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Stratford Herald League - Final Table 2023
The greens are now closed for the winter. Watch this space for details of other activities.
South Warwickshire Short Mat League
Club Finals Weekend
The finals of all this year's club competitions took place over the weekend of Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September. A full report on all matches can be found here.
Congratulations go to all our newly crowned champions and runners-up :-
Men's 4-Wood Singles - Graham White (Champion), Tom Head (Runner-up)
Ladies' 4-Wood Singles - Anita Cowdrill (Champion), Janice White (Runner-up)
Men's 4-Wood Handicap - David Payne (Champion), Mervyn Taylor (Runner-up)
Ladies' 4-Wood Handicap - Christine Leigh (Champion), Dawn Horne (Runner-up)
Men's 2-Wood Singles - Malcolm Wickens (Champion), David Payne (Runner-up)
Ladies' 2-Wood Singles - Anita Cowdrill (Champion), Sandra Payne (Runner-up)
Men's "Novice" Singles - Paul Smith (Champion), Tony Allibone (Runner-up)
Ladies' "Novice" Singles - Christine Leigh (Champion), Caroline Williams (Runner-up)
Men's 4-Wood Pairs - Dave French & Neil Weston (Champions), Malcolm Hayes & Malcolm Wickens (Runners-up)
Men's 3-Wood Pairs - Ian Plant & Dave Gardner (Champions), Andrew Scares & Ray White (Runners-up)
Ladies' Drawn Pairs - Pauline Macdonald & Enid Reece (Champions), Pauline Dineley & Jane Wigman (Runners-up)
Ladies' Chosen Pairs - Anita Cowdrill & Tracey Turner-Smith (Champions), Pauline Dineley & Jane Wigman (Runners-up)
Mixed Pairs - Christine Leigh (substitute for Bonny Claridge) & Bill Claridge (Champions), Anita Cowdrill & Graham White (Runners-up)
A selection of photographs taken over the weekend is available to view by clicking on Home at the top of this page, then Gallery, then 2023 Club Finals.
Ladies County Finals
There were mixed fortunes for RLS members and the club in the 2023 finals of all the Warwickshire Women’s Bowling Association competitions, which took place at a very hot and sunny Lillington BC over the weekend of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September.
In the Champion-of-Champions 4-Wood Singles final, Anita Cowdrill faced young Lily-Mae Adams from Sherwood Park, who had been crowned National Junior Pairs Champion just 2 weeks earlier. There was little between the two in the early stages with Anita just ahead 6-4 after 8 ends. However, an excellent run of scoring ends put Lily-Mae 20-10 up. Anita took shots on the next two ends but it only delayed the inevitable as Lily-Mae took the title 21-13.
In the Triples final, Dawn Horne, Jenny Wickens and Janice White faced Gillian Greenbank, Ros Taylor and Liz Wooding from Coventry Avenue. Despite taking 4 shots on the first 2 ends, the RLS trio then dropped 8 shots on the next 5 ends. The two sides traded singles before a couple of 4’s in a run of 4 scoring ends put Dawn, Jenny and Janice seemingly in control, 16-9 ahead after 13 ends. However, Coventry Avenue took shots on the next 4 ends to leave the game tied at 16 shots apiece going into the final end. An early bowl dropped on the jack by Dawn proved crucial as they finished 17-16 winners, to take the Triples title for the second time in the last 5 years.
In the 2-Wood Singles final against Welford’s Lisa Smith, Dawn Horne proved far too hot for her opponent. A dominant display saw Dawn take the title 17-5 after just 17 ends.
In the 2-Bowl Benevolent Triples final, Caroline Edwards, Anita Cowrill and Tracey Turner-Smith played Wendy Holloway (Welford), Trish Jarvis (Wolvey) and Moira Parsons (Welford). The RLS trio trailed 4-9 after 9 of the 15 ends had been played, but fought back strongly to be tied 10-10 after 14 ends. The team holding shot changed frequently during the final end but when Tracey went to bowl, although being a shot down, she drew both of her bowls to within a foot of the jack to leave the RLS trio holding two shots. With the very last bowl of the match, Moira drew just inside Tracey’s wood to take the shot and the title, by 11 shots to 10. A disappointing finish for Caroline, Anita and Tracey, but a great spectacle for the large crowd watching.
Lastly, in Sunday’s “Top Club” final, RLS took on Welford in a repeat of the 2021 final. As the match progressed, Welford took good leads in the Singles (Anita Cowdrill) and Triples (Caroline Edwards, Caroline Williams and Tracey Turner-Smith) contests, whilst RLS held the upper hand in the Pairs game (Dawn Horne and Janice White) and Rink (Pauline Dineley, Chris Leigh, Jenny Wickens and Enid Reece). First to finish was the Singles game, with Welford taking the tie 21-10, but RLS replied with a convincing win of their own in the Pairs (19-11). A strong Welford finish just edged them the Fours game 15-12 and with the Triples trailing 21-10 with an end to play, the match was conceded, with Welford taking the title 3-1.
