Herefordshire Short Mat Bowling Association


Mills Wins County Singles Championship For Second Time

Woolhope’s John Mills has won this year’s County Singles Championship, taking a 10-8 victory over Gorsley’s Joe Loveys in a tense final on Saturday 3rd February at Leominster IBC.

Twenty-nine players took part in five groups of four and three groups of three with the group winners and runners up going through. A fantastic level of bowling throughout the morning produced some incredibly close results as sixteen players from six of clubs made it through to the rknockout stages.

By the quarter final stage, two former county singles champions remained as John Mills and Joe Loveys were looking for their second and third titles respectively. The first quarter final saw Mills taking on Fownhope’s Nic Lloyd where a strong start for the former saw him keep Lloyd out of the game to win 13-6. In the second quarter final, Gorsley’s Anthony Chesterton faced last year’s runner up Merion Attwood. A close drawing game saw Attwood pull out all of the stops to win 11-9 ending a strong run from Chesterton in his first County Singles Championship. The third quarter final saw Joe Loveys taking on Ross’ Peter Wright. A game in which neither player scored more than 2 on an end, Loveys made his way into an early lead, holding Wright at arms length for the game to win 10-3. In the fourth and final quarter final, Lea’s Steve Kite faced Ross’ Gary Peachey. In a similar vein to Attwood vs Chesterton, the experienced Lea player faced an opponent making their debut in the competition in a close game where experience was just able to win out as Kite went through the 9-7 victor.

The semi-finals kept the hopes of an all Lea final alive as Attwood was drawn against Mills and Kite was draw against Loveys. In an incredibly close game, the lead switched hands four times and by the ninth end the scores were level at 7-7. A draw from Attwood looked to take the game before a controlled fire from Mills secured his place in the final. The other game saw Loveys race into an early lead against Kite, holding off a late comback to win 12-8.

In a final between two players who know eachother very well, the crowd of spectators who remained were treated to a final that certainly lived up to expectations. By the sixth end, Loveys held a 6-4 lead and was two shots up on the mat before Mills produced a fantastic fire to take a 4 and swing the momentum in his favour. Consolidating this with a two on the eighth end to take a 10-6 lead, Mills limited Loveys to two 1’s on the ninth and tenth ends to win his second County Singles Championship with a 10-8 victory.

Congratulations go to John and all of the entrants who made the day such a success with such a high entry level! Thank you to Becci Cox for her organisation of the event and to all those who helped set up the equipment and put away at the end.