Yarmouth Festival winners on parade

Three more major titles were settled this week at the Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls. Mark Riches and Rocky Lewis claimed the men's pairs title, while the women's pairs and men's triple competitions both reached their climax.

Three more major titles were settled this week at the Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls.

Mark Riches and Rocky Lewis claimed the men's pairs title, while the women's pairs and men's triple competitions both reached their climax.

Riches and Lewis faced K Dyer and P Hurren in a closely-contested final. It was tight all the way up to the 18th when Riches Lewis scored five shots to lead 16-11 and they hung on to seal a 16-14 success.

Earlier, in the first semi-final Daniel Seabourne and Steve Touhy played Dyer and Hurren.

The Touhy pair had the best of the game in the early stages and led 10-3 after 10 ends, still being in front at 15 ends 13-9. But they dropped five shots to go behind 16-14 at 19 ends before gaining a single on the next leaving Touhy needed four shots to win on the last end. Hurren had the last wood of the game to bowl and found himself four shots down but drew in to go into the final.

Riches and Lewis won their semi-final against Dean Brooks and P Exley. The Riches pair were always in control being 14-4 up after 10 ends and winning easily 20-10.

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Also on Friday Dean Johnson (Reepham Private) became the Astro Communications Under-25 Champion.

Playing Matt Flatman (Wymondham Dell) in the final, Johnson was always in the lead, being 12-5 up after 10 ends and 19-5 after 13. Flatman had a run of eight shots without reply to put the pressure on Johnson but he held his nerve to win 21-15.

In his semi-final Johnson beat James Segolo and Flatman won his semi-final against the other Segolo brother, Tom, 21-18.

The quarter final losers were Daniel Seabourne, Kirsty Clarke, Mark Flatman and Mathew Carter.

The last event of the day was the annual match between the under-25s and a team of tournament veterans.

The vets regained the trophy they lost last year with a two-shot win.

On Tuesday the women's pairs event was won by the Stalham pairing of Sally White and Sheila Crysell, while Jake Willgress and Richard Summers (Norfolk Club) and David Willgress (Upwell) took the men's triples trophy.

In the ladies pairs, sponsored by the Great Yarmouth Independent Newsagents, the first semi-final was between Sue Moore and Jane Watson (Martham) and Susan Syrett and Valerie Smith (North Walsham).

The game was close early on but a run of 10 shots in four ends gave Moore and Watson the advantage and they led 13-6 at 10 ends.

They then pushed home their advantage to lead 19-7 after 15 ends, eventually winning 23-13 to progress to the final to play Sally White and Sheila Crysell, who won their semi-final against Geraldine Reeve (Acle) and Melanie Haylett.

White and Crysell took the early advantage, leading 6-3 at five ends. Reeve and Haylett fought back to lead 9-8 after 10 ends and the game then remained close until the 20th end when the Crysell pair gained four shots to go in front by four shots.

They then gained a two on the last end to earn their place in the final.

The final was played in front of a large crowd and in sunny conditions, without the strong wind of Monday.

Shots were shared over the first five ends, with the score being 6-5 to White and Crysell. They then gained the advantage to lead 13-7 after 10 ends and 18-13 after 16 ends.

Moore and Watson fought back to be just three behind, with the final ends being closely fought, but White and Crysell ran out worthy winners of the 2010 ladies pairs.

The first semi-final of the men's triples, sponsored by Great Yarmouth Hipperdrome Circus, was between Clive Derry, Mark Turner and Trevor Jermy (County Arts), the 2009 champions, and Max Harrison, Andy Hill and Kelvin Rayner (Downham Market).

The game was close early on and at five ends Jermy's triple were leading 7-5.

They still held the advantage at 10 ends, leading 12-9, before a count of five shots on the 17th end put the pressure on Jermy and his men but they held on to win 20-16.

In the other semi-final two of Norfolk's young bowlers Jake Willgress and Richard Summers, together with Jake's uncle David Willgress, playing bowls again after a 20-year break, played Stan Buck, Ian Bishop and Phil Long (Sprowston Rec).

This was a closely-fought game up to the 13th end. But when Long and his partners dropped six shots they failed to get back into the game, losing 20-11.

In the final, the Willgresses and Summers played well and though Jermy's triple held shots they could not hold on to them.

Willgress' triple led 11-4 after nine ends but four shots on the 13th end put Jake in command, only for Jermy's triple to fight back, gaining nine shots in the next three ends to draw level at 16-16 after 16 ends.

In a thrilling conclusion the last two ends were closely contested, with Willgress' team holding the advantage, winning 18-16 to take the title.

Wednesday saw the start of the blue riband event of the Festival of Bowls, the Palace Casino sponsored men's singles.

With last year's winner Jamie Chestney unable to play this year due to international duties there will be a different winner.

Mark Royal (Rookery) started his quest to win the title he last won in 2006 with a 21-3 victory against John Hunter (R G Carters) 21-3 and then had a good tussle against B Taylor (County Arts). He was behind early on but then found his length to win 21-16 to proceed to day two, when he will next face D Redfern (Worksop). Mark Elliott won his two games 21-13 and 21-10 and now plays I Brewster. Triples winner R Summers won his two games against D Beaton and J Malcolm 21-12 and 21-16 respectively and will now play J Tuttle. Others pairings are: M Turner v S Ellis, R French v M Brown, G Oakley v Matt Flatman, J Ciplinski v G Roe, R Duff v B N Hubbard, B Perrett v J Tufts, A Palmer v C Hipperson, R Eglington v S Bonner, D Shorter v D Brawn, P Cross v P Wilkinson, T Seabourne v M Lain, A Wilkinson v A Platford.

The Ladies Triples sponsored by the Eastern Daily Press also started and the winners were C Neave, A Adams and V Smith, G Xuereb, F Moll and J Church, M Baird, E Shorter and G Reeve, L Nunn, J Beatton and S Utteridge, J Watson, D Nicholson and B Smith.