The Friends of English Bowling 2 Wood pairs took place today during the National Championships at Leamington Spa. 30 pairs took part. The morning was overcast but the afternoon was hot and sunny. Last year’s winners (Ken Eichen and Frank Barrett) were beaten in the first round by last year’s runners up (Jenny Ralph and Jackie Bryant of Bedfordshire) who went on to contest the SF against Terri Keen (Bucks) and Rosemary Ellman-Brown (Sussex) winning 10-5. The other SF was contested between Margaret and Mike Morris (Oxfordshire) and Alan Hill and Stephen Hemsley (Lancashire). The Morris’s winning 17-5. The final was a very close game involving an extra end of 1 bowl per player with Margaret and Mike winning 13-12.
“Third Time Lucky for Ken Eichen
Today saw the fourth staging of the Friends of English Bowling’s 2 Wood Pairs event held during the National Championships on the hallowed greens at Leamington Spa.
25 Pairs contested the event (down from 32 last year) and the first game saw the departure of last year’s winners, John Colley and Dave Holloway. Other “favourites” were also soon toppled.
The first semi final saw Janet Farnsworth (Yorkshire) and Stewart Wright (Berkshire) take an early 5-0 lead against Ken Eichen (Hampshire) and Frank Barrett (Leicestershire) only for the later to rally and run out 15-10 winners.
The second semi final saw Jackie Bryant and Jenny Ralph (both Bedfordshire) take a similar early lead over Pam and Mike Cavell (Buckinghamshire) eventually triumphing 13-6.
The final itself was a battle of the sexes with Ken and Frank eventually beating Jackie and Jenny 15-9 to ensure that Ken, playing in his third successive final, with three different partners, did not succumb to a third defeat. Thanks go to all who came along to support the event and congratulations to the finalists.”
Nail Biting Finishes in Friends Pairs
Yesterday at Leamington saw some incredibly tight finishes in the final stages of the Friends Two Wood Pairs competition. Played over 15 ends and with a one bowl shoot out if scores are level at the end no one could have envisaged that both semi-finals would end in shoot outs. In the first semi John Colley and David Holloway of Herefordshire led early on only for Kay Harvord and Sue Moodey of Hertfordshire to take a 9-6 lead at 10 ends. The lead continued to fluctuate but with the scores tied 11-11 at 15 ends it was the Herefordshire team that emerged victorious on the extra end. The second semi-final was more one sided and when Max Richards of Cornwall and Bowls England President Michael Jennings scored a maximum 4 on the 11th end to lead 12-3 the game looked all over. Their opponents Ken Eichen and Spencer Kerley of Hampshire then picked up two singles and a three and amazingly a last end four to take the game to an extra end which they won.
The Final could never live up to the semi-finals but it did. Hampshire established an early lead only to be pegged back by 10 ends. The scores then fluctuated and the teams were level 11-11 at 13 end. On the penultimate end Spencer Kerley drew shot with his last bowl to give Hampshire a one shot lead going into the last end. It then looked as if the game would go Hampshire’s way as they held two shots as David Holloway stood on the mat to deliver his last bowl. He produced the perfect shot and took us into yet another shoot out. Winning the toss for choice of jack Herefordshire elected to bowl first – a decision that was vindicated when neither Hampshire player was able to beat John Colley’s first bowl.
Presenting the awards after the game, the Chair of the Friends Geoff Hunt congratulated all competitors on the standard of bowling throughout the day and particularly complimented the finalists on the enthusiasm and stamina they had shown in playing 77 ends in one day in what were very hot conditions. Finally, he congratulated Kay Kerley on her hard work in running so smoothly a competition that is now looked forward to by so many Friends.
Kay Kerley organised a very well run competition and 32 pairs took part. Most of the matches were a very close run contest and quite a few rinks had to play an extra end.
The gallant losers who put up a great fight were Carol and Ken Eichen
Our grateful thanks to Kay for a most enjoyable day.