Andalucian Championships 2023
29th March - 5th April 2023

All The Latest News

5th April - Graham Shoots Wins THREE Titles
Team Mate John Pooley Wins TWO

What a Finals day we had. With Graham "Shootsie" Shoots getting to 3 Finals it was hardly surprising that all eyes were on him and how he would cope with 3 games back to back.

He was not the only player in multiple Finals of course. In the Ladies Pairs Belle McCarlie (Saydo) was also in the Mixed Fours with her Saydo Clubmates. In this game however, she was paired with Lauro's Linda Jarrett and faced a strong challenge from the very experienced Santa Maria pair of Barbara Land and Mary Detheridge.
The early part of the game was nip and tuck but Barbara and Mary took a 4 shot lead on the 5th end and increased that to 6 on the 16th end and with only 2 ends to play looked certain to win.
Belle and Linda picked up a good 3 on the 17th end and could have had more but for a good saving bowl from Barbara
On the final end Linda bowled 3 excellent bowls, Belle added 2 more and with Barbara not finding a saving bowl with her first 3 bowls, were looking good to snatch a victory.
Bowls, though, can be a cruel game and Barbara's final bowl was wide and heavy but pushed a short bowl into Mary's short bowl which in turn rolled agonisingly into 3rd place, to give them the win by a single shot.

Congratulations to Ladies Pairs Winners Barbara Land and Mary Detheridge

Ladies Pairs Finalists Linda Jarret, Belle McCarlie, Mary Detheridge and Barbara Land

In the Men's Pairs Graham Shoots was loooking to win his first title of the Championships, along with his partner John Pooley. Hoping to put an early end to his dream were Nick Cummins (La Posada) and Craig Lewis (Santa Maria).
With Nick Cummins not quite finding the weight in the early exchanges it was some excellent bowling from Craig Lewis that kept them in the game. There were high expectations for Graham but it was actually the tussle between Skips John and Craig that defined this game. Both of these are Spanish Intenationals and their skills were brilliant to watch. Each changed heads, picked up shots when behind and from the 5th end to the 18th end there was never more than 1 shot between the side. Superb from both players. It was unfortunate then that the Extra End was decided by a loose bowl from Craig that "promoted" a short bowl of Graham's right on to the jack. The remaining bowls of the end were Craig trying to beat that bowl and John trying to defend it, a situation that made the final score completely unrepresentative of the quality of the game.

Congratulations to Men's Pairs Winners John Pooley and Graham Shoots

Men's Pairs Finalists Nick Cummins, Craig Lewis, John Pooley and Graham Shoots

Next up was the Ladies Singles Final which saw Simone Morgan (Santa Maria) against Linda Lester (Indalo)
As is often the case the early exhanges were fairly even, with Simone holding a 6-5 lead at 8 ends.
From that point on Simone took control, consistently getting 3 bowls on or around the jack while Linda tried to keep her at bay with 1 good bowl to restrict the score or take an occcasional end. Simone won 8 of the next 10 ends to record a comfortable victory.

Congratulations to Ladies Singles Winner Simone Morgan

Ladies Singles Finalists Linda Lester and Simone Morgan

The Mixed Fours Final brought together two teams that had been in excellent form in the previous rounds. The Saydo team of Nina McKenzie, Tom McClean, Belle McCarlie (playing in her 2nd Final of the day) and Allen Gateshill had recorded comfortable wins in all their previous games against some very good opponents.
The same applies to the Zurgena team, John Pooley, Jan Dando, Maureen Hanratty and Graham Shoots had also won their previous games confidently and well. This was a Final everyone was looking forward to.
In the event it turned out to be a little disappointing, neither front end played to their expected levels with both Nina and Graham not quite finding the length as consistently as they had in previous rounds. Tom and Maureen played some good bowls but again not quite reaching their levels of the previous games. Belle and Jan both played really well however, Belle often drawing in for shot and Jan playing some good running woods as well as good draw bowling. John Pooley, though, was probably the main difference between the teams. Continuing on after his success in the Pairs Finals he gave Allen very little opportunity to save the game, as end after end he applied pressure bowls.

