Summer Championships 2022 - Open Triples Report

The 2022 Summer Championships Open Triples

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What a Competition, What a Final!
Never let anyone tell you that Lawn Bowls is boring!
The Malaga Provincial Summer Championships lived up to their expectations. All throughout the 4 day competition there was everything you could hope for in a Tournament.
Favourites knocked out by underdogs, superb bowling, outrageous luck, aggressive bowling changing heads, exquisite draw bowling changing results.
This was Lawn Bowls at its very best.

The Final itself was a vignette of the whole competition.
One Triple had two members who had never won a Malaga competition before, captained by a very experienced Skip. The La Posada Bowls Club team of Bill Steele, Stuart Brickley and their Skip, Mick Asted, had good wins against experienced opposition from Benavista Bowls Club, hosts Mijas Bowls Club and local rivals from Saydo Bowls Club in the earlier rounds of the competition.

Facing them in the Final was a Triple of very successful bowlers on the local scene. Julian Thomas , Paul Hughes and Skip Ron Jones have, between them, won virtually every major competition in Malaga Province at some time over the past few years. While this was the first competition as a Triple their joint experience made them strong favourites to win. They had tough matches but comfortable wins in their previous games but were definitely not underestimating their opponents.

Even so they must have been stunned to go down by 5 shots on the first end, 3 on the second and another shot on the 3rd end to find themselves 9-0 behind.
There was nothing lucky about the lead. The La Posada team had simply started with a consistency and precision that the Lauro team couldn’t match.
Having found themselves 7-0 down in same stage of their semi-final game the previous day, the Lauro Triple weren’t starting to panic just yet.

They picked up 4 shots over the next 2 ends and a fight back looked on the cards. The La Posada team had other ideas and after 8 ends had extended their lead to 13-4, thanks in part to an uncharacteristically poor bowl from Ron Jones to give 2 shots away on the 6th end and a superb drawn shot by Mick Asted to take the end when 3 down on the 8th.

The game continued to be nip and tuck, good bowls from all 3 of the Lauro team picked up a 3 only for the next end to drop a 2 thanks again to superb bowls from Mick. It seemed the La Posada team were going to match anything the Lauro triple could bring and after 12 ends they led 17-8.

By now the Lauro team, especially Paul, were starting to finally find some consistency with their weight and started to exert some pressure.
They picked up a 3 and a 4 and were holding 4 on the 15th end when Stuart Brickley bowled to rest on a touching bowl from Julian Thomas.
The shot couldn’t be called when the Skips took their turn. Ron bowled a magnificent bowl, resting out Stuarts bowl to hold shot and the 17-15 looked to become 17-17.
Mick had other ideas and played an almost identical bowl to rest out Julian and take the end.

At 18-15 with only 3 ends to play no-one was betting on the Lauro team.
The 16th end, Lauro were holding 6 shots and must have been feeling they were back in the game before Mick, with his last bowl, drew an unbeatable shot to make the game 19-15 with only 2 ends to go.

One of the spectators said to Julian, “You need to pick up a 2 here to give yourselves a chance going into the last end.”
“No,” said Julian “We will pick up a 4 and go into the last end level”
Everyone laughed.
Lauro were holding 1, before 3 bowls from Ron turned that into the 4 Julian predicted.

At 19-19 the tension was palpable. The leads both played slightly underweight but Paul was holding, about a foot short.
Stuart just tickled the jack back a foot or so and was holding shot before Julian bowled a fantastic touching bowl that moved the jack a crucial couple of inches off the line and stayed about an inch from the jack.
The movement of the jack was enough to take it off the natural draw line, making it almost impossible to draw round the short bowls and get back to take shot.
And so it proved, despite his best efforts Mick was unable to change the position, Ron, wisely opted to keep out of the head, simply bowling bowls into the draw line to complicate things for Mick (conscious of the fact that he had already given away several shots from winning lies).

The game ended 20-19 to Lauro and amazingly the only time they had been in the lead in the entire game was the Final end.

What a game, what an advert for bowls!

Ron Jones, with his Federation hat on thanked the host Club for their work in making competitors and spectators welcome and for providing sandwiches and refreshments at the end of the Final.

He also presented the Finalists with their personal mementos and the Winner’s with the Trophy.

His comment about the win? “I don’t know how we won that, the La Posada trio were fantastic throughout; it was almost robbery with violence but without the violence.”