Malaga Provincial Championships 2023
Lauro Golf Bowls Club 7th - 10th May
The Men's Triples got under way at the Quarter Final stage. Some evenly matched teams were drawn to play each other but on the day most of the games results looked pretty one-sided.
Two Lauro teams played each other and Championship favourites Kevin Westwell, Paul Hughes and Jeff Turner had little difficulty in seeing off their Clubmates, Rob Wright, Andy Moffat and Trevor Burgin.
In a series of very good, close heads Kevin's team just had the edge in the opening exchanges winning 5 of the first 7 ends by a single shot.
The second half of the game was more one sided and although the heads continued to be close, Trevor's team were unable to register another shot.
Another Lauro team John Warn, Dennis Buckman and Phil Guttrridge also found themsleves up against it, with the Saydo triple of Allen Gateshill, Jim McCarlie and Bill Hill picking up a series of big scores at crucial times, to take the game 25-14.
The remaining Lauro team of Ron Jones, Julian Thomas and Terry Higgins played another Saydo team of Nigel South, Bernard Percy and Clive Price.
For Ron and Nigel this was a re-run of last weeks Singles Championship Final and the result was very similar. The Lauro team ran away to a 12-0 early lead, increased it to 15-2 and held on against a spirited fightback to run out 23-11 winners.
The third Saydo team in the competition were Mick Sudworth, George Gray and Arend Van Duyvenbode. They, too, got off to a flier, leading 18-3 on the 11th end against a good Benavista team of Doug Hall, Jack Gordon and Dave Goodwin.
By the 17th end it still looked like a comfortable win for the Saydo triple, despite Benavista dragging themsleves back to 19-12.
It was a bit of a heart stopping end to the game as Saydo went to pieces on the longer jack and looking to be down at least 7 before Arend's final bowl forced a measure. As bowl after bowl was taken out in favour of the Benavista team it started to look like an extra end - or even a shock comeback win was on the cards.
In the event a tight measure for the 6th bowl was won by Saydo who breathed a sigh of relief and progressed to the Semi-Final.
The Semi-Finals of the Men's Triples saw 2 Lauro teams play 2 Saydo teams, with similar outcomes.
Ron Jones, Julian Thomas and Terry Higgins played against George Gray, Arend Van Duyvenbode and Mick Sudworth, moving to Skip for this game.
Ron's team got off to a very goos start, winning the first 9 ends to lead 18-0. While the Sydo triple did mount a mini revival the game finished on the 17th end with a score of 25-5.
In the other Semi-Final lauro's Kevin Westwell, Paul Hughes and Jeff Turner didn't have it all their own way for the early part of the game, indeed the game changed when they picked up 4 shots on the 4th end to square the match. Saydo's Allen Gateshill, Jim McCarlie and Bill Hill had no answer to a 6 end burst from the Lauro team which saw them pick up 14 shots and effectively seal the win. While Saydo again staged a mini-revival the game ended 22-12 on the 17th end.
The all-Lauro Final takes place tomorrow morning (10th May) with a 10.30 start.
The Ladies Triples started at the Semi-Final stage (an all too familiar situation this year) and the first game was betwen a Saydo team of Isabel McCarlie, Janet Sudworth and Nina McKenzie (who have had a successful Provincial Championships between them this year) against a much changed Lauro team whose line up changed three times in the days leading up the tournament with 2 of the players dropping out through illness and injury. In the eventual line up last years' winner Jenny Parkin was teamed with Kathy Middleton and Chrystal McCallum.
It was a close game through the first 8 ends but as so often is the case in tight games, one loose end changed the game. The Saydo team picked up a 7 to go 13-6 up and with Lauro chasing points to catch up, kept their heads to see the game out, eventually winning 20-8 on the 16th end.
In the other Semi-Final perennieal winners Simone Morgan, Mary Dethridge and Pat Fisher (Santa Maria) also got off to a flyer, winning the first 7 ends to take a 13-0 lead agaisnt Saydo's Angie Brooker, Margaret Finch and Christine Holbrow. It was a game of near misses and almost great bowls for the Saydo team as they came so close on so many occasions but couldn't quite get the shots they needed and the game ended 24-8 on the 14th end.
The Ladies Final also takes place tomorrow morning (10th May).with a 10.30 start.
Ladies Triple Final was between Simone Morgan, Mary Detheridge and Pat Fisher (Santa Maria) veteran players and multiple Championship winners and Isabel McCarlin, Nina McKenzie and Janet Sudworth (Saydo) with the first two of those having a fantastci season winning trophy after trophy. it promised to be a good Final and so it proved.
