The Gorsley Chapel trio of Dean Rudman, Sophie Heather-Warner and Joe Loveys put defeat in last season’s final behind them to take victory in the Bromyard Triples Cup this weekend, defeating Woolhope’s Shirley Cox, Bryan Watkins and John Mills 9-8 following an extra end.
Sixteen teams gathered at Ross Bowling Club on 13th January 2024 to compete in the 23rd running of the Bromyard Triples Cup. Split into four groups of four, the round robin group stage saw some incredibly close games throughout, with the first and second placed teams in each group going through to the Quarter-Finals. Ross were the most represented club, entering a record six teams into the competition and being joined by three from Gorsley Chapel, two each from Woolhope and Fownhope and one each from Ledbury, St Martin’s and Weston.
Quarter final one saw last year’s winning club Weston, featuring two of the three defending champions Harold Aubrey and Kate Williams this year playing with Graham Weare, defeated by Gorsley Chapel’s Lynn Williams, Richard Eells and Chris Rudderham. A strong start for the Gorsley trio put them in control of the game and despite Weston winning three of the last four ends, Gorsley took the win 15-5. In the second quarter final the Ledbury team of David Bowen, David Butler and Stuart Mcintyre, looking to match last year’s semi-final appearance, faced Claire Herbert, Gary Peachey and Peter Wright of Ross. Following a tight start, with the score at 3-3 after three ends, Ross pushed on and won all seven of the remaining ends to win 23-3. Quarter final three saw Shirley Cox, Bryan Watkins and John Mills of Woolhope taking on the St Martin’s team of Jo Millington, Alan Link and Jim Knowles. An early lead for Woolhope was consolidated by two fives on the fourth and sixth ends, ending any chance of a St Martin’s fightback with a final score of 17-4. In the final quarter final, last year’s losing finalists from Gorsley Chapel- Dean Rudman, Sophie Heather-Warner and Joe Loveys- went up against the Ross team of Dave Rush, Paul Nicholls and Wayne Jordan. The closest of the four quarter finals, the score was level at 5-5 heading into the ninth end before two twos for the Gorsley team put them through to the semis with a score of 9-5.
The semi final draw gave the chance of an all Gorsley Chapel final as Rudderham’s trio faced Mills’ Woolhope whilst Loveys faced Wright’s last remaining Ross team. However, this chance was soon eliminated as Woolhope once again unsettled their opponents with a fast start, limiting them to only two scoring ends in the match to win 15-4. The second semi final was a much closer affair as both teams won five ends across the game. Ultimately, it was Gorsley that made the most of their five ends, overturning a 9-8 deficit after seven ends to win 12-10 and set up a Gorsley vs Woolhope final.
On the newly utilised “finals” mat at Ross Bowling Club, laid diagonally across the hall and possibly providing the truest mat of the day, Gorsley and Woolhope fought it out in a fantastic nip and tuck final that saw both teams playing high quality bowls throughout. Heading into the final end a shot down, an accurate fire from Mills and a missed draw from Loveys saw the game finish 8-8, with an extra end required to decide the overall winner. A strong start from Woolhope saw them take control of the end before a measured draw from Loveys took shot with his final wood, leaving Mills with a tricky fire that narrowly missed, giving Gorsley the win 9-8.
Congratulations go to both teams on a fantastic final whilst the HSMBA’s thanks goes to all who entered and Competition Secretary Becci Cox for organising and running the day.