I would like to thank Mike Potter for producing this report as well as taking the pictures.
Turk successfully defends titleBowring star and County team regular, Rich Lawson, also known as Turk, mounted a successful defence of his crown, the County Handicap Championship on Bank Holiday Monday as he emerged victorious from an increased field of entries of 68 and eventually overcoming in the final, fellow County star Mike Beer of Castlefields. On a warm early summer’s day, 2016 County President and Competition Secretary Phil Scott welcomed the entrants, 14 up from the previous year, to the Shrewsbury town walls complex where the early group stages were played before the 16 qualifiers gathered to contest the final games on the No.1 green of Old Shrewsbury BC. Highlights from Quarter finals Rich Lawson(Bowring) and Callum Wraight(Castlefields) matched each other throughout their game as the scores levelled at 5-5, 11-11, 16-16 and 18-18 before Rich just got the edge to push through to a 21-19 win. Gary Whitehall(Adderley) had to fight back from 1-7 down before levelling at 9-9 against Paul Williams(Castlefields) and from 12-15 down almost ran out to win 21-16. Mike Beer(Castlefields) trailed 1-11 and fought hard to get on level terms 14-14 and 16-16 with Anthony Grey(Pontesbury) before Mike double pointed the last four ends to post a 21-18 result. The first half of Cedric Bancroft(Woore) and Simon Lane(Ludlow Castle) game was shared with neither player being able hold the jack until from 10-10, Cedric took control of the game taking 8 of the last 11 ends and won 21-13. Highlights from the semi Finals Rich Lawson raced into an 8-0 lead until Gary Whitehall got the jack and threw it into the long corners and hit back to take the lead 13-12 and from there, they outdrew each other as they tried to get back onto their preferred marks of Gary’s corner to corner and Rich’s shorter straight marks where the scores moved onto 18-17 in favour of Rich, a lead that he was able to maintain to book his final ticket 21-19. Meanwhile, Mike Beer and Cedric Bancroft were trying to lose each other on various marks until from 12-10, Mike gained control and finished strongly to end Cedric’s hopes 21-13. The Final An eerie silence was evident as the forty or so spectators watched the final that lived up to what was a clash of the Champions with Mike Beer bidding for his fourth title in six years and the defending champion Rich Lawson. With both playing off -2 and with them playing top quality bowls, giving little away the scores went on to 3-2(8ends) in favour of Mike which was turned by Rich Lawson into a 12-5(19ends) using a straight 25 metre mark across the green until Mike clawed his way back to level 14-14(30ends) on his preferred straight mark up and down the green and even got himself a 17-15 lead that forced Rich into changing length and go for the corners which would pay dividends as Mike managed to find any gaps available to drift out of the last 4 ends that after 36 ends gave Rich the result 21-17 The "best newcomer" award, the Clare Cup.was awarded to Chris Elsbury of Hadnall BC. He was adjudged to receive the trophy as he had qualified for the final stages. Chris turned back the clock as he recently took up the game again following a break of 14 years through work and family commitments. County President, Phil Scott thanked the host clubs for providing excellent bowling greens and refreshments throughout the day before making the presentation of prizes to the worthy competitors culminating with Richard Lawson deservedly receiving the Champions trophy. County Handicap – Mon 30th May 2016 Final Stages Old Shrewsbury No.1 Quarter Finals Rich Lawson(Bowring) 21-19 Callum Wraight(Castlefields) Gary Whitehall(Adderley) 21-16 Paul Williams(Castlefields) Mike Beer(Castlefields) 21-18 Anthony Grey(Pontesbury) Cedric Bancroft(Woore) 21-13 Simon Lane(Ludlow Castle) Semi Finals Rich Lawson 21-19 Gary Whitehall Mike Beer 21-13 Cedric Bancroft Final Rich Lawson 21-17 Mike Beer
Full scores from the Last 16 of the Competition.
The last eight get ready for battle. Back, from left: Mike Beer, Callum Wraight, Anthony Gray & Gary Whitehall. Front from left: Cedric Bancroft, Rich Lawson, Phil Scott (President), Simon Lane & Paul Williams.
Phil Scott, President and Competition Secretary, (Centre) with the two finalists, Rich Lawson (left) and Mike Beer (right).
President Phil Scott with winner Rich Lawson.
Winner Rich Lawson with the J. Bowers Trophy.
Phil Scott (Centre) with overall winner Rich Lawson (left) and Clare Cup winner Chris Elsbury.