With tight heads and goood bowling from both teams, it was the Santa Maria team who had enough to take an early lead and apply the pressure and despite a strong revivial from the Saydo team they increased their lead to take the title.
The Men's Final was a game of two halves. Two Lauro teams facing each other and knowing each other's games so well, indeed many of the players had won Championships together in different combinations.
Ron Jones, Julian Thomas and Terry Higgins got off to a flying start before the Kevin Westwell Paul Hughes and Jeff Turner got into their stride and fought back. In a game like this it was fine margins that decided the outcome and in the final four ends these fine margins went the way of Kevin's team as they really started to find their line and length to finish deserved winners.
Saydo Bowls Club, Sunday 30th April - Wednesday 3rd May
Men’s Singles Championships
With the exception of 1 preliminary game (in which Anthony Wake defeated his fellow Saydo Club member Mike Sudworth) the Men’s Singles started at the “Round of 16” stage.
With most of the games being fairly straightforward wins - 21-11 or 21-12- the 2 exceptions being Allen Gateshill getting a “walk over” when his opponent pulled at the last minute and a close encounter between Ron Jones (Lauro Golf Bowls Club ) and Ant Wake (Saydo Bowls Club) In a close match that saw first Ant take the lead and then Ron overtake him, with the score 10-10 after 12 ends. With both players bowling really well amidst tight heads and close measures, Ant went ahead again only for Ron to bring it back to 15-15 at 20 ends.
Ron went ahead in the next few ends and at 19-17 looked most likely to win. Ant had other ideas and two excellent bowls brought the game back to level at 19-19. Ron drew a bowl to the jack, Ant rested it out just enough to hold shot. Ron rested it but fell backwards and Ant still held shot. Ant put his next bowl just behind but Ron put a little extra weight into his 3rd bowl and trailed the jack back almost 3 yards, his bowl staying within a yard of the jack. Ant’s last bowl ran into one of the short bowls leaving Ron some 5 feet to draw the winning bowl which he duly did. An excellent display by both players.
In the Quarter-Final, Ron Jones saw off a stiff challenge from Saydo’s Arend Van Duyenbode before he started to find his weight with consistency and from 9-8 at 10 ends ended up with a comfortable 21-13 win.
Stuart Brickley (La Posada) was never in any danger of losing against a less experienced George Gray (Saydo) taking an early lead over the first few ends and George never looked likely to get back into the game, eventually losing 21-7.
Allen Gateshill was probably the favourite to win the competition, an experienced bowler on his home green but bowls is one of those sports where you can never take anything for granted and his opponent Nigel South (Saydo) got off to a flying start winning 7 of the first 8 ends to be leading 15-2 at that point. You can never write off Allen, even at that score and he clawed his way back to just one shot behind - 18-19 down after 18 ends. Indeed he was holding 4 shots and game with Nigel having only his last bowl to play – and didn’t he play it well. Trailing the jack back to pick up 2 shots to win the game.
The last of the quarter-finals saw Phil Guttridge (Lauro) face Peter Togneri (Saydo) in another game of two halves. In an evenly matched tussle Phil held the advantage for much of the game before 3 disastrous ends -15, 16, 17 – saw Peter take 9 shots and lead for the first time in the game, 20-14. Phil picked up a 3 shots of his own, to make it 20 - 17 only for Peter to make the winning shot on the next end.
Semi Finalists: Ron Jones, Stuart Brickley, Nigel South, Peter Togneri
In the first of the Semi-Finals, Nigel South was on fire. Bowling consistently well and hardly allowing Peter Togneri any opportunity to score, he took an early lead but Peter found a rhythm, fighting his way back to level the game at 8 – 8 after 10 ends. It was to be short lived, however, as Nigel won 9 of the remaining 11 ends and never looked in danger of being caught again, eventually winning 21-11 in an excellent display.
The other Semi-Final was a much more even game, with almost every end involving the Marker and/ or Umpire in a tight measure. Ron Jones was bowling superbly, finding both line and length consistently but so was Stuart Brickley. Neither player could afford a “loose” end . Unfortunately Ron stepped back off the mat and stood on a bowl, twisting his knee and in obvious discomfort he struggled over the next few ends losing 5 in a row and seeing Stuart take the lead 13-12. Then whatever had “clicked” in the knee “clicked” again and the pain eased. He immediately found his focus and raced back into an 18-13 lead over the next 3 ends, eventually winning 21-16. An excellent game that the many spectators said would have been a worthy Final.
