Historic week for Hunts bowlers at national championships

HUNTINGDONSHIRE bowlers tore up the record books in seven hectic days of bowls at Worthing and Skegness.


HUNTINGDONSHIRE bowlers tore up the record books in seven hectic days of bowls at Worthing and Skegness.

Three titles, two final defeats and no fewer than nine semi-final places made for the most successful week in Huntingdonshire bowls history.

The Warboys pair of Tristan Morton and Wayne Bailey got the ball rolling by winning the Dennis Mowers Pairs title at the EBA finals at Worthing on Wednesday, and found their achievements matched by other Hunts bowlers.

The Hemingford rink of Lynda Childs, Janet Chapman and Pat Lawrence then collected the Two Bowl Rink title at the EWBF finals at Skegness.

The victory roll did not end there however, as Papworth bowler Lewis Baker won the Four Wood Singles at the same venue.

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EBF county secretary Peter Hartwell said the achievements of the week were unique.

He said: “I can’t find anything in previous years to surpass what the men and women bowlers from the county have achieved in the EBF National Championships at Skegness, or the EBA Nationals at Worthing. It’s a magnificent achievement.”

Bailey and Morton of White Hart, Warboys, clinched their title in style with a 22-19 win over a Lancashire duo in the final.

Bailey said: “It’s definitely the biggest title of our careers. The quarter-final win over the Reading pair of John Stradling and England international Rob Newman was massive.

“We were two up before the final end, and it looked like they were coming back. Then Tristan delivered a wonder bowl for us to win 19-18. That was when we thought we could win it.”

The pair destroyed Buckinghamshire 19-10 in the semi-finals, before overcoming Lancashire to win the trophy.

Morton had earlier lost 21-12 in the final of the U25 singles to Mark Nullmeyers of Essex.

In Skegness, the Hemingford trio of Childs, Chapman and Lawrence made history by winning the Two Bowl Rink title – the same title won by Childs’ mother, Neb Bailey, 41 years before, bowling for Somersham BC.

The 2010 team dominated their final, and wrapped it up before the final end for a 24-14 win.

Childs said the title equalled her rink’s win in 2003, when she won the Three Wood Triples with Chapman and Ann Ashmore.

Nineteen-year-old Lewis Baker made up for five years of first-round exits at Skegness with a win in the Four Wood singles.

He said: “I put the past behind me and just concentrated on one match at a time. After the first win I just tried to do the same in the quarter and the semi – and it worked.”

He faced the experienced Alan Lawton of Durham in the final, eventually winning 21-18.

Hunts were also represented in five other men’s semi finals and four women’s semi-finals at Skegness.

Those who came closest to the final were Barry Dellar, who lost 21-18 in the Secretaries Cup semi, and Heather Brace, Janet White and Pat Porter who lost 23-25 in the Three Bowl Rink.

Many of the bowlers at Skegness then made the trip to Worthing, where they competed for the county in the Middleton Cup.

In their first match they saw off pre-tournament favourites Devon, giving a strong team display to win three of the six rinks in a 120-115 shots win.

They won four of the six rinks against Cornwall in the final, but lost out overall. Heavy defeats on the other two rinks gave Cornwall a 126-109 victory, but could failed to put a dampener on a remarkable week.