Sun-drenched finale to Bexhill tournament

Trevor Roberts clutches the championship singles trophy
Trevor Roberts clutches the championship singles trophy

The finals of the 79th Bexhill Men’s Open Bowls Tournament took place on the sun-drenched greens at The Polegrove on Saturday afternoon.

A large crowd enjoyed the culmination of the popular annual event, which had begun under somewhat greyer skies the previous Monday morning.

Triples winners Dave Shorey, Lee Dickson and Tosh Springate

Triples winners Dave Shorey, Lee Dickson and Tosh Springate

Trevor Roberts (White Rock BC, Hastings) clinched the championship singles after beating clubmate Colin Nutton 21-11 after 20 ends.

Roberts led 5-2 after six ends and then scored a four to go 9-2 in front. He stretched his advantage to 18-8 by scoring nine shots during the next six ends and a further three shots over the next four ends sealed Roberts' victory.

Earlier in the day, Roberts defeated Bob Bartholomew (Bexhill BC) 21-13 after 16 ends in the first semi-final, while in the other last four clash, Nutton overcame Lee Heitzman (Spartan BC) 21-15 after 25 ends. Heitzman led 14-12 after 19 ends only for Nutton to turn things around by scoring nine shots over the next six.

Bartholomew and Heitzman shared the trophy for the local player going the furthest without reaching the final. Lee Dickson (North Sheen BC) won the trophy for the best visiting player not reaching the final.

Pairs winners Roger Butler and Stuart Holland

Pairs winners Roger Butler and Stuart Holland

The championship pairs winners were Roger Butler and Stuart Holland (Spartan BC), who edged out Charles Wright (Spartan BC) and Steve Jeapes (White Rock BC) 19-18 in the best final of the day.

The match was very close throughout, and in fact the scores were level after 10 and 15 ends. Wright and Jeapes were up by two shots playing the last end when Holland drew two bowls into the head to score the three shots his team needed to win the championship.

In the semi-finals, Wright and Jeapes had a comfortable 25-14 win over John Blackman and Ken Hill (Eastbourne BC) despite being 9-0 down after five ends. Butler and Holland saw off Peter Jackson and Mike Taylor (Eastbourne BC) 28-16 having been all-square after 13 ends.

The triples winners were Tosh Springate (Swale IBC), Dave Shorey (Sidley Martlets BC) and Dickson, who beat John Carrington (Albury BC), Arnie Lewis (Camberley BC) and Rod Warriner (Cranleigh BC) 17-12.

The eventual winners had got the better of Willie Woods, Phil Wade and Martin Cropper (Sidley Martlets BC) 19-10 in one semi-final, while in the other, the losing finalists eased past Brian Large, Bob Palmer and Rod Addison (Eastbourne BC) 24-5.

The consolation pairs was won by Gwen Burke and Ken Barber (Leighton Buzzard BC), who outgunned Jason Walter (Spartan BC) and Kieran Jay (Bexhill BC) 21-12.

At the conclusion of the finals, Billy Hines, representing the Birchwood Group - the main sponsors of this year’s tournament - presented the trophies to the winners.

The tournament was very well organised by the tournament committee, which was once again ably led by Bill Whittington, the tournament organiser. Their efforts were very much appreciated by most of the competitors.

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