Simon Coupe claims the Senior Merit

Simon Coupe British Senior Merit Champion 2023

Simon Coupe was crowned Crown Green bowls national champion after a long and successful day at Heaton Park in Greater Manchester. Simon has been widely regarded as one of the best players in the game, every year for what seems like decades, and he finally added one of the few titles which he hadn’t previously won.

I couldn’t claim to know Simon well, but I do know he cares passionately about the sport he has played all his life and the emotion on his face as he held the trophy was clear to see.

After a tricky first game on these new greens, Simon was dominant in all the other games. The smooth and well-tested delivery served him well on two different types of greens. One green has an inverted crown and was running quicker than the other more traditionally designed green, but Simon was the master on both.

In the final Simon beat Staffordshire’s Reece Farr who had used to left-handed delivery to good effect all day. Reece proved too good for a selection of the best young players in the game, including Cheshire’s Andy Hamman, in the semi-final, who had been rivalling Simon for the player of the day.

The crowd, although much smaller than in pre-Covid years and having to adapt to some issues at the venue (which I might cover elsewhere), roared their support for the players. Robbie Ellis, the Yorkshire Champion, was heavily supported before finding the eventual winner too good in the semi-finals.

There is a slideshow containing a few of the photos from the event after the scores, which are:

FIRST ROUND

Natty Tonks (North Midlands) 18-21 Simon Coupe (North Lancs & Fylde) *

Spencer McCarthy (Staffordshire) * 15-21 Grant Eckersley (Greater Manchester)

Ashley Wellings (Shropshire) 21-6 Thomas Boyd (South Yorkshire)

Scott Follis (Warwick & Worcester) 16-21 Brian Walker (Yorkshire)

Richard Worthington (Derbyshire) 12-21 Ryan Sandham (Cheshire)

Gordon Flower (Yorkshire) 16-21 Neil Withers (Isle of Man) *

Paul Thompson (Cumbria) 21-17 John Ashton (Greater Manchester)

Mick Thompson (Potteries & District) 21-9 Jordan Riley (Wales)

Robbie Ellis (Yorkshire) * 21-18 Mark Booth (South Yorkshire)

Matt Gilmore (Merseyside) * 21-15 Darren Carter (Derbyshire)

Noel Burrows (Cheshire) 18-21 Josh Hale (Warwick & Worcester)

Jamie King (Shropshire) 20-21 Darren Day (North Midlands)

Shane Day (North Midlands) * 9-21 Sam Patterson (North Lancs & Fylde)

Adam Weaver (Warwick & Worcester) 21-13 David Fisher (Yorkshire)

Alan Manuel (Lancashire) 10-21 Joey Williams (Wales)

Tom Eccles (Greater Manchester) 9-21 Kevin Hocknall (Staffordshire)

Andy Hamman (Cheshire) * 21-18 Ben Gloag (Greater Manchester) *

Ian M Jones (Wales) 21-19 Harry Church (Shropshire)

Robert Thompson (South Yorkshire) 21-13 Daniel Rogers (Cumbria) *

Graeme Wilson (Yorkshire) 21-18 Paul Lamb (North Midlands)

Tom Kelly (Isle of Man) 21-20 Joe Stockdale (Yorkshire)

Lee Brown (Potteries & District) 21-14 Neil Harrell (Warwick & Worcester) *

Ed Furniss (Derbyshire) * 21-16 Adam Penlington (Wales)

Adam Bell (North Midlands) 14-21 Billy Speed (Lancashire) *

Paul Morgan (Yorkshire) 21-9 Mark Blackmore (North Midlands)

Steve Barber (Derbyshire) 21-10 Andrew Milford (Merseyside)

Richard Lawson (Shropshire) * 21-17 James Duffin (Cumbria)

Tim Hodge (Lancashire) 13-21 Anthony Walker (Greater Manchester)

John Short (Wales) 10-21 Peter Slinger (Isle of Man)

Reece Farr (Staffordshire) 21-9 Craig Podmore (Potteries & District) *

Jack Dyson (Yorkshire) 18-21 Liam Lowery (Warwick & Worcester)

Harry Chapman (North Midlands) 21-17 Scott Taylor (North Lancs & Fylde)

SECOND ROUND

Simon Coupe (North Lancs & Fylde) * 21-14 Grant Eckersley (Greater Manchester)

Ashley Wellings (Shropshire) 21-12 Brian Walker (Yorkshire)

Ryan Sandham (Cheshire) 11-21 Neil Withers (Isle of Man) *

Paul Thompson (Cumbria) 21-14 Mick Thompson (Potteries & District)

Robbie Ellis (Yorkshire) * 21-14 Matt Gilmore (Merseyside) *

Josh Hale (Warwick & Worcester) 19-21 Darren Day (North Midlands)

Sam Patterson (North Lancs & Fylde) 20-21 Adam Weaver (Warwick & Worcester)

Joey Williams (Wales) 18-21 Kevin Hocknall (Staffordshire)

Andy Hamman (Cheshire) * 21-20 Ian M Jones (Wales)

Robert Thompson (South Yorkshire) 21-20 Graeme Wilson (Yorkshire)

Tom Kelly (Isle of Man) 7-21 Lee Brown (Potteries & District)

Ed Furniss (Derbyshire) * 21-20 Billy Speed (Lancashire) *

Paul Morgan (Yorkshire) 21-10 Steve Barber (Derbyshire)

Richard Lawson (Shropshire) * 20-21 Anthony Walker (Greater Manchester)

Peter Slinger (Isle of Man) 8-21 Reece Farr (Staffordshire)

Liam Lowery (Warwick & Worcester) 9-21 Harry Chapman (North Midlands)

THIRD ROUND

Simon Coupe (North Lancs & Fylde) * 21-9 Ashley Wellings (Shropshire)

Neil Withers (Isle of Man) * 21-14 Paul Thompson (Cumbria)

Robbie Ellis (Yorkshire) * 21-20 Darren Day (North Midlands)

Adam Weaver (Warwick & Worcester) 13-21 Kevin Hocknall (Staffordshire)

Andy Hamman (Cheshire) * 21-20 Robert Thompson (South Yorkshire)

Lee Brown (Potteries & District) 21-11 Ed Furniss (Derbyshire) *

Paul Morgan (Yorkshire) 14-21 Anthony Walker (Greater Manchester)

Reece Farr (Staffordshire) 21-15 Harry Chapman (North Midlands)

QUARTER-FINALS

Simon Coupe (North Lancs & Fylde) * 21-14 Neil Withers (Isle of Man) *

Robbie Ellis (Yorkshire) * 21-19 Kevin Hocknall (Staffordshire)

Andy Hamman (Cheshire) * 21-14 Lee Brown (Potteries & District)

Anthony Walker (Greater Manchester) 19-21 Reece Farr (Staffordshire)

SEMI-FINAL

Simon Coupe (North Lancs & Fylde) * 21-9 Robbie Ellis (Yorkshire) *

Andy Hamman (Cheshire) * 14-21 Reece Farr (Staffordshire)

FINAL

Simon Coupe (North Lancs & Fylde) * 21-11 Reece Farr (Staffordshire)

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.