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


East Coast Week a Feast of Bowls

The annual East Coast Triples & Pairs Week at Potters Resort in Hopton-on-Sea provided its usual mix of two competitive short mat bowls events in the International Arena coupled with great entertainment and dining. The East Coast Triples began on Tuesday morning with 48 triples playing in four groups of twelve and the four group winners qualifying for the semi-finals. By Thursday afternoon defending champions Colin Hayman, Jill Hayman & George Hume of Norfolk’s East Harling had cemented their place in the semi-finals by winning the Red Group with eight wins, two draws and just one defeat which was against Suffolk’s Gloria Scott, Cheryl Grabham & Michael Rice. Finishing second in the group, and just missing out, were Paul Bruce, Julia Bruce & Alan Hare who finished one point behind Hume’s triple. Norfolk’s Billie Barker, Will Townsend & Melvyn Barker topped the Blue Group. Just one point behind them were Doreen Andre, Michael Haslam & Andrew Miles winning nine games with one draw and one defeat which came on Thursday morning against Barker’s triple in a crucial encounter. The Purple Group was won by Harling’s Val Easter and Suffolk’s Bob Cousins & Colin Sharp who won nine games, drew one game and lost one game. Norfolk’s Gill Coleman, Gill Davidson & Russell Davidson finished just one point behind. The Green Group was hotly contested with David Kerslake, Trish Taylor & Terry Newby of Carleton Rode coming out on top with sixteen points. Close behind them on fifteen points were Pauline McCallum, Arthur Jackson & Mac McCallum of Durham & North Yorks, Sue Pledger, Paul Whitcombe & David Blundell and Gillian Amos, John Jeffery & Robin Amos. In the semi-finals Melvyn Barker’s triple beat last years winners skipped by George Hume with an end to spare while Colin Sharp’s triple beat Terry Newby’s triple by 7-1. The result of the final on Friday morning was in doubt until the last bowl. Billie Barker, Will Townsend & Melvyn Barker made a fantastic start taking four shots on the opening end. Two quality woods by Will Townsend put Sharp’s triple in trouble and skip Melvyn Barker added two more. Billie Barker’s lead woods on the second end kept the pressure on again until a fine backhand by Val Easter took shot. A great last wood by Sharp reduced the deficit to 4-2. Lead Bob Cousins ditched the jack on the third end after Billie Barker had drawn a toucher. Sharp then drew in another with his last wood to level the game at 4-4. A competitive fourth end ended with the umpire being called in to measure and it went Sharp’s way to move his triple 5-4 up. A superb last wood by Colin Sharp on the fifth end took shot after Barker’s triple had held two shots and Colin Sharp’s triple moved into a 6-4 lead with two ends to go. Val Easter played a couple of great bowls on the sixth end and Sharp defended by putting in a blocker with his first wood. Melvyn Barker attacked with both his bowls and was unlucky not to get a result as his triple fell 7-4 behind going into the final end. Wymondham’s Billie Barker played a cracking bowl to take shot, and Will Townsend drew in both his woods leaving them holding three shots with just the skips left to bowl. Sharp’s attempt to draw in failed when he hit the block with his first wood while Melvyn Barker’s first bowl fell short of the head. With the pressure mounting Colin Sharp drew second wood with his final bowl with just Barker’s last wood to be played. Sharp’s bowl was in Barker’s view and he attempted to push it out of the head which, if his bowl had stayed in its place, would have given them four shots and the match but it was not to be as his bowl stayed just a little too far out and Sharp’s triple had won the final by 7-6. The third place play-off was won George Hume’s triple who beat Terry Newby’s triple by 11-3. The East Coast Pairs was played over three evenings. In the final Mac McCallum of Durham and Ivan Lunn of Derbyshire faced Will and Joy Townsend of Norfolk club Hingham. For Will Townsend it proved to be the first of two final appearances after clinching a triples final place earlier in the day. On the night McCallum & Lunn were in unstoppable form as they powered their way to a 9-1 win. In the third place play-off Joan & Jim Flin of Kent beat North Yorkshire’s Elaine & Dennis Thornburn 6-5 after taking five shots over the last two ends. The presentation ceremony was conducted by Jack Jenkins of Potter’s Entertainment and Event Organisor Teresa Goldsmith immediately following the East Coast Triples Final on Friday morning. Next years event will take place at Potters Resort in Hopton from Monday 6th May 2024. Over 100 pre-bookings have already been taken so anyone interested should contact Teresa Goldsmith on 07809 444276. Please note that all single rooms have already sold out.

East Coast Triples - Finishing positions (skips names)

Winners Colin Sharp, Runners-up Melvyn Barker, 3rd George Hume, 4th Terry Newby.

Red Group winners George Hume, 2nd Alan Hare, 3rd Jim Davey, 4th Michael Rice, 5th Julian Scales, 6th  Chris Lane 7th Keith Hughes, 8th Chris Prendagast, 9th Elaine Derbyshire, 10th John Pledger, 11th Stephen Brown, 12th Richard Broad  

Blue Group winners Melvyn Barker, 2nd Andrew Miles, 3rd Derek Hicks, 4th  Donna Mills, 5th Di Boswell, 6th Margaret Hare, 7th Barbara Buse, 8th Mick Godbold, 9th Don Knight, 10th Glen Hume, 11th Colin Hadler, 12th Lucille Westwick

Green Group winners Terry Newby, 2nd Mac McCallum, 3rd David Blundell, 4th Robin Amos, 5th Lawrence Ireland, 6th Derek Adams, 7th Pat Williamson, 8th Bob Oatway, 9th Andrew Rawnsley, 10th Sheila Wicks, 11th Keith Halford, 12th Jim Flin

Purple Group winners Colin Sharp, 2nd Russell Davidson, 3rd Barry Chapman, 4th Alan High, 5th Freddie Alnutt, 6th Brian Turner, 7th Derek Retchless, 8th Daphne Matthews, 9th Marjorie Hall, 10th Elaine Thornburn, 11th Ray Rider, 12th Joan Knox

East Coast Pairs – Finishing positions

Winners McCallum/Lunn, Runners-up Townsend/Townsend, 3rd Flin/Flin, 4th Thornburn/Thornburn.

5th Hayman/Hayman, 6th Scales/Scales, 7th Walker/Rawnsley, 8th Vardy/Baker, 9th Whitcombe/Jackson, Joint 10th Bruce/Bruce and Alderson/Knights, 12th Ireland/Ireland, 13th Alnutt/Alnutt, 14th Saxon/Smith, 15th Prendagast/Prendagast, 16th Hughes/Brown, 17th Hare/Miles, 18th Hall/Bunn, 19th Jeffries/Chadwick, 20th Warriner/Waling, 21st Barker/Newby, 22nd Barton/Pledger, 23rd Hume/Hume, 24th High/High, 25th Kerslake/Kerslake, 26th Delaney/Broad, 27th Cornwall/Meek, 28th Barton/Pledger    

Presentation Photo Call with Jack Jenkins of Potters Entertainment 

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East Coast Triples Winners Val Easter, Bob Cousins & Colin Sharp

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Runners-up Will Townsend, Billie Barker & Melvyn Barker

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Third Place George Hume, Jill Hayman & Colin Hayman

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Fourth Place Trish Taylor, David Kerslake & Terry Newby

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 East Coast Pairs Runners-up Will Townsend & Joy Townsend

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East Coast Pairs third place Joan & Jim Flin

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A gift for John Jeffries for his help to the Organisors

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