The Veterans Merit is open to males over 65 years of age on 1st January of that year. It is played for the H.W. Batkin Trophy and has been played for since 1950. It has a qualifying event for a finals day of 8.
Shropshire Veterans Merit 2017 – Tuesday 18th July 2017 – Greenfields BC
20 of the county’s elder generation gathered for a lunchtime start of the Veterans Merit staged at Greenfields. The competitors enjoyed the warm, sunny afternoon but were soon to be seriously tested as both greens became so.
Highlights from the Quarter Finals
With 5 chalks each on the card, John Cooper was finding it hard going as Keith Owen quickly turned a 10-5 lead into 17-8 and soon ended John’s hopes winning 21-11. Bob Cliffe and Tom McGill shared the first 8 ends that saw Bob hold a slim 10-9 which then saw Bob take the next 7 ends to complete a quickfire run out to post a 21-9 card. Tony Steadman played out an evenly matched game against John Nash as the scores went to 10-10 and 14-14. Then Tony made a break to go to 20-16 that prompted John to respond and lay game on before Tony ended the game 21-19. Derek Flattley from 8-8 raced to 15-8 only for John Coxill to hit back to almost level at 14-15 and then from 14-18 went and scored the 7 chalks in 4 ends and run out 21-18
Bob Cliffe forged himself a healthy 13-6 lead before Keith Owen fought hard to eventually tie the game 14-14 but his charged stalled and Bob progressed to the final 21-14. Tony Steadman played the humps of the green well to extend his lead over John Coxill from 9-6 up to 17-9 and was through shortly after John broke into double figures as Tony won 21-11.
Finalists, Tony Steadman and Bob Cliffe now familiar with the green’s pace were evenly matched as the game went to 11-11(9ends) and 14-14(14ends) but then Tony managed to hold the jack for 6 of the next 8 ends that saw him go to 19-15 and soon ended Bob’s challenge as he finished the game 21-16(21ends).
Competition Secretary, Mike Potter thanked Greenfields for their hospitality and staging the event on behalf of the SCGBA before inviting county President, Mike Caddick to make the presentation of the prizes to the worthy winners and from Bylet, the 2017 Veterans Merit Champion, Tony Steadman.
County President Mike Caddick presents the trophy to Tony Steadman.
Tony Steadman shows off the H.W. Batkin Trophy.
Mike Caddick (centre) with finalists Bob Cliffe and Tony Steadman.