Report by Mike Taylor
Finals day of the 88th Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament (Sponsored by Wendy and Neil Kirby – Langham Hotel) saw some excellent matches take place in front of a crowd of over 120 spectators at Gildredge Park BC.
The ‘Blue Riband’ Men’s Singles semi-finals saw Carl Dyer (Sidley Martlets BC) edge past Phil Harrod (Bexhill BC) 21-19 and Champion in 2015, Andrew Albon (Gildredge Park BC) beat Mike Taylor (Eastbourne BC) 21-20.
The final saw Andrew emerge victorious in front of an enthusiastic home club crowd 21-15 taking the title and the £1,000 winners prize.
Andrew later dedicated his victory to his Grandparents Al and Joan Albon who sadly passed away last year.
The Ladies’ Singles final was an all Eastbourne BC affair and saw another intense tussle with Linda Stanley taking the title 21-20 against Rachel Mackriell. The Ladies’ Pairs final saw Gillie Hill and Mary Bray (Eastbourne BC) matched with Ursula Fenner and Phyllis Stevens (Victoria Drive & Eastbourne Ladies BC).
It was the Eastbourne BC duo who won 26-11 having lead throughout.
In the Men’s Pairs, regular visitors Martin Mapp (Marden BC) and Graham Bridges (Tunbridge Wells Grosvenor BC) met Brian Foskett (Worthing BC) and Trevor High.
Another close fought encounter saw the Worthing duo emerge victorious 22-18. In the Men’s Triples final Alec Martin and Chris Surman (both White Rock BC) and Martin Pelosi (Lindfield BC) took on Andrew Albon and Andy Browning (both Gildredge Park BC) with Chris Antiss (Knighton Victoria BC).
Following some heavy scoring early ends, it was Alec, Chris and Martin who took the title 23-13.
The Mixed Triples final saw the Gildredge Park BC trio of Ros Pickering. Geoff Wells and Duncan Pickering take on Dave Richardson (Downsman BC), Julia Fordham and Barrie Fordham (Polegrove BC).
It was the visitors who triumphed, winning emphatically 34-7.
Full details of match scores throughout the Tournament can be found on the website.
The trophy presentation and prize giving were conducted by Tournament President Vince Smith and Simon Brown (General Manager) representing the sponsors. Particular thanks were given to the host clubs, their members and officials, the markers, umpires, green stewards, catering and bar helpers, the ‘all weather’ car park attendants at Headquarters (Gildredge Park BC) and to the sponsors and advertisers.
Lewis Parnell, representing Bowls Zone, was thanked for his efforts in the innovative transmission of ‘live’ coverage of the finals on their website.
Whilst some teething problems occurred, he agreed to visit again next year to provide coverage of the event.
A collection was undertaken on behalf of the JPK Project at the social evening held on Thursday at Eastbourne BC and at the Finals presentation which Tournament Organiser Mike Taylor was delighted to report had raised £150.
He also thanked Gildredge Park BC and Eastbourne BC for their donations to Tournament funds.
The 89th Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament will start 8 July 2018 and entry forms can be downloaded from the Tournament website or obtained from the Entry Secretary – Mike Taylor, 56 Willingdon Park Drive, Eastbourne BN22 0BT tel: 01323 505916 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org