Finalists: Nigel South, Ron Jones,
As occasionally happens the Final itself proved slightly anti-climatic. Nigel South had been so consistent and so dominant in the Semi-Final, was unable to replicate that form.
Ron Jones, playing superbly and putting 2 or 3 bowls around the jack most ends applied the pressure from the very first bowl and it was a shell shocked Nigel who found himself 13-0 down after just 6 ends.
Ron kept up the pressure and when Nigel got his first toucher of the game - an excellent dead draw- Ron fired it off and killed the end, winning the replay.
Nigel started to find his form and Ron at 19-6 up waited for his opportunity rather than trying to force a win.
That opportunity came on the 17th end, with Nigel holding 2 excellent bowls only inches from the Jack, Ron again played a running bowl – only his 2nd of the game – and again took the jack. This time it stayed on the edge of the rink line without going out. Nigel played his 3rd wood, got the weight perfectly but it just crossed the line and went out of play by about a foot. Ron played his 3rd wood down the line, taking advantage of a straightener he had “discovered” earlier in the game (to his frustration at the time) and got within a couple of feet. Nigel’s final bowl was short leaving Ron a fairly simple repeat shot to take the match.
Ladies Singles Championships
Finalists: Nina McKenzie, Isabel McCarlie
Once again a disappointing entry for a Ladies event meant that the Championships started at the Semi-Final stage, with all of the entries coming from Saydo Bowls Club.
Isabel McCarlie was drawn against a relatively new bowler, Jeannie Fraser with predictable results. Isabel is a very experienced and successful bowler and the 21-3 score line reflected the difference in the player’s levels. However, Jeannie enjoyed the experience and I am sure she learned a lot and look forward to her entering more competitions in the future. The sure way to get better is to play often at this level.
The second Semi Final also saw a very experienced Nina McKenzie up against an only slightly less experienced Janet Sudworth. Both players have played regularly on the Competition circuit and there were some excellent heads, with Nina just getting the upper hand – sometimes with that bit of luck you always need. As so often is the case in Singles, the player with the fewer “loose ends” was the winner. Janet played 3 and dropped two 4’s and a 3. Nina’s consistency giving her a 21-12 win.
The Final saw two erstwhile team mates, who regularly make up a formidable Pairs team together and each know the others game inside out. It was a contrasting game because of that. All too often Nina had more bowls “in the head” than Isabel and picked up a 2 and a 3 on ends 3 and 4 to take the lead but Isabel was able to take shot or cut the numbers down picking up 4 or 5 singles in more of those situations. These are ends that win games and a 4 and a 3 on the 12 and 13th ends helped a lot too. All in all an excellent Final between two very good players that ended 21-13 to Isabel McCarlie.
The Presentations were made by Saydo President Peter Togneri and Ron Jones, with his FAB “hat” on, thanked Saydo Club for hosting, the Umpires and markers for their time and efforts and Tom McLean who had run the Competition whilst Ron was playing.
Congratulations to worthy Champions Isabel McCarlie (Saydo) and Ron Jones (Lauro)
Benavista Bowls Club, Sunday 23rd April - Tuesday 25th April
The all-Benavista game between Neil Marshall and Dave Goodwin againt Malcolm Greenwood and Doug Hall was a real "game of 2 halves"
At 9 ends Malcolm and Doug held a comfortable 14-3 lead and it looked to be all about "game management". Even at 14-8 there was no sense of an upset in the offinc. Indeed at 17-8 after 13 ends it felt as if the game was going through the motions, Neil and Dave picked up the next 4 ends to go into the last end still trailing by 4 shots at 17-13.
Somehow Dave managed to squeeze the jack sideways to pick up an unexpected and unlikely 5 to win the game.
The game between Laurie Passman and Roy Saunders versus Vernon Conway and John Morgan looked to be heading toward another amazing comeback as they picked up a 4 on the 17th end to go into the last end only one behind at 17-16.
It was squeaky bum time for John and Vernon as they found themselves 5 down with John only having his last bowl to save the game. He played it perfectly and trailed the jack back to pick up a match winning 2, 18-16.
In the 3rd game of the day Ron Jones and Terry Higgins (a late replacement for Julian Thomas) (Lauro) played David Evans and Jack Gordon (Benavista) in a tight game with the Lauro pair taking the lead on the 3rd end only for the Benavista team to fight back to 10-10 at the 11th end. That was to be the closest they came to taking the lead however, as Ron and Terry won 5 of the remaining 6 ends to take a 21-12 victory after 17 ends.