Congratulations to Mixed Fours Winners: John Pooley, Jan Dando, Maureen Hanratty and Graham Shoots

The success of Graham Shoots in getting to 3 Finals disrupted the schedule to such an extent that his 3rd game of the Finals day didn't take place until around 5 pm, with him having played pretty much non-stop from the 9.30 starting time.
He was up against Kevin Westwell (Lauro) who is one of the best singles players in the region and the question was could Graham keep up his energy levels and find the form to win his 3rd Final of the day.
The answer wasn't long in coming. In the first 6 ends his consistentcy and accuracy was amazing. Kevin was forced into trying to find a saving bowls and the 8-1 scoreline didn't flatter Graham.
When Kevin WAS holding good scores Graham twice trailed the jack into the ditch - not weighted shots - and picked up a 2 each time
This was as good a Singles performance as we have seen, the consistency and accuracy of Graham's play blew a very good player away,leaving Kevin to simply acknowledge he had been outperformed.

Congratulations to Men's Singles Winner Graham Shoots

Graham Shoots

4th April
Day 7 brought with it the last of the Semi-Finals.
In the Morning were 2 excellent Men's Pairs matches. Ron Jones and Julian Thomas (Lauro) against John Pooley and Graham Shoots (Zurgena) was a really close encounter with nothing to separate the two teams until 2 brilliant ends from the Zurgena pair on ends 13 and 14 opened up a 5 shot lead. Despite winning 3 of the last 4 ends Ron and Julian were unable to claw back those shot and John and Graham deservedly marched into the Final.
Who their opponents would be proved to be a real cliffhanger. Mick Ansted and Jeff Rowe (La Posada) opened up an 8 shot lead over Nick Cummins (La Posada) and Craig Lewis (Santa Maria) only to find themselves pegged back to be a shot behind after 10 ends.
They then won the next 4 ends to lead by 5 and it looked as if the game was theirs. Nick and Craig weren't beaten yet, however and once more brought themselves level on the 18th end, triggering an extra end.
The momentum was now with Nick and Craig and they snatched an unlikely looking victory by two shots in another really tight head.

If the pairs Semi-Finals were closely fought, the same could not be said of the Mixed Fours Semi-Finals. In two uneven contests Allen Gateshill's Saydo team despatched Jeff Turner's Lauro team completing only 14 ends.
The other Semi-Final was no closer, John Pooley's Zurgena team beating local rivals from Indalo, led by Jan Sussex, by a similarly wide margin after 15 ends.

The results meant Graham Shoots (Zurgena) has the honour of being in all 3 of the Finals he was eligible to qualify for. Tomorrow will see him attempt to win all 3, playing successive games from 9.30 in the morning until the last game starting at 4.30 in the afternoon - a likely endurance test of around 8 hours of bowling. We wish him the best of luck in all 3 Finals.

3rd April
The morning of Day 6 brought the Men's and Ladies Singles Semi-Finals.
The curse of the bottom of the Ladies draw struck again with Sue Jones withdrawing from the competiiton, leaving Linda Lester a BYE into the Final
The Semi-Final that WAS played turned out to be a cracker! Simone Morgan and Mary Detheridge (both from Santa Maria) who were due to play alongside each other in the afternoon's Mixed Fours, produced an exhibition of superb Singles play.
Close heads with both players having their bowls consistently tucked around the Jack with often the smallest of margins deciding the result of an end. Simone, as she had in yesterday's game, incrementally increased the pressure and the score line rose in her favour until she finally won with what looked like a comfortable score. I am sure she would tell you that easy was not what it was.

See the Ladies Singles page for all the details.

In the Men's Singles, Championship "Player of the Tournament" contender Graham Shoots (Zurgena) recorded his 3rd 21-11 Singles victory in a row, this time seeing off Lauro bowler Phil Guttridge.
In the other Semi-Final - an all Lauro clash - saw Jeff Turner beginning to edge in front and look the more likely winner until some trademark "aggression" from Kevin Westwell saw him convert a 4 down end to a 3 in his favour with a full blooded drive. A similar shot a couple of ends later saw Kevin go into an 18-14 lead and he rarely loses from that kind of position.

See the Mens Singles page for all the details.

The Mixed Fours Quarter Finals proved a mixed bag, with some usually strong teams having some indifferent performances.
A good performance by a Saydo team Skipped by Allen Gateshill completely outbowled a Lauro team, Skipped by Ron Jones, that underperformed badly.
Kevin Westwell (Lauro) described his team's performance as "one of my 10 worst" as his team struggled to find line and length agains a strong Indalo team Skipped by Linda Lester.
A highly rated Santa Maria team Skipped by Gordon Kaine, failed miserably against a very good Zurgena team Skipped by the ubiquitous Graham Shoots. All while another strong Santa Maria team, Skipped by La Posada's Nick Cummins, somehow managed to throw away a 14-1 lead to lose to a Lauro team Skipped by Jeff Turner, who staged a magnificent comeback.
Never let it be said that Bowls is boring and predictable.

