Fourteen Teams competed in the 22nd iteration of the “Bromyard Triples” Challenge Cup held at Ross Bowling Club on Sunday 5th March 2023. A fantastic and competitive days bowling saw the Weston team of Harold Aubrey, Kate Williams and Tim Rigden claim their first win in the competition, with the club having previously been runners up on four occasions in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2017.
Two groups of four and two groups of three teams competed in the group stages, with the standout team being John Mills’ Woolhope trio who won all four games with a +31 shots difference. From the groups, two teams qualified for the Quarter-Finals, which produced some high quality matches. Rhys Palmer’s St Martin’s team held off a late comeback by David Millington Jones’ Ross trio to win 8-5. In the second game, Weston marched into a 9-1 lead by the fifth end, before 6 shots for Lea, skipped by Steve Kite, in the next two ends took the score to 10-7 going into the ninth. A 1 for Weston put them in control going into the final end where a 4 sealed a 15-7 victory. The third game saw Joe Loveys’ Gorsley taking on Ian Roe’s Ross. In a similar vein to the other Quarter-Finals, Gorsley took a strong opening lead before seeing Ross fight back but fail to overturn the early deficit to lose 11-8. The final game saw Ledbury end Woolhope’s day with Stuart Mcintyre’s team producing a 5 on the ninth end- with the scores having been level at 6-6- limiting Woolhope to a 1 on the final end to win 11-7 and book their place in the Semi-Final.
The first Semi-Final saw St Martin’s take on Gorsley in a very close game, with neither side pulling out a substantial lead. With the scores level on five ends at 4-4, Gorsley took a two before St Martin’s retaliated with a 4 to put themselves 8-6 up. Gorsley hit back with a 4 of their own to leave St Martin’s needing a 3 to win. With all the bowls at the back, Palmer fired to try to take the jack through, missing by the barest of margins, with St Martin’s only able to pick up a 1 meaning that Gorsley progressed to the final, 10-9.
The second Semi-Final saw Ledbury look to continue their fantastic run in the competition, with a 4-0 lead after three ends putting pressure on their opponents. A three on the next end put Weston back in touch, trading ones over the following two ends before their experience showed, taking a 4 on the seventh end to take the score to 8-5- a lead that was ultimately too much for their opponents to overturn as Weston ran out 10-7 winners.
The final saw a repeat of the first group game of the day for the teams, with Weston having come out on top in that game by one shot. From the first end it appeared that a repeat result was on the cards, with Weston able to build an early lead and keep their opponents at arms length throughout the contest. 9-6 down going into the final end, Gorsley were able to put themselves in a position where they were holding the required three to take the game to an extra end but a clean over-draw into the group of bowls by Rigden tied the end, with the score remaining 9-6 and Weston taking the title.