As is custom the Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor Lawrence Williams, cast the first wood of the 100th Bournemouth Open Bowls Tournament 2017 at Southbourne Bowls Club.
The competitors contested the preliminary and early rounds at eleven different Bowls Club across the Borough, culminating in the Semi-Finals and Finals at Southbourne.
Sponsored by Bowlaway, it attracted almost 200 entrants including eight former champions who had all been eliminated by the semi-finals. The final saw Michael Hutley (Boscombe Cliff) and Steve Richardson (Dalbeattie) battle it out. Richardson quickly established a 4-0 lead. Hutley then won the next three ends to go 6-4 up, but the Scot hit back to lead 10-6. On the eleventh end Hutley picked up two shots and changed tactics by taking the mat right up the green. This paid off and he recovered to take a 13-10 lead. Cat and mouse tactics saw Richardson regain the lead at 14-13, but this was to be his last throw of the dice. Hutley turned on a top class display of draw bowling to close down the contest at 21-14. The champion, Michael Hutley received the Melbourne Cup from the Mayor of Bournemouth and a cheque for £2,400 from Sara Uzzell of Bowlaway. Runner-up Steve Richardson received a cheque for £1,200 pounds.
In the Semi-finals Michael Hutley had eased to a 21-9 victory over Rick Gallagher (Carlisle Subscription). There was a similar win for Steve Richardson who triumphed 21-11 over Steve Tuohy (Weybridge). The losing Semi-finalists each received £400.
Men’s Pairs Final
Sponsored by Horizon Honda, 2008 Singles Champion Neil Smith (Royal Wootton Bassett) teamed up with former Welsh International Neil Collett (Merthyr West End). Their opponents were Ian Gallagher (Carlisle Subscription) and Tournament 2010 and 2016 pairs Champion Peck Orchard (Siloth). Smith and Collett were in devastating form and soon established a 9-1 lead. The Cumbrian pair were playing well but were never a match for Smith and Collett who, by the seventeenth end led 