See the Mixed Fours page for all the details.

Tomorrow sees the last of the Semi-Finals - the Pairs in the morning and the Mixed Fours in the afternoon, with the organisers worst nightmare a possibility. Graham Shoots has the chance to be in all 3 Finals - Singles, Pairs and Mixed Fours. Good luck to him in the semi-finals tomorrow but a long Finals day awaits him if he is successful.
Finals days is of course Wednesday 5th and the timings of the Finals will be published tomorrow night once all the Finalists are confirmed

2nd April
Day 5 of the Championships started with the Preliminary Round of the Mixed Fours. In the first of 2 games, a Lauro team Skipped by Kevin Westwell dropped only 5 ends (including a 4 and a 3) against a Mijas team Skipped by Bill Neal.
In the second game a Lauro team Skipped by Trevor Burgin were completely out of sorts and struggled to 8 points before deciding to call it a day against a good Indalo team Skipped by Linda Lester.

See the Mixed Fours page for the details of the next round taking place tomorrow

In the afternoon the Quarter Finals of both the Men's and Ladies Singles took place.
The Ladies was reduced to just 3 games following the withdrawal of Nina McKenzie.
Linda lester (Indalo) raced off to a 17-4 lead over Isabelle McCarlie (Saydo) and while Belle staged a mini-revival over a 4 end period it was never going tobe enough to reverse it and Linda eventually finished with a comfortable victory.
ladies pairs team mates (and indeed Santa Maria Club Mates) Barbara Land and Mary Detheridge had one of those games where it is a pleasure just to sit and watch. For 19 ends there was no separating them as first one and then the other played a series of excellent bowls, keeping the spectators enthralled.
Mary just got her nose in front on the 20th end and edged the final 3 ends to take a very good win.
Simone Morgan (Santa Maria) and Jan Dando (Zurgena) are two more experienced hands in major tournaments and there was a lot of expectations on this being another excellent game. On this occasion they both seemed to struggle a little in finding the line and while the score was fairly even for much of the game Simone put together a run of winning ends to finish with a more comfortable scoreline than the game deserved.

See the Ladies Pairs page for all the details.

The men's games all resulted in straightforward wins, with Graham Shoots (Zurgena), Phil Guttridge, Kevin Westwell and Jeff Turner (all Lauro) progressing to the Semi Finals.

See the Men's Singles page for the details of the Semi Finals taking place tomorrow afternoon

1st April
With 8 Men's Singles matches and 2 Ladies Pairs Semi-Finals scheduled for the day, it was always going to be a long and hectic Day 4 for the Championships.

In the Men's Singles there were routine wins for Graham "Shootsie" Shoots (Zurgena), Trevor Bettell (Indalo), Allen Gateshill (Saydo), Phil Guttridge (Lauro), Ken Pritchard (Lauro) and Jeff Turner (Lauro) but 2 intense games stood out.
Bill Neal (Mijas) and Trevor Burgin (Lauro) saw Trevor race to 14-3 lead after 12 ends only for Bill haul him back to 16-16 after 21. Even then, Trevor took the lead again on the next end - 16-17. Bill picked up 3 on the next and Trevor was holding 4 on the 26th end when a superb last bowl trail of the jack by Bill gave him the 2 shots he needed to snatch victory from Trevor.
In the other nailbiter of a game Kevin Westwell dropped a 3 on the first end against John "Pooligan" Pooley (Zurgena) then recover to take a 9-3 lead by the 5th end. Some superb bowling by both players kept the scoreboard ticking over with Kevin doing enough to keep his lead until the 22nd end when John finally managed to draw level - 19-19. He had got within a shot several times but never managed to take the lead and in what proved to be the final end Kevin again bowled 2 close bowls and despite narrowly missing trailing the jack twice, John couldn't cut the deficit leaving Kevin no need to play his final bowl.
An excellent game from both players.

