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Bowls festival round-up

PUBLISHED: 15:29 02 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:58 16 September 2010

The Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls began on Sunday by honouring a man whose record in the annual event is incomparable.

Having bowled the first wood of the 65th staging of the Festival, Michael Jeal, the Mayor of the Borough of Great Yarmouth, made a presentation to Chris Ward - who this year is playing in the event for the 50th consecutive year, writes Tony Dunton.

The Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls began on Sunday by honouring a man whose record in the annual event is incomparable.

Having bowled the first wood of the 65th staging of the Festival, Michael Jeal, the Mayor of the Borough of Great Yarmouth, made a presentation to Chris Ward - who this year is playing in the event for the 50th consecutive year, writes Tony Dunton.

During his half-century the North Walsham bowler, who is a former England international, has accumulated 16 trophies, covering all the main prizes.

He's again going for everything he can this year, starting with the Men's Open Fours, sponsored by Jane and Mike of the Beech Terrace Café.

Defending champions D & T Seaborne, L Dickerson and skip Steve Tuohy opened with a close game against R Capon's rink from Diss, only securing a 17-16 victory with a double on the last end. Their next game was a more comfortable win, by 27-9.

The rink of C Derry, M Brown M Turner T Jermy won their first game 19-9, but in their second, against P Baggot, they struggled in difficult conditions and were 10-6 down at 10 ends 14-10 and 17 ends before taking the last four ends to win 18-14.

Monday

Liz Shorter and Melanie Haylett looked on course for a repeat of last year's ladies' singles final after reaching the last four in the Great Yarmouth Tourist Board-sponsored event.

Haylett (Caister) despatched another former winner in Mill Farm's Pam Rolph, winning 21-17, while Chambers (St Lawrence) was the most emphatic quarter-final winner, beating Bletchley's D Brookes 21-9.

The other two quarters both finished 21-17 with North Walsham's Shorter overcoming Egham's Helen Tuohy, while Wadlow (St Lawrence) beat Stalham's S Crysell.

As Helen Tuohy's singles challenge was ending, her husband was continuing his bid to hold onto the fours crown.

Steve Tuohy is again skipping the Acle trio of David and Tony Seabourne and Lee Dickson - and they again look to be the team to beat in the Mike & Jane of the Beach Terrace Café-sponsored fours.

They beat the rink of R Hubbard (County Arts) 27-13 and P Hurren's Blundeston four 19-10. R Telling, J Telling, G Telling and A Lyons of Essex County beat Yarmouth's J Gray 25-14 and Wymondham Dell's M Flatman 23-14.

R Dodd, N Coverdale, D Page and M Riches (Cawston) and B Hubbard, A Goodson, J Hunter and K Breame (R G Carter) also went through.

M Riches beat M Turner's County Arts four 20-17 after being 11-0 down.

They went into the last end of their quarter-final against another Cawston rink skipped by C Lawrance a shot down - and scored a two to win 21-20.

The R G Carter's four also scored two on the final end to beat N Lambert 22-20 before a relatively comfortable win 24-15 over P Lincoln (Loddon).

The other losing rink was that of W Willgress, E Clapman, K Rayner and A Chambers.

Tuesday

It was a red-letter day for Steve Tuohy's defending men's fours champions - in more ways than one.

Having returned to the final with an emphatic 30-18 thrashing of the Essex County team skipped by A Lyons, they were spurred by their young lead, Daniel Seabourne, into taking the rink with hair dyed the same bright red as their shirts.

And any fears that they might have ended with their faces a similar colour were allayed as Tuohy's team, also featuring Daniel's father Tony and Lee Dickson, won by four shots against Cawston's Richard Dodds, Nigal Coverdale, Danny Page

and Mark Riches.

A large crowd saw a high-quality game evenly contested until the Acle father and son and their London team-mates grabbed a five in the 19th end to take an 18-11 lead.

It looked to be all over, but the men from Cawston responded with a four on the 20th end to trail by just two shots with one to play.

But Tuohy's men held their nerve to pick up two shots on the last to retain their title, a fine achievement for Daniel at just 14 years old.

In the semi-finals the Cawston men had defeated Bruce Hubbard, Tony Goodson, John Hunter and Kenny Breame 21-14.

There is a new name on the ladies' singles trophy after last season's losing finalist Melanie Haylett of Caister defeated Downham Market's Ann Chambers 21-13.

To get there she had to beat

two-times winner Chrissie Wadlow of St Lawrance, who failed to recover from trailing 7-1 after five ends and to lose 21-12.

In the other semi-final Chambers beat defending champion Liz Shorter (North Walsham) 21-10.

Wednesday

The newly re-crowned men's fours champions were back on the Festival green a - to launch a double-pronged assault on the Palace Bingo-sponsored men's open pairs.

Steve Tuohy skipped 14-year-old Daniel Seabourne through two rounds into the second day, a feat matched by Daniel's father, Tony, partnered by Lee Dickson - who did so in style as their scorecards included a maximum eight.

Last year's winners Mark Elliott and David Sherman (Acle & Hingham Rectory) opened their defence with a win but then went out to D Brookes and P Exley (Bletchley).

The men's pairs is being played alongside the Under-25 singles, with the finals of both competitions due to start at 3pm today. The Festival continues until September 24.


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