Photos of all our finals day competitors with their winners or runner-up trophies can be found by clicking on Home at the top of this page, then Gallery, then WWBA 2023 Finals.
Despite the mixed fortunes, the club extends it’s congratulations to all those lady members who reached County finals, making RLS the best represented club in the weekend’s matches.
RLS Members in Action at This Year’s National Championships
Congratulations to those club members who have qualified (see reports below) to represent Warwickshire at this year’s National Championships, taking place at Victoria Park between 10th and 27th August. Please come along and support them when they take to the greens as follows :-
- Women’s Triples – Dawn Horne, Jenny Wickens and Janice White played their first-round match against a team from North Tawton BC in Devon on Sunday 13th August and won 17-11. Unfortunately, they were drawn against the England International trio of Sophie Tolchard, Nicole Rogers and Harriett Stevens from Kings BC in Devon in the second round on Monday 14th August, and were beaten 23-7, in a match that was much closer than the score might suggest. The team of Tolchard, Rogers and Stevens subsequently went on to be crowned 2023 National Triples champions.
- Women’s 2-Bowl Singles – The first three rounds were played on Thursday 24th August. Dawn Horne won her first-round match against Jo Ashmore from Aldiss Park BC in Norfolk 18-6. Unfortunately, in the second round, Dawn was beaten 12-18 by Rebecca Willgress from Norfolk BC.
- Middleton Cup – Bill Claridge was part of the Warwickshire team that faced current holders Berkshire in the semi-final of this year's competition on Sunday 27th August. Despite both counties taking three rink wins apiece, Warwickshire narrowly lost out on shots, 113-121.
Gill Allibone Helps Out Bowls Canada
Any individual that competes in para sport must have a classification that checks their medical eligibility and groups them into a specific class according to their ability, and the sport of bowls is no different. Many members may not be aware, but our very own Gill Allibone, who works as a physiotherapist, has been an International Medical Classifier since 2018, and has worked extensively with Bowls England and other teams. Because Bowls Canada hope to enter a para team into World Bowls 2024, but lacked a classifier, they recently invited Gill to fly over to Calgary, Canada for a week, to assess Canadian para lawn bowlers for international competition. Whilst she was there, Gill also trained two local bowlers to take on the role.
RLS Win Ivens Cup
At the Warwickshire Men’s County Finals played at Victoria Park on Sunday 30th July, our team of Neil Weston (substitute for Andy Gardner), Dave French, Dave Payne and Dave Harding won the Ivens Cup. Having fought through five rounds during the course of the season to win the South Warwickshire section of the competition and then defeat the Coventry section winners in a semi-final played earlier this month, the four faced strong opposition from Rugby BC in the final. A topsy-turvy start saw an early 6-0 lead quickly turn to a 6-12 deficit, but with 4 of the 18 ends remaining, the score was back level at 15 all. Neil, Dave, Dave and Dave kept up the pressure and a double and two singles gave them a 19-15 lead going in to the final end. Neil dropped a bowl right on the jack and despite Rugby’s best efforts to dislodge it or to kill the end, they failed to do so and we took 4 shots to lift the trophy with a 23-15 win, the second time in the past four years that the club has won the Ivens Cup. A great performance from the team !
Congratulations to Sandra Payne on receiving her County Badge when playing for Warwickshire against Wiltshire recently at RLS - Full report and picture.
Congratulations also go to Caroline Edwards on receiving her County Colts Badge at the match against Bedfordshire at Stewartsby BC on 8th June - picture here.
Congratulations to Paul Smith on receiving his County Colts Badge when playing for Warwickshire against Oxfordshire at Banbury Borough BC on 4th July.
A warm welcome to the club and congratulations to Paul E Smith (our second Paul Smith) on receiving his County Badge when playing for Warwickshire against Leicestershire at Stoke BC on 29th June.
Ladies "Top Club" Competitions
Congratulations to our ladies "Top Club" team on reaching the final of this year's County competition. Following previous wins over Lillington (3-1) and Rugby Rail (4-0), the team beat Coventry Avenue 4-0 this week (11th July) in the semi-final. Comfortable wins in the triples (31-2) and fours (29-4) meant that despite only narrow wins in the singles (21-20) and pairs (13-12), the outcome was never really in doubt. The team will now face Welford in the final, to be played at 10am on Sunday morning 3rd September at Lillington BC.
Sadly, following wins over Welford, Lillington and Coventry Avenue to win the Warwickshire Area of the National "Top Club" competition, just 24 hours after their success in the County competition the team's run in the National competition came to an end when they were narrowly beaten by Kingscroft BC, the Leicestershire Area champions. With wins in the singles (21-20) and pairs (12-11) and a 14-20 defeat in the fours, the outcome of the match rested on the triples game. Trailing 13-15 going in to the final end, they needed to take a minimum of 2 shots to win the overall match. In a nail-biting finish, they took just a single to go down 14-15 and although the match ended in a 2-2 draw, Kingscroft took the win on shots (66-61).
