"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

East Coast Over 50’s Week action at Potters Resort

The annual East Coast Over 50’s Short Mat Bowls Week at Potter’s five star rated resort on the Norfolk coast saw the number of competitors increase yet again with bowlers travelling from Durham in the north to Kent in the south to compete in this popular tournament. When the East Coast Triples, the main event of the week, reached the semi-final stage there were two Kent triples, one North Yorkshire triple and one Norfolk triple still standing. Brenda Sizer, Diane Boswell & Mike Boswell of Windows were still flying the flag for Norfolk and they faced North Yorkshire & Easingwold triple Sally Roocroft, John Pennock & Roger Green. Boswell’s triple had a bad first end dropping three shots but with one end to play had built up an 8-4 lead and added three on the final end to clinch their place in the final. In the other all Kent semi-final Whitstable’s Lynn Hall, Barbara Hadler & Geoff Hall were 3-0 up after two ends against defending champions Pauline Friel, Peter Richards & Tony Friel of Woodpeckers. Friel’s triple staged a great recovery though to reach the final once again with a 10-4 win. In the final the defending champions started well taking a 3-0 lead on the opening end after Mike Boswell failed to retrieve a difficult situation with a weight shot. A good bowl by Diane Boswell stayed in place on the second end to gain the Norfolk triple their first shot of the final. Friel’s triple looked set to take the third end until a great second bowl by Mike Boswell cut the arrears to 3-2 but after a loose start by both leads on the fourth end Friel’s triple took a 4-2 lead. Brenda Sizer drew in a superb wood on the next end and added to the pressure drawing in another. Peter Richards took one of her woods out with a fire shot but Mike Boswell drew in again to level the game at 4-4. Boswell’s triple looked set to take the lead on the sixth end but a last wood fire shot by Tony Friel put his triple back into the lead by 6-4. Boswell’s triple needed a good penultimate end but it was not to be as Pauline Friel, Peter Richards & Tony Friel all drew bowls into the head. Mick Boswell took out one Kent bowl with a firing shot but he missed with his last attempt and Friel’s triple took an 8-4 lead into the last end. Boswell’s triple had a mountain to climb on the last end but it only got steeper as the Kent triple drew in some lovely bowls into the head. Boswell opened up the head with weight with his first bowl and drew shot with his last wood but it was Kent who were left celebrating with an 8-5 win to retain the East Coast Triples Cup. In the third place play-off Geoff Hall’s triple beat Roger Green’s triple 9-3. The Group stages provided some great bowls and going into the third day Jean Skeats, Jill Davidson & Russell Davidson led Green Group by two points ahead of Tony Friel’s Kent triple. A disappointing last day for Davidson’s triple saw them collect just one win from three games, leaving them second in the group ahead of Mary Fox, Geoff Ward & Barry Fox of Cambs on shots while Friel’s triple took top spot scoring two wins and a draw on the last day of group matches. In the Blue Group Maureen Richards, Jan Davey & Jim Davey of Kent were three points clear with a day to go. David Chadwick, Keith Baker & John Jarvis, and Wendy Tweed, Maureen Bell & Graham Tweed, were joint second. Then Jim Davey’s triple lost their last two games, Graham Tweed’s triple lost two out of three and John Jarvis lost all three of their games leaving Mike Boswell’s triple to snatch the group with last day wins of 18-3, 11-3 & 10-6. There was also a turn-around in the Red Group on the last day. Marianne Taylor, Lonnie Fyson & Maureen Fyson of Cambs were well in command with 14 points. A 7-6 defeat in their opening Thursday match though proved fatal when Roger Green’s triple reeled off three wins to top the group. In the Black Group Geoff Hall’s triple led Terry Newby’s triple by one point with one days play to go and with both triples then winning all their games Hall was safely though. 

The East Coast Pairs event provided an all Kent final as Tony Drew & Roy Toms of Aylesford & Chalk faced Peter Richards & Tony Friel of Woodpeckers. Friel & Richards took three shots on a loose opening end with both pairs struggling to find line and length. On the second end Tony Drew & Peter Richards both drew opening woods behind the jack but Richards dropped short with his second bowl. Toms hit the jack with his second wood but the jack went straight to Richards back bowl. Friel then drew in a perfect wood to hold two shots. They still held two when Drew bowled his last wood of the end and despite connecting with the jack he failed to cut out either of the holding shots and Richards & Friel moved into a 5-0 lead. Two good woods by Tony Drew opened his pairs account on the third end, Friel attacked and ditched the jack but his toucher went the opposite end of the ditch from the jack and the score was now 5-2. A tentative fourth end saw Richards & Friel take another single to lead 6-2 after the umpire was called in to measure for second wood. The leads left the skips plenty of room to draw in on the fifth end and it was Tony Drew who came in with his final bowl to pull one shot back and cut the deficit to 6-3 going in to the final end. After Toms was short with his opening bowl Richards drew in a toucher followed by another good bowl when Toms lost his second wood in the ditch. A super wood by Tony Drew then took the jack into the ditch but a single was all his pair finished up with and Tony Friel & Peter Richards were left celebrating a 6-4 win in the East Coast Pairs 2017. It would prove to be a great week for the Kent pair who two days later lift the East Coast Triples Cup with Pauline Friel. In the third place play-off Terry Thorpe of Coronation, Norfolk & North Yorkshire’s Paul Whitcombe beat Pauline & Mac McCallum of Durham 7-4. The McCallums took a single on the opening end before trailing 3-1 after three ends. A three on the next end regained the Durham pair the lead but they immediately conceded three shots on the penultimate end and another single on the final end. In the qualifying stages Thorpe & Whitcombe were the only pair to score maximum points while the McCallums only dropped one point due to a drawn game. No fewer than eight pairs were level on points behind them with a shot difference of +21 earning both Friel & Richards and Drew & Toms their semi-final places. John Jarvis & Mike Boswell were just eased out by finishing with a shot difference of +20. Just behind them were Dick Wallis & Neil Norris on +15, Jan & Jim Davey on + 12, Bob & Carol Taylor on +11 and Pat & Chris Lane on +9. The Presentation Ceremony was conducted by Richard Beare of Potter’s Resort and event co-organiser Teresa Goldsmith with the first four in each event receiving Potter’s Holiday vouchers. The organisers were also presented with a superb gift by the bowlers who took part with Teresa also receiving a cat and mouse doorstop which is pictured below. The 2018 East Coast Over 50’s Week will begin on Monday 7th May and run through to Friday 11th May. With many having already rebooked for next year anyone wishing to take part is advised to contact event organiser Teresa Goldsmith as soon as possible as entry numbers are strictly limited.  East Coast Triples 2017 winnersEast Coast Triples 2017 runner upsEast Coast Triples 2017 third placeEast Coast Triples 2017 fourthEast Coast Pairs 2017 winnersEast Coast 2017 Organiser Teresa Goldsmith    

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