Local players dominate town tournament

Hastings Open Bowls Tournament triples winners Martin Naylor, John Blackford and John Ruff
Hastings Open Bowls Tournament triples winners Martin Naylor, John Blackford and John Ruff

Local players dominated each event at the 2013 Hastings Open Bowls Tournament.

The historic week-long event drew to a close at White Rock Gardens on Saturday with some keenly contested finals despite the heavy cloud cover and occasional spots of rain.

Maxine Clarkson retained the Gibbons, Mannington & Phipps ladies’ singles by beating White Rock BC clubmate Lorraine Milburn 21-16. The finalists teamed up to clinch The Brickwall Hotel ladies’ pairs by overcoming Rachel Winter and Paula Monk, from Wimbledon Park BC and Northiam BC respectively, 27-17.

Colin Nutton (White Rock BC) collected the first of several trophies by beating John Ruff (Rosemount BC) in the Croft Glass men’s singles and added the President’s Cup to his collection as the best local player.

He also picked up the Don Softley men’s pairs trophy when he teamed up with Keith Cheetham to defeat Trevor Roberts and Ken Bones 23-9 in another all-White Rock final.

In the DD Catering Services open triples, the tournament chairman Martin Naylor (Rosemount BC) teamed up with John Blackford (White Rock BC) and John Ruff (Rosemount BC) to beat White Rock bowlers Colin Surman, Milburn and Adam Oakman in a very close contest 24-18.

Perhaps the shot of the tournament was delivered by Roberts, who when four down on the final end in the semi-finals, fired a terrific bowl to win by one. He also became a father during the week.

The total prize value was maintained at £2,000 and trophies were presented by Terry Boniface, a Lewes-based national umpire with who kindly umpired finals’ day at very short notice.

The tournament was again popular with several international bowlers playing, and other bowlers coming from areas as Morpeth, Birmingham, Wales and East Anglia all promising to return next year.

Tournament chairman Naylor said the committee was indebted to its sponsors and the many programme advertisers. He also thanked Hastings Borough Council for the excellent playing surfaces throughout the week.

Turning to the small army of volunteers and helpers, he was extremely grateful for all the hard work the kitchen and bar staff toiled, Maureen Charlesworth and Audrey with the raffle, and a special thank you went to Simon Moore, the competition secretary, for putting the matches together in such an efficient manner.

Attention now turns to the end of season Charity Triples Tournament which takes place on Sunday September 29. Closing date for entries is August 30. Entry forms are available by calling (01424) 443357 or from www.hastingsbowlstournament.com. The beneficiary this year will be St Michael’s Hospice.