National Champion-of-Champions Competition (Updated 31/July/23)
Congratulations to current club singles champions Anita Cowdrill and Bill Claridge, who both did the club proud in this year's BE National ladies and men’s Champion-of-Champions competitions.
Following a series of excellent performances in previous rounds, Anita won the Warwickshire Area of the ladies competition with a 21-5 win in the final over current English Under-25 Indoor Singles Champion, Emily Kernick from Sherwood Park. Unfortunately, Anita's great run in the competition came to an end in the last 32 of the competition, when she was narrowly beaten 21-13 by England Under-25 International Izzie White from Chester Road BC in Kidderminster, winner of the Worcestershire/Herefordshire Area.
After an excellent quarter-final win over Welford’s England international and past National singles champion, Andy Walters, Bill beat Avenue’s Daniel Ellicott in the semi-final of Warwickshire Area of the men's competition by the narrowest of margins, 21-20. Unfortunately, in the the Area final, after an excellent run in the competition, Bill lost 21-13 to Nuneaton’s Graham Ashby, an eight-times County singles champion and twice runner-up in the National singles competition. (Graham Ashby subsequently went on to take the title of Men's National Champion of Champions at the National Championships.)
Success for Club Members in County Competitions (Updated 25/July/23)
Congratulations to all club members who reached the latter stages of this year's County competitions.
In Ladies County competitions :-
- Dawn Horne has won through to the final of the 2-Wood Singles competition.
- Caroline Edwards, Anita Cowdrill and Tracey Turner-Smith have reached the final of the Benevolent Triples competition.
- Dawn Horne, Jenny Wickens and Janice White have won through to the final of the Triples competition, beating a trio skipped by England international Kirsty Richards in their delayed semi-final.
- Anita Cowdrill has reached the final of the County Champion-of-Champions competition.
- Dawn Horne, Anita Cowdrill, Jenny Wickens and Janice White were losing semi-finalists in the Senior Fours competition.
All finals will be played at Lillington on Saturday 2nd September. As a result of reaching the finals, Dawn will be one of the two Warwickshire representatives in the ladies 2-Wood Singles at the National Championships to be held at Leamington in August, whilst Dawn, Jenny and Janice will represent the county in the ladies triples competition at the Nationals.
In Men's County competitions :-
- Bill Claridge reached the semi-final of the men's Singles competition, but was beaten 21-16 by Welford's Andy Walters.
- Janice and Ray White reached the semi-final in the Mixed Pairs competition, where they were beaten 18-9 by a pair from Three Spires BC.
2023 John’s Trophy, Walker Cup and Middleton Cup (Updated 25/July/23)
The John’s Trophy is an inter-county ladies competition organised by Bowls England, featuring teams of 6 rinks. The early stages are played in a series of leagues, and the competition culminates in finals played at Leamington during the National Championships.
Following an extensive selection process over the past few months, no less than five of our club members have been selected for the squad to represent Warwickshire in this year’s competition - Anita Cowdrill, Caroline Edwards, Dawn Horne, Janice White and Jenny Wickens. In the first round of league matches on Saturday 3rd June, Anita, Dawn, Janice and Jenny all featured as part of the Warwickshire team that defeated 2021 champions Devon by 16 points to 6. Unfortunately, in the second round of matches on Saturday 17th June, Warwickshire failed to capitalise on that performance when they lost 5-17 away to Gloucestershire. Anita, Dawn, Janice and Jenny once again played and Caroline was a travelling reserve. Sadly, this loss meant that Warwickshire did not qualify for the latter stages of the competition.
The Walker Cup is an inter-county ladies double-rink competition, played on a knock-out basis, and the following day (Sunday 18th June), Dawn and Janice were one quarter of the Warwickshire team that travelled back down the M5 to play Somerset in this year's opening round match. Anita was also in attendance as a reserve. Unfortunately, the team fell at the first hurdle, losing 28-42.
The equivalent men’s competition to the John's Trophy is the Middleton Cup and Bill Claridge was part of the Warwickshire men’s teams that lost 3-19 to Worcestershire in their opening match but then secured a remarkable 22-0 win over Somerset in the second round of matches. To have any chance of progressing beyond the league stage, Warwickshire needed a big win in their final match against Cornwall, and did exactly that, returning from their long trip with an 18-4 win and with Bill having been part of their highest winning rink. Thanks to Somerset defeating Worcestershire 17-5, Warwickshire won the group by a single point and played Devon in a quarter-final tie on 22nd July. Despite losing 4 of the 6 rinks, Warwickshire secured a narrow 114-112 overall victory, with Bill having played on one of the two winning rinks. Warwickshire will now face the current holders of the trophy, Berkshire, in the semi-final, to be played at 9.30 am on the last day of the National Championships (Sunday 27th August).
Warwickshire County Bowls Association
The club is pleased to announce that our Chairman - David Wigman has been appointed as WCBA County President for 2023.