See the Men's Singles page for the details of the next round taking place tomorrow afternoon

The other matches being played were the Ladies Pairs Semi-Finals. The first was between Mary Detheridge and Barbara Land (Santa Maria) and Jane Richardson and Margaret Woodin (Lauro). With with Skips bowling at their best, the efforts of the Lead players for both sides were often negated as both Barbara and Margret changed the heads significantly time after time.
7-7 at 8 ends, 11-11 at 12 ends then a killer running wood from Barbara gave them 3 shots at a crucial time and the momentum swung their way. By 15 ends it was 17-11 to the Santa Maria pair.
Jane and Margaret dragged themselves back into contention and only a good running bowl (again) from Barbara kept the Santa Maria lead, cutting a 4 down to a 2.
Going into the last end 3 behind Margaret was unlucky to trail the jack just too far on her third wood and needing to push out Mary's bowl - which was 2nd shot - and take 3 for the tie and an extra end, her final bowl was just too wide and the single shot they picked up was not enough. A good win for Mary and Barbara

In the other Semi-Final, Isabelle McCarlie had to bring in a replacement after her usual partner Nina McKenzie, was hospitalised with heat stroke and dehydration earlier in the Championships.
Fortunately Linda Jarrett (Lauro) stepped in and had a superb game.
Playing against Hazel Guttridge and Kathy Middleton (Lauro) this was a game of tight heads and narrow margins. In a game of 18 ends it shows the quality of the bowling when both teams scored only two 2 shot ends with all the rest being singles.
The last 5 ends were 8-8, 8-9, 9-9, 10-9, 11-9,11-10 and on the final end Hazel and Kathy were holding 2 shots to win the game when Isabelle drew a bowl on to the shot wood to take the game, 12-10. What a game from all 4 players!

See the Ladies Pairs page for all the details.

Also taking place tomorrow is the Preliminary Round of the Mixed Fours with 2 matches starting at 10.30.

31st March
Today saw the start of the Singles discipline. with 5 Men's and 4 Ladies Round 1 matches.
Once again we had one of the Ladies matches abandoned due to illness as Jane Richardson conceded to Mary Detheridge, unable to continue to the end of the game.
In the remaining games we had some familiar faces facing off against each other as Jan Dando (Zurgena) overcame Margaret Kain (Santa Maria), an oft repeated encounter with both players having previous wins under their belts. In this game, though, Jan took an early lead and never looked like losing it.
Simone Morgan (Santa Maria) set off like an express train in her win against Jan Sussex (Indalo), racing to an 11-2 lead after 7 ends. Jan fought back hard but Simone increased the pressure and there was no way back for Jan, with Simone in this kind of form.
Maureen Hanratty (Zurgena) may be one of the least experienced bowlers in the Championships, having only been bowling for around a year, but she held her own to give the very experienced Barbara Land a tough game. With the scores 12-12 at 14 ends Barbara's experience and consistency began to tell, winning 3 of the final 4 ends and adding 9 shots to give a final score that didn't reflect the entire story of the match.

The Ladies Singles continue on Sunday at 14.00 and detail of the draw can be found: Ladies Singles

The Men's games also saw a withdrawal, this time before the start, with Graham Shoots (Zurgena) given a walkover against Dennis Buckman (Lauro).

Ron Jones (Lauro) led throughout his match against Tony Land (Santa Maria) without ever really looking a comfortable winner. Every time he looked like getting a bigger lead, Tony reined him back in, with Ron on 19 for 4 ends before finally getting the winning shots.

If Nick Cummins (Saydo) easily saw off a strangely out of touch Alex Bradley (Lauro), the last 2 games were a different story.

Terry Higgins (Lauro) and Ewan Fraser (Mijas) gave an exhibition of dogged bowling. neither willing to let the other take a lead. 8-8, 10-10, 15-15, for 22 ends there was no separating the two. Terry picked up a 3 - his first of the game - to take a crucial 18-16 lead it was still unclear if this would be enough to win. 18-17, 19-17 then a welcome 2 for Terry to bring the game to an end. Superb bowling.

Trevor Bettell (Indalo) and Rob Wright (Lauro) had a real ding dong of a tussle with the lead changing constantly all the way through.12-12 at 14 ends, 14-14 at 17 ends then Trevor picked ap a 3 on the 18th end to go 17-14.
Not to be out done Rob picked up a 4 to make it 17-18, Trevor picked up another 3, 20-17 and was holding shot with a dead drawn toucher until Rob burned the end.
On the replayed end Rob was holding a game winning 3 with each player having 1 bowl left. Trevor drew another dead draw toucher, to be holding game - leaving Rob to try to repeat his end-burning shot from the previous end. Sadly for him, and much to Trevor's relief, it skimmed the bowl without disturbing it to see Trevor through to the next round.

