Clarke's brilliant bowls to lift singles crown

First published in Sport

THE finals of the Sully Indoor Bowls Club men's section competitions at the weekend produced some excellent games, with several decided on the last end and even by the final bowl.

The Saturday opened with the fours final between rinks skipped by Chris Ackland and Jason Greenslade. In a keenly contested game, Greenslade’s rink led by four shots playing the last end, but the rink of Gareth John, John Ackland, Gary Williams and Ackland chalked up a five to gain a fantastic one-shot win.

The senior pairs and championship singles also produced some spectacular bowls in two hard fought matches.

In the senior pairs, Selwyn Dibble and Dennis Edwards faced last year's national pairs champions, Graham Cogbill and Brian Foscolo, with the latter making an excellent start to lead 11-5 after 12 ends. Renowned for their never say die attitude, Dibble and Edwards clawed their way back to edge ahead 11-12 by the 18th end. With three ends to play, Cogbill and Foscolo won the 19th and 20th ends to be four ahead going into the last end. But, once again, their opponents rallied and held four, with Edwards having the last bowl. However, the bowl ended up 12in short of making the extra shot to win the game. With the game ending in a draw at 15-15, Cogbill and Foscolo won the title on countback on the number of ends won.

The championship singles featured Jason Greenslade, ranked No 12 in the world, and Martin Clarke, who has been playing well, and everyone in the stadium was expecting a game of outstanding quality. And they weren’t disappointed.

Greenslade started the stronger and, after two ends, led 4-0. With both players bowling superbly, the match flowed one way and the other before Clarke got his head in front 11-8 after 11 ends. Greenslade immediately hit back with three shots

on the 12th end, but Clarke regained the lead and, by the 16th end, was 15-12 in front. Showing his class, Greenslade fought back to lead by one on the 20th end and then Clarke produced brilliant bowls to pick up five shots over the final four ends for a 21-17 victory.

Sunday's action opened with the triples final between Steve McKernan, Gwynfor Parr and Luke Stanley and Graham Cogbill, Martin Clarke (fresh from his triumph the previous day) and Matthew Woodcock. After six ends, Woodcock's three led 6-1 and never looked back to be ahead 21-3 when Stanley conceded on the 11th end.

The U25s singles featured Louis Peters and Gwynfor Parr, with the latter racing into an 11-1 lead after eight ends. After struggling during the early ends, Peters clawed his way back and, still trailing 15-5 by 13th end, took the next five ends

to close the gap to one shot (15-14). Parr increased his lead to 19-15 but Peters remained calm and took two on each of the next three ends to triumph 21-19.

The senior singles between Phil Gershenson and Mel Newman was, unfortunately, a pretty one-sided affair, with the latter, who has been playing well, failing to fire on the day and being well beaten 22-2 by Gershenson.

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