There’s something about Saturday’s in September, the discerning crown green bowling fan has known for years that the place to be is the Waterloo.
The Waterloo Handicap is the most famous, most televised competition in the game.
It is the hardest to win as you need to make five visits to do it. It is a place steeped in crown green bowling history. The venue though has a uncertain future and it will take some work to make sure that we will all making the annual pilgrimage next year.
Personally it will be a tragedy if the only bowls stadium and the place where legends are made ends this year.
On Saturday, probably a slightly smaller crowd than usual went through the gates to see what history will be made this year. Unusually the weather meant layers were coming off rather than going on!
The green itself seemed tricky to play under a warm sun and strong drying breeze It got a bit slick for some of the players unused to playing it when it quickens up.
Tommy Johnstone found Mick Prescott too good on the day. Mick who plays at the St Joseph’s club in Chorley has had a good season in the Chorley league and brought this form into the game.
Andy Thornton is well known as one of the most consistent players on this green and he just had enough to beat Scott Fisher
A popular winner was Kevin Kelly-Walley who saved his best bowls till the end of game to beat Allan Rushton. Gareth Gwilliam was impressive but relatively unchallenged in his victory as was Noel Burrows.
Wayne Ditchfield and Gary Owen had a bit of a thriller with Wayne using a longer length mark to some effect to get the better of Gary.
Neither Carl Armitage or Glynn Cookson will want to remember much about their games but they did enough to get over the line.
Jamie Bramley has proved to be more than useful on this green and once again he had too much for Warrington’s Damian Morrison.
Tom Brown and Phil Lee went to the last end were a nice glide off Phil short lead was enough for Tom to win the game.
Kev Shaw was slightly relieved to get off the green when he did as Richard Hoyles was starting to find some form in the corners.
John Kennish used short marks very skilfully to progress and did bookies favourite Greg Smith. Matty Worden was stunningly ruthless against Simon Mills.
Although Tommy Johnstone fell at the last 64 stage the Johnstone family will have son Lee to cheer on as he was very impressive in his win over James Hanson. Lee was as good as anyone else on display.
Last 64 results
Mick Prescott (Chorley) 21 v Tommy Johnstone (Poynton) 17
Andy Thornton (Barrow) 21 v Scott Fisher (Wakefield) 17
Ian Booth (Halifax) 20 v Paul Dale (Congleton) 21
Kevin Kelly Walley (Burton) 21 v Allan Rushton (Rochdale) 19
Gareth Gwilliam (Hyde) 21 v Zac Walker (Barrow) 8
David O’Brien (Northwich) 12 v Simon Hargreaves (Preston) 21
Noel Burrows (Stockport) 21 v Ryan Sandham (Manchester) 9
Gary Owen (Stoke) 18 v Wayne Ditchfield (Wigan) 21
Bill McClellan (Burnley) 19 v Bob Whyatt (Cheshire) 21
Michael Sweeney (Huddersfield) 21 v Matthew Gartside (Billinge) 19
Nick Hamman (Northwich) 12 v Ian Grady (Skelmersdale) 21
Nick White (Huddersfield) 10 v Phil Wainwright (Frodsham) 21
Matt Simpson (Kendal) 15 v Mike Tunstall (Liverpool) 21
Carl Armitage (Warrington) 21 v Matty Stewart (Kendal) 19
Mark Regan (Yorkshire) 13 v Andy Spragg (Chesterfield) 21
Gareth Coates (Halifax) 19 v Glynn Cookson (Winsford) 21
Damian Morrison (Warrington) 15 v Jamie Bramley (Stockport) 21
Tom Brown (Burton) 21 v Phil Lee (Liverpool) 20
Richard Hoyles (Freckleton) 16 v Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton) 21
Greg Smith (Birmingham) 21 v Chris Rigby (Harrogate) 14
Dan Finch (Skelmersdale) 9 v John Kennish (IOM) 21
Larry Wells (Warrington) 14 vGary Wike (Leeds) 21
Jake Dearden (Oldham) 15 v Steve Waugh (Barrow) 21
Neil Ocego (Runcorn) 19 v Kevin Nicholas (Wrexham) 21
Tony Meller (Heywood) 21 v Andy Proctor (Stockport) 15
Lee Brown (Stoke) 14 v Stuart King (Huddersfield) 21
Brian Smith (Derby) 21 v Danny Sillitoe (Yorkshire) 14
Ashley Daykin (Huddersfield) 21 v Chris Morrison (Bury) 11
Ady Hodgon (Blackburn) 21 v Billy Burlinson (Warrington) 20
Darren Woodend (Barrow) 21 v Paul Bailey (Sheffield) 14
Matty Worden (Ellesmere Port) 21 v Simon Mills (Burton) 5
James Hanson (Pudsey) 13 v Lee Johnstone (Warrington) 21
Draw for last 32 on Monday – 10:00am start
Mick Prescott (Chorley) v Andy Thornton (Barrow)
Paul Dale (Congleton) v Kevin Kelly Walley (Burton)
Gareth Gwilliam (Hyde) v Simon Hargreaves (Preston)
Noel Burrows (Stockport) v Wayne Ditchfield (Wigan)
Bob Whyatt (Cheshire) v Michael Sweeney (Huddersfield)
Ian Grady (Skelmersdale) v Phil Wainwright (Frodsham)
Mike Tunstall (Liverpool) v Carl Armitage (Warrington)
Andy Spragg (Chesterfield) v Glynn Cookson (Winsford)
Jamie Bramley (Stockport) v Tom Brown (Burton)
Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton) v Greg Smith (Birmingham)
John Kennish (IOM) v Gary Wike (Leeds)
Steve Waugh (Barrow) v Kevin Nicholas (Wrexham)
Tony Meller (Heywood) v Stuart King (Huddersfield)
Brian Smith (Derby) v Ashley Daykin (Huddersfield)
Ady Hodgon (Blackburn) v Darren Woodend (Barrow)
Matty Worden (Ellesmere Port) v Lee Johnstone (Warrington)