This year’s end-of-season BWBA MatchPlay Singles Championship drew players from far afield and included the welcome return of Harry Haydock (Belfast IBC) from Northern Ireland.
A heady mix! Competitors are drawn into groups; group winners qualify for the semi-finals alongPeter Powells with the best runner-up.
Having overcome some significant challenges to his health, English veteran Percy Powell (White Oak IBC) emerged unbeaten from his group to take his place in the last four. In this group was previous winner and former UK No1 John Appleton (Erewash IBC). Sadly, Appleton, always a popular bowler, had to withdraw during his second match with a hand injury. Second place in this group went to Alan Cunningham (Scarborough IBC).
Another grouping saw the return to competitive play of Ian Blackmore (Worthing Pavilion BC) in a challenging group containing former winner Lea Davis (The Jacks Centre IBC), defending Champion Paul Brown (Bristol IBC) along with Dave Powell (unattached) and Roger Wilton (Plymouth IBC) both of whom have international experience. This was to be a tight group but Blackmore just edged it, notching up three wins. Powell, Dave that is, was runner up.
The final group included the UK’s No1 ranked wheelchair bowler Kevin Woolmore (Ffrith IBC) along with George Ridgeon (Mid Glos IBC) and Val Bradley (Hull & District IBC). In a photo finish, Bradley beat Ridgeon in their last match to take the best runner-up spot behind Woolmore.
The semi final draw pitted Percy Powell against Woolmore and Blackmore against Bradley. Powell took best from Woolmore by two sets to nil (13-5, 7-6). Meanwhile, after a drawn first set, Bradley ran away with the second set in the other semi-final against Blackmore (6-6, 14-1).
The final was a close run thing, with shots being exchanged tit-for-tat between Powell and Bradley. However, it was to be joy for Percy Powell who in horse-racing terms won by a ‘short neck’ in each set 8-6, 8-6. Third place was taken by Woolmore after Blackmore just failed to take the match to a tie-break by only drawing the final set – the win for Woolmore was 9-0, 6-6.
In the consolation Plate, the other Powell – Dave Powell met Paul Brown. After two shared sets it was Powell who won on the tie-break. So this completed a double of Powell successes – well done Percy and Dave
Finals Scores – P.Powell 8 8, Mrs.V.Bradley 6 6, Third Place – K.Woolmore 9 6, I.Blackmore 0 6,
Plate – D.Powell 6 1 1, P.Brown 3 11 0