Catch up on all the game scores on Men's Pairs
The Semi-Finals saw a very good game between Ron Jones and Terry Higgins (Lauro) and the Benavista pair of Neil Marshall and Dave Goodwin.
Neil and Dave played some excellent bowls in the early stages to lead 13-2 after 9 ends. Ron and Terry were also bowling well, but it seemed no matter what they did they couldn't get a shot.
From the 10th end it started to click for them and they got the score back to a respectable 12-15 by the 16th end and on the 17th were holding at least 4 until Dave squeezed the jack sideways with his last bowl to pick up a 3, and a winning 6 shot lead going into the last end.
In the other Semi-Final John Morgan and Vernon Conway had a comfortable, if slightly unexpected, victory against Mike Old and Barry Pemberton. With all 4 players being Benavista members they new each other's game very well and on the day John and Vernon were worthy winners.
Catch up on all the game scores on Men's Pairs
In an unusual twist the teams of Simone Morgan and Pat Fisher (Santa Maria) and Eleanor Morgan and Carolyne Goodwin featured the Mother and Daughter from the Morgan family playing against one another.
On the day, it was daughter Simone who was to take home the bragging rights - along with the trophy and gold medal. Simone and Pat played with their usual skill and efficiency honed by many Final appearances (and wins) in major Malaga competitions, never looked in danger of losing.
The same could be said of the Men's Final where the other bowling member of the Morgan family (Father/Husband) John and his Pairs partner Vernon Conway had a 20 shot win to take the Men's Pairs title in style.
Congratulations to the Champions, Simone Morgan and Pat Fisher (Santa Maria) and John Morgan and Vernon Conway (Benavista).
La Posada Bowls Club, Sunday 16th April - Tuesday 18th April
The 1st Discipline of this year's Provincial Championships are the Mixed Fours.
The Competition started with the Mixed Fours and some superb bowling in the Quarter Finals.
Quarter Final Action
In another nailbiting encounter Les Springham's team looked to be getting away from Arend van Duyvenbonde and his team at 9-3 up before dropping a couple of 4's to take a 12-10 lead. The last 4 ends saw both teams bowling really well and going into the final end at 15-15 , with Les just doing enough to scrape a 16-15 win.
Go to the Mixed Fours Page
Day 2 of the Mixed Fours saw the Semi-Finals taking place, proviiding more thrills and nailbiting finishes.
Any home advantage was probably nullified by the regular games both Clubs play on each others green.
While saydo took an early lead a big 5 for Mick go 6-5 ahead after 5 ends. A 3, 4 and 2 on the 7, 8th and 9th ends opened up a commanding 16-5 lead at that 9th end and things looked bleaj for Allen and his team.
Then the fight back began. Allen's team won 8 of the next 9 ends, dropping only a single shot. A brilliant bowls by Belle McCarlie, playing number 3, rested out the shot bowl of Pat Baker (who had bowled superbly all game) to fall sideays to hold shot. Allen tried to increase that to 2 and Mick tried to move it, either of which would have given his team shot. Neither of them could make their bowls count and the match was 17-17 and the extra end.
A great game of bowls from both teams
With both teams bowling well, the Lauro team took 5 big scoring ends to put the game out of the reach of their opponents and with their lead uncatchable the game ended on the 17th end.
Go to the Mixed Fours Page
Mixed Fours Final
Sometimes Bowls Finals can be a bit of an anti-climax. Not this one.
It was a game that had everything. Two closely matched teams playing very well, constantly changing heads, spectacular shots and - yes - some outrageously good and bad luck.
One team would take the lead and then the other would overtake them.
Two crucial shots from Saydo's Allen Gateshill swung the match in their favour. At least 5 down on the 8th down with the score 9-7 to Saydo, Allen somehow found a way though a packed head to clip the side of the jack and kill the end.
On the 17th end with Saydo leading 18-17 and Lauro holding a front toucher in another packed head, Allen managed to rest out the shot bowl a crucial 4 inches and after an agonisingly long Umpire's measure came away with 2 shots to go into the last end 20-17 instead of 18-18.
Entertaining, edge of the seat bowling from both teams and a very good win for the Saydo team. Commiserations to Lauro's Ron Jones, Julian Thomas, Margaret Woodin and Terry Higgins.
A Special thanks to Jeff Rowe for controlling the competition and to Mike Lighton for the excellent photos