Chloe claims a home victory in the Ladies merit

The most very excellent Brighouse Sports Club in West Yorkshire provided a home winner for Sheila Whiteley, this year’s Ladies President, as Chloe Hirst won the Ladies Senior Merit and denied Mid Cheshire’s Nicola Boulton a second successive title with a thrilling 21- 20 final victory.

The first competition held since the pandemic provided excellent bowling on one of the hottest days of the year and Brighouse Sports more than lived up to its reputation as one of the best venues in the game. Thanks also to Country Garden Roses for their kind donation of roses for the two finalists.

Chloe started off with a resounding 21-5 success over Anita Richardson (Merseyside) but had to gather for a stunning fightback in the 2nd round against Elaine Jones. Elaine made the better start with leads of 13-7 and 18-11, before Chloe took control and ran out.  The 3rd round saw her back to dominating form to book her place in the quarterfinals with a 21-6 defeat over Sue Gawne (Isle of Man).

Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire), the winner in 2019, was wasting no time in the early rounds. The first round saw a convincing 21-9 victory over Lynsey Gorman (Merseyside), the second round was the same with the same score on Jane Cooper (Staffordshire) and then round 3 Nicola booked her place in the last eight with 21-6 defeat over Clair Russell (North Lancs & Fylde).

The last eight were all played on the main championship green with both finalists having tough games. Chloe had to fightback to run out on Catherine Lockwood (North Lancs & Fylde) coming from 20-16 down while Nicola, who couldn’t score early on against Vikki Wilson (South Staffordshire), progressed to the penultimate stage with a 21-18 success.

This game was repeated in the semi-final match with Louise Ollerton (Greater Manchester). Louise had eight on the card before Nicola could get going, eventually winning 21-19. Meanwhile, Chloe was always in control of her match with Shannon Kernick (Warwick & Worcester) with leads of 8-0, 13-4 and 15-9. Shannon fought back to get within two of Chloe at 14- 16, but Chloe produced a couple of wonderful bowls to take control again on the way to a 21- 14 victory.

Chloe Hirst & Nicola Boulton (Photos courtesy of BCGBA)

The final was tremendous, the video will soon be available on the BCGBA PPV channel, with nothing separating them in the early exchanges. From 11 across, Chloe pulled away to lead 14-11 and 19-15 only to see Nicola use all her experience to squeak into the lead 20- 19. Chloe actually had to use all her skills to stay in the game but took advantage of an errant lead from Nicola, as she led up to the crown, and an equally errant second bowl meant Chloe sent her final bowl to claim the double that secured victory.

FIRST ROUND
Janet Walker (Greater Manchester) 21-20 Joanne Smith (Burton & District)
Shannon Kernick (Warwick & Worcester) 21-12 Susan Pugh (Dudley & District)
Jackie Burdett (North Midlands) 8-21 Liz Buckley (North Warwickshire)
Louise Cotton (Shropshire) 7-21 Andrea Buckley (Yorkshire)
Michelle Tootle (Lancashire) 21-15 Sylvia Bradbury (Cheshire)
Samantha Murray (South Staffordshire) 21-15 Andrea Bell (Mid Cheshire)
Janice Wilson (North Derbyshire) 6-21 Sally Turner (Yorkshire)
Joan Beer (North Lancs & Fylde) 11-21 Nicola Gilmore-Coupe (Merseyside)
Elaine Jones (North Shropshire) 21-19 Jackie Fraser (South Yorkshire)
Anita Richardson (Merseyside) 5-21 Chloe Hirst (Yorkshire)
Sue Gawne (Isle of Man) 21-16 Dawn Parkes (Staffordshire)
Sonia Robson (North Warwickshire) 21-6 Sarah Weaver (Shropshire)
Lynn Clarke (North Midlands) 21-17 Sharon Rigden (Lancashire)
Sarah Skidmore (Dudley & District) 21-19 Mia Benton (South Staffordshire)
Catherine Lockwood (North Lancs & Fylde) 21-18 Aileen Coleman (Wales)
Liz Roscoe (Mid Cheshire) 11-21 Kirsty Darling (Warwick & Worcester)
Sheila Wilson (North Derbyshire) 18-21 Amy Tobin (Yorkshire)
Sheila Speed (Greater Manchester) 5-21 Wendy Jackson (Burton & District)
Vikki Wilson (South Staffordshire) 21-15 Cheryl Caswell (Shropshire)
Donna Stancliffe (South Yorkshire) 12-21 Karen Galvin (Cheshire)
Jane Cooper (Staffordshire) 21-abs Helen Hinton (North Shropshire)
Lynsey Gorman (Merseyside) 9-21 Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire)
Clair Russell (North Lancs & Fylde) 21 -7 Wendy Smart (North Warwickshire)
Emily Kernick (Warwick & Worcester) 14-21 Belinda Lloyd (Wales)
Janet Hargreaves (Staffordshire) 15-21 Alyson Evans (North Warwickshire)*
Viv Hampton (Cheshire) 15-21 Andrea Ainley (South Yorkshire)
Carol Verdon (North Midlands) 21-14 Barbara Harrison (Burton & District)
Kaye Coulthard (Dudley & District) 21-20 Jasmine Kendall (Yorkshire)
Di Foster (North Shropshire) 9-21 Mary Fox (Lancashire)
Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Yorkshire) 21-14 Julie Bonnar (North Derbyshire)
Amanda Nicholas (Wales) 14-21 Jenny Moore (Isle of Man)
Emily Rhodes (South Staffordshire) 15-21 Louise Ollerton (Greater Manchester)
 
SECOND ROUND
Janet Walker (Greater Manchester) 5-21 Shannon Kernick (Warwick & Worcester)
Liz Buckley (North Warwickshire) 21-13 Andrea Buckley (Yorkshire)
Michelle Tootle (Lancashire) 21-13 Samantha Murray (South Staffordshire)
Sally Turner (Yorkshire) 13-21 Nicola Gilmore-Coupe (Merseyside)
Elaine Jones (North Shropshire) 18-21 Chloe Hirst (Yorkshire)
Sue Gawne (Isle of Man) 21-13 Sonia Robson (North Warwickshire)
Lynn Clarke (North Midlands) 21-19 Sarah Skidmore (Dudley & District)
Catherine Lockwood (North Lancs & Fylde) 21-11 Kirsty Darling (Warwick & Worcester)
Amy Tobin (Yorkshire) 6-21 Wendy Jackson (Burton & District)
Vikki Wilson (South Staffordshire) 21-20 Karen Galvin (Cheshire)
Jane Cooper (Staffordshire) 9-21 Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire)
Clair Russell (North Lancs & Fylde) 21-7 Belinda Lloyd (Wales)
Alyson Evans (North Warwickshire) 21-20 Andrea Ainley (South Yorkshire)
Carol Verdon (North Midlands) 15-21 Kaye Coulthard (Dudley & District)
Mary Fox (Lancashire) 4-21 Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Yorkshire)
Jenny Moore (Isle of Man) 3-21 Louise Ollerton (Greater Manchester)
 
THIRD ROUND
Shannon Kernick (Warwick & Worcester) 21-18 Liz Buckley (North Warwickshire)
Michelle Tootle (Lancashire) 18-21 Nicola Gilmore-Coupe (Merseyside)
Chloe Hirst (Yorkshire) 21-6 Sue Gawne (Isle of Man)
Lynn Clarke (North Midlands) 7-21 Catherine Lockwood (North Lancs & Fylde)
Wendy Jackson (Burton & District) 20-21 Vikki Wilson (South Staffordshire)
Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire) 21-6 Clair Russell (North Lancs & Fylde)
Alyson Evans (North Warwickshire) 20-21 Kaye Coulthard (Dudley & District)
Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Yorkshire) 13-21 Louise Ollerton (Greater Manchester)
 
QUARTER-FINALS
Shannon Kernick (Warwick & Worcester) 21-12 Nicola Gilmore-Coupe (Merseyside)
Chloe Hirst (Yorkshire) 21-20 Catherine Lockwood (North Lancs & Fylde)
Vikki Wilson (South Staffordshire) 18-21 Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire)
Kaye Coulthard (Dudley & District) 17-21 Louise Ollerton (Greater Manchester)
 
SEMI-FINAL
Shannon Kernick (Warwick & Worcester) 14-21 Chloe Hirst (Yorkshire)
Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire) 21-19 Louise Ollerton (Greater Manchester)
 
FINAL
Chloe Hirst (Yorkshire) 21-20 Nicola Boulton (Mid Cheshire)
About Steve Davies 168 Articles
Throughout his bowling career Steve has always supported the admin side of the game as well as a keen player of the game. As a club secretary, association secretary, county delegate on the BCGBA (National Governing Body) Management Committee, Media Officer for the BCGBA, 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 which became the Bowls Observer channel and, through the LDBA, runs national competitions. Seeing an avenue to report on and promote the game Steve set up the Bowls Observer on-line magazine.