The County Handicap is a one day competition played at the Severnside complex in Shrewsbury on the last Bank Holiday Monday in May.
Below is a report of the 2o17 County Handicap from Mike Potter along with scores and pictures. We are thankful that Mike has took the time to do this.
County Handicap – Mon 29th May 2016 Final Stages Severnside No.1
Rich Lawson (-4) (Bowring) 21 – 06 Craig Wilson (-2) (Meole Brace)
Hayden Lewis (scr) (Telepost) 21 – 20 Keith Wall (scr) (Hodnet)
Scott Simpson (-4) (SJB) 21 – 14 Ben Allen (-2) (Burway)
Harry Parsonage (+3) (Burway) 21 – 19 Cedric Bancroft (scr) (Woore)
Rich Lawson 21 – 14 Hayden Lewis Scott Simpson 21 – 08 Harry Parsonage
Rich Lawson 21-20 Scott Simpson
Rich Lawson’s domination of the County Handicap Championship continued as he re-wrote the history books after successfully defending his crown yet again to become the first player to win the title, three years on the bounce on the traditional late Spring Bank Holiday Monday running of the competition, staged on the greens of Old Shrewsbury and Severnside bowling clubs.
Despite a slightly reduced field (61 entries), the top class bowling on the superbly presented greens was in evidence throughout the day that culminated, in for those that remained, a truly outstanding final from the first through to the last bowl
On an overcast yet mild morning, 2017 County President, Mike Caddick and Competitions Secretary, Mike Potter, welcomed the entrants, 7 down from the previous year, to the Shrewsbury town walls complex where the early group stages were played on two greens of both Old Shrewsbury and Severnside before the 16 qualifiers gathered to contest the final games on the No.1 “Ponderosa” green of the latter.
Highlights from Quarter Finals
Rich Lawson (Bowring) went on a run with the jack to take the score from 4-4 to 11-4 before Craig Wilson (Meole) halted his progress with a couple of singles, only for Rich to grab back the initiative and steamrollered his way, with five double chalk counting ends to finish 21-6. A see-saw encounter saw Hayden Lewis (Telepost) open up a 13-3 lead that Keith Wall (Hodnet) countered to fight back to trail 11-13 and after eight more ends of ping pong where neither held the jack, the scores were tied 18-18 and 20-20 before this evenly matched game was settled in Hayden’s favour 21-20. Following a steady start by both, Scott Simpson (SJB) took control from 9-9 to a lead of 18-9 over Ben Allen (Burway) and after a mini revival, Scott completed his winning card 21-14. Young gun, Harry Parsonage (Burway) belied his +3 handicap showing form that would later earn him the best novice, Clare Cup award but not before an evenly matched encounter with seasoned campaigner Cedric Bancroft (Woore) who saw an 11-9 lead evaporate as Harry led 19-13 and which after Cedric’s late long corners run, saw Harry secure a semi-final place 21-19.
Highlights from the Semi Finals
Rich Lawson, giving his opponent, Hayden Lewis four chalks took 18 ends to eventually tie the game 8-8 from which neither could take command as they shared the next 12 chalks over 12 ends that took the game to 14-14. Then Rich switched gears to take the last four ends to win the 7 chalks required to earn a final ticket 21-14. Scott Simpson seemingly made light work to wipeout an initial 7 chalk deficit as Harry Parsonage’s form & luck deserted him that saw Scott amass a 13-4 lead that included five consecutive double scoring ends and went onto 18-8 before ending Harry’s hopes 21-8.
A small crowd of about 20 spectators stayed to watch the final between defending champion, Rich Lawson and Scott Simpson, and they were not to be disappointed as Rich pushed into a 9-4(10ends) lead on a 25 metre mark across the green. As Scott tried to stretch into the corners, Rich was equal to his challenge and maintained his 5 chalk advantage, 15-10(20ends) before Scott’s perseverance paid off that saw him take the lead for the first time 18-17(27ends). And after Rich levelled at the next end, the finale was set up as both stole a brace each to tie at 20-20. The final end saw Scott lead his first bowl 4feet short on his preferred 30metre straight mark that Rich bettered by a foot that was in turn beaten by another foot to end 18 inches shy of the block. Then, as in countless 20-20 where holding the final bowl is said to be advantageous, Rich launched his second bowl that as it began to slow up, skimmed close to the previous bowls and came to a rest alongside but an inch inside the closest bowl that prompted a magnanimous Scott to lead the spontaneous congratulatory applause as Rich completed his historic Treble 21-20(31ends)
County President, Mike Caddick was quick to thank 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 Harry Parsonage, Best Novice Trophy and Rich Lawson (thrice) deservedly receiving the Champions trophy.
Rich Lawson receives the trophy off County President Mike Caddick.
Rich Lawson shows off the John Bowers Trophy.
The finalists Scott Simpson and Rich Lawson with County President Mike Caddick holding the trophy.
Harry Parsonage receives the Clare Cup off County President Mike Caddick.
Harry Parsonage with the Clare Cup for best novice performance.
County President Mike Caddick with the two winners today, Rich Lawson and Harry Parsonage.
Rich Lawson and Harry Parsonage proudly showing their trophy.
The last 16 with County President Mike Caddick holding the tr