The weekend of 21st/22nd October played host to a fantastic two days of bowls, with the County Fours and Triples Championships taking place at Ross Bowling Club.
Saturday’s County Fours saw ten teams from six clubs battle it out in two groups of five, with two teams from each group going through to the Semi-Finals. Group 1 saw a dominant performance from the Ross rink of Rob George, Linda Lewis, Peter Wright and Ian Roe, winning all of their games to finish top with second place taken by the Lea rink of John & Sheila Clapson, Steve Kite and Merion Attwood. In Group 2, an incredibly close group resulted in the Gorsley team of Sophie Heather-Warner, Chris Rudderham, Dean Rudman and Joe Loveys clinching top spot with the Fownhope team of Geoff Kalkwarf, Carole Rowland, Nic Cooper and Peter Lewis also qualifying on shots difference ahead of David Millington Jones’ Ross team. The Semi-Finals saw Ian Roe’s Ross continue their 100% winning record for the day with a 16-5 win against Fownhope whilst Lea beat Gorsley 9-4 to make it a repeat of the group stages with the first and second place teams from Group 1 going through to the final. Ultimately, Ross proved too strong for Lea, taking a 15-5 victory and completing a perfect day with the County Fours trophy returning to Ross for the first time since 2016.
Sunday’s County Triples proved to be an equally exciting day as fourteen teams from eight clubs took part in the round robin group stages in two groups of four and two groups of three. Two teams from each group went through to the Quarter-Finals, with three of the five Ross teams represented making it through to that stage. The first Quarter-Final saw a close match between the defending Champions from Gorsley, Sophie Heather-Warner, Dean Rudman & Joe loveys and the Ross trio of Lynda Evans, Rob George and Ian Roe, with Ross coming out on top 9-8. In the second Quarter-Final, Woolhope’s Shirley & Becci Cox and John Mills beat Dave Rush, Paul Nicholls and David Millington Jones of Ross 8-5. Quarter-Final three saw a fantastic match between Lea’s Adrian James, Steve Kite and Merion Attwood and Fownhope’s Nic Cooper, Fran Jones and Peter Lewis where the lead change hands six times as Fownhope ran out 11-9 winners with the help of a crucial 4 on the ninth end. The fourth and final Quarter-Final was an all Ross affair, with Sue Dix, Wayne Jordan and Dave Watkins making a comeback from 5-2 down to win 8-5 against Claire Herbert, Gary Peachey and Peter Wright.
The stage was perfectly set for the Semi-Finals as Ian Roe’s Ross faced Peter Lewis’ Fownhope in a repeat of the same stage in the Fours, with Ross once again seeing off Fownhope following a strong performance and a 17-6 scoreline. Things were a lot closer in the other game as Woolhope looked to prevent an all Ross final. With the scores level at 7-7 on the eighth end, a three for Woolhope proved too much for Ross to overturn as the game ended 10-8, setting up the not too unusual sight of a Ross vs Woolhope final.
Ross started well in their pursuit of a double trophy winning weekend, going into a 4-1 lead by the fifth end. However, an unanswered five over the following three ends put the experienced Woolhope team into the ascendancy to take an 8-5 win, the second for the trio of Shirley, Becci and John following their maiden title in 2018.
The Association’s thanks goes to Becci Cox for all her efforts organising and running the weekend as well as Ross Bowling Club for hosting. We now look forward to the National Qualifiers in December followed by the County Pairs on 21st January and the County Singles on 3rd February, all of which are sure to be equally as enjoyable and competitive.