowls morning, afternoon and evening till from today, the Waterloo last 64, to next Sunday’s BCGLBA Country Garden Roses Champion of Champions.
For those not wanting to put their digestive system through 8 days of, excellent, chippy teas there are also a fine selection of restaurants to try. The highlight is though the bowls. This famous venue, the Wembley of the sport, may need investment to bring back the glory days but it remains the best the sport has to offer. It is a stadium, a theatre and at times a colosseum. It will always be the place to play, and the place to watch, ideally with a brew and food from the bowling clubs shop and cabin. Good food this year!
The Waterloo 64 day started with a close game between Andy Thornton and Kevin Kearns which the Barrow man did well to win to 19. Darren Naylor made it a Cumbrian double with a tough battling win over Matt Hocknull. Stuart Mort, rooms available in his hotel, was very impressive winning 21-14 before 2016 champion Tim Houghton, giving a one start, booked his place in Monday’s last 32.
One of the games of the morning session was between Dan Petcher and Andy Hayes. Dan always had his nose in front and he seemed to have a better control of length. Andy was much more comfortable in the corners and dragged himself back into the game even though still 2 behind he was now favourite to win. A wonder bowl from Dan, sitting on his own bowl to take the shot from Andy, gave him the jack back and this was enough from him to clinch the game two ends later.
Graeme Wilson, one of the very best of his generation and an action to copy, was in fine form against Preston’s Dave Watters. A smooth as melted chocolate win 21-13.
Last year’s runner-up Simon Coupe was impressively ruthless to win 21-07 against Bradley Bayliss. Simon happy to test the young Derby man out in the corners and was his ever so consistent self.
The 2005 champion John Bailey survived a great performance from Paul Mottram to win to 19.
The last game of the morning session saw Dave Baskerville and Chris Bly have a proper battle for every point. There was not a hair’s breadth between them all game. A measure for game to 18 by Chris had a similar margin between them before an unlucky, almost amazing, running bowl from Dave gave the win to Chris 21-18.
The afternoon session started with a very tight game between Phil Lee and Ritchie Goddard. It looked for all the world that Ritchie would be the winner but for Phil to claim the last four points.
Simon Tyler went into an early lead against 2017 Spring champion Mike Leach but the vastly experienced Preston man got on an edge, dragged himself up by his boot laces and chipped out to 19.
The highly anticipated clash between Chris Mordue ( 2007 champion) and Lee Heaton (1996 champion) lived up to the billing. Both were using both of their bowls to great effect. Chris was just the shade more accurate and went 11-7 ahead as this was now proving tricky for Lee to find a length. Lee used good sitting bowls to try and get back into the game but was finding this years BCGBA Senior Merit champion in very good form. In the end it was more comfortable than it sounds as the Bradford man wins 21-11.
Dave Higginbottom, son the legendary Len, was in impressive form in the corners as he moved clear against Graham Higgins. His left handed slightly inside out delivery was working well, too well for the Ossett man. Dave Lunn produced the performance of the day as he gave Martin Gilpin little chance. The Congleton man hardly left the jack alone all game.
Last year’s winner Wayne Ditchfield was giving a two start to Kendal’s Ian Nicholson. It was Ian who a tight first end and then leapt into a 9-3 lead with excellent corner bowls. Wayne though, has played arguably better than anyone this year and was also not about to give his title away without a proper effort. In the corners Ian was favourite but Wayne was moving the game around the green and was soon back in it. It was a level game at 11 but it was Wayne who was playing the best. He led out at 17-14 in supreme form and any luck that was going was on his side. Ian played great but slightly fortunate bowl to save game and lead out 19-20 but giving Wayne 4 foot of room anywhere on the green is not a good idea. Wayne got the point that won him the game and his defence of the title continues.
Shawn Frewin played well against Ira Collier to win to 18 and he plays Wayne on Monday. Can he be the man to stop the Beast?
BCGBA Junior Merit champion, Matty Worden, was impressive to win 11 and he plays Craig Rumney who be Paul Dunn 21-11. Danny Graham did very well to win his game against Danny Sillitoe, a tight game all the way just went the way of the Wiganer.
The last game saw Stu Gall, one of Burnley’s finest, beat Tony Bannister to set up a Wigan v Burnley clash in the last 32 on Monday.
Kevin Kearns (St Helens) 19 v Andy Thornton (Barrow) 21
Rob Houghton (Yorkshire) w/o v Mike Davies (Liverpool) 21
Darren Naylor (Cumbria) 21 v Matthew Hocknull (Birmingham) 20
Stuart Mort (Blackpool) 21 v Paul Hillam (Bradford) 14
Simon Memmott (Sheffield) 21 v Darren Woodend (Cumbria) 17
Tim Houghton (Garstang) (-1) 21 v Mike Geraghty (Manchester) 15
James Cosgrove (Birmingham) 9 v Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton) 21
Barry Vinden (Stalybridge) 21 v Kevin Duncalf (Northwich) 17
Greame Wilson (Droysden) 21 v Dave Watters (Preston) 13
James Martin (Huddersfield) 21 v Martin Maxfield (Warrington) 19
Willie Owen (Buxton) 14 v Jon Palmer (Shrewsbury) 21
Daniel Petcher (Derby) 21 v Andy Hayes (St Helens) 15
Bradley Bayliss (Derby) 7 v Simon Coupe (Preston) 21
Paul Mottram (Wakefield) 17 v John Bailey (Wales) 21
Dave Baskerville (Cheshire) 18 v Chris Bly (Bury) 21
Rob Swift (Blackpool) 19 v Ian France (Cumbria) 21
Ritchie Goddard (Shrewsbury) 18 v Phil Lee (Liverpool) 21
Simon Tyler (Wrexham) 19 v Mike Leach (Preston) 21
Gareth Coates (Halifax) 21 v Mark Martindale (Morecambe) 11
Kieron Smith (Leeds) 18 v Ed Furniss (Derby) 21
Dave Lunn (Congleton) 21 v Martin Gilpin (Kendal) 13
Chris Watts (Birmingham) 18 v Paul Evans (Staffordshire) 21
Lee Heaton (Preston) 11 v Chris Mordue (Bradford) 21
Graham Higgins (Ossett) 11 v David Higginbottom (Leigh) 21
Ira Collier (Cumbria) 18 v Shawn Frewin (Yorkshire) 21
Ian Nicholson (Kendal) 19 v Wayne Ditchfield (Eccleston) (-2) 21
Craig Rumney (South Yorkshire) 21 v Paul Dunn (Isle of Man) 16
David Gordon (Southport) 11 v Matty Worden (Wrexham) 21
Kevin Boon (Congleton) 21 v Mark Coulter (Cumbria) 15
Mike Tunstall (Liverpool) 17 v Andy Graham (Preston) 21
Danny Sillitoe (Doncaster) 20 v Danny Mayers (Wigan) 21
Stu Gall (Burnley) 21 v Tony Bannister (West Yorkshire) 16
Draw for Monday:
Andy Thornton (Barrow) v Mike Davies (Liverpool)
Darren Naylor (Cumbria) v Stuart Mort (Blackpool)
Simon Memmott (Sheffield) v Tim Houghton (Garstang) (-1)
Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton) v Barry Vinden (Stalybridge)
Greame Wilson (Droysden) vJames Martin (Huddersfield)
Jon Palmer (Shrewsbury) v Daniel Petcher (Derby)
Simon Coupe (Preston) v John Bailey (Wales)
Chris Bly (Bury) v Ian France (Cumbria)
Phil Lee (Liverpool) v Mike Leach (Preston)
Gareth Coates (Halifax) v Ed Furniss (Derby)
Dave Lunn (Congleton) v Paul Evans (Staffordshire)
Chris Mordue (Bradford) v David Higginbottom (Leigh)
Shawn Frewin (Yorkshire) v Wayne Ditchfield (Eccleston) (-2)
Craig Rumney (South Yorkshire) v Matty Worden (Wrexham)
Kevin Boon (Congleton) v Andy Graham (Preston)
Danny Mayers (Wigan) v Stu Gall (Burnley)