The Men's Singles continue tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.30 and 14.00 and details of the full draw can be found: Men's Singles

30th March
Today saw the Pairs at the Quarter-Finals stages with 4 Men's Pairs and 4 Ladies Pairs matches.
In the Ladies Pairs, Big Gunn and Margaret Kain(Santa Maria) were forced to withdraw with only 4 ends played as Brig felt unwell, leaving Jane Richardson and Margaret Woodin (Lauro) to progress through to the to the Semi-Finals.
On paper the toughest game of the Ladies matches were Jan Dando and Maureen Hanratty (Zurgena) versus Mary Detheridge and Barbara Land (Santa Maria). The Santa Maria Pair took an early lead, increasing it in the late stages of the game to progress as comfortable winners.
Lauro's Sue Jones and Jenny Parkin had one of those games against Isabel McCarlie and Nina McKenzie (Saydo). All four players played well but Saydo Pair did just enough to edge the encounter.
It must have beem a tough tussle as just after the game Nina collapsed and was taken to hospital where she was treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion. Fortunately she was treated and had various tests before being released tonight with strict instructions to rest for 3 days. Great to hear it was not as serious as we all feared.
Meanwhile Hazel Guttridge and Kathy Middleton (Lauro) had a real tussle on their hands against Jan Sussex and Linda Lester from Indalo Bowls Club. For the first half of the game the scores swung first one way and then the other. 5-4,5-9, 13-12 before a couple of big scoring ends turned the game to the Lauro team.
See the Ladies Pairs page for the Semi-Final draw

The Men's Pairs had its share of excitement. Mick Ansted and Jeff Rowe (La Posada) rarely had more than a 1 shot difference between them and the Santa Maria/Mijas Pairing of Gordon Kain and Juan Abeal. Gordon and Juan picked up a 3 on the 1st end, Jeff and Mick and 4 on the second. Other than a 2 on the 5th end there was only a single shot scored on each end with the score 11-11 after 16 ends.
A rare 3 on the 17th end was enough to see Mick and Jeff home, dropping only a single shot on the final end.
A Santa Maria/La Posada Pairing of Craig Lewis and Nick Cummins proved too strong for Lauro's Rob Wright and Jeff Turner, when Craig in particular found the tricky Rink 3 better than any of the other players.
Zurgena's Graham Shoots and John Pooley are another strong team in with a shout of the title. They ruthlessly despatched a strong Mjas Pair of John Wilson and Bill Neal, winning all of the last 8 ends.
The last match saw Lauro pair Ron Jones and Julian Thomas face another strong Mijas pair of Ian Gray and Ian Patterson, who had won quite a few recent tournaments and were in fine form. Ron and Julian found themselves 7-0 down after only 4 ends and seemingly unable to even fluke a shot. However they also have a reputation in Pairs tournaments and dropped only 3 of the remaining 14 ends, picking up a 5,4 and 5 in the process.
See the Men's Pairs page for the Semi-Final draw.

29th March. The 2023 Andalucian Championships got under way at Lauro Golf Bowls Club today
The first disciplines to challenge the bowlers from thoughout the Region were the Men's Pairs first round and the Ladies Pairs prelimenary. round.

As expected the standard of bowling was very high and some close games ensued.
The Ladies Preliminary round saw an epic clash with Almeria's Jan Sussex and Linda Lester from Indalo Bowls Club who found themselves in a tough struggle with Malaga's Pat Fisher and Simone Morgan from Santa Maria Bowls Club
So tough in fact that the winners came down to a very tight measure on the final end, with the teams tied 15-15 after 17 ends, the measure going to the Almeria Pair.

Not to be outdone, the 7 games in the Men's Pairs 1st Round produced some great bowling and close games too.
The closest another epic struggle, this time between Saydo Bowls Club Pair, Allen Gateshill and Tom Mclean, who fought back from 12-5 down to tie the 17th end at 14-14 against Lauro Golf Bowls Club's Rob Wright and Jeff Turner.
The Lauro team held their nerve to pick up the single on the last end to win the game.
Check out all the results from their respective web pages.