One of the biggest success stories bowls has had in the last few years is the creation of a new bowls tour. The brainchild of Dave Kirby, this winter has seen some of the best players in the game try and qualify for this Sunday’s finals day.
As well Grange Valley Amusements, Dave has also been able to attract a growing list of sponsors to support the tour and has brought valuable extra revenue to the clubs hosting the tour competitions.
The finals are being held at Bar Lane Bowling Club which is one of the premier venues in Lancashire. This large green in the Astley Bridge area of North Bolton offers just about everything to the bowlers. From large corners needing strong corner play to smaller finesse marks over the crown, it should suit any tactic the players may want to adopt. The early 10am start may favour the corner players until the green dries out, with the weather forecast suggesting the usual bleak weather replaced by a dry day with afternoon sunshine.
For the spectators going the post code for the club is BL1 7JD and the competition will be streamed live on various crown green Facebook pages.
With a finals day prize fund of £5000 the tour has proven popular with many of the elite players in the game. The winner on Sunday will receive £1000 and the runner-up £500 and prizes going to all who qualified.
Practice is from 9am with a start time of 10am and the draw, and odds, is:
Chris Cooke 16/1 v Danny Bowater 50/1
Martin Gilpin 20/1 v Stuart King 25/1
Tyler Dewis 50/1 v Jon Metters 50/1
Tom Palmer 16/1 v Phil Lee 14/1
Ben Harris 14/1 v Neil Bithell 10/1
Paul Kissock 50/1 v Danny Barwise 20/1
Wayne Ditchfield 6/1 v Lee Johnstone 14/1
Michael Beer 20/1 v Andrew Lund 66/1
Kez Smith 20/1 v Owen Jackson 16/1
Christopher Mordue 14/1 v Gary Wike 33/1
Nick Shaw 8/1 v Darrell Handley 33/1
Mark Holden 66/1 v John Lester 66/1
Simon Coupe 4/1 v Stephen Walker 50/1
Andrew Gallagher 40/1 v David Cragg 50/1
Ryan Prosser 12/1 v Ian Nicholson 16/1
Greg Smith 6/1 v Callum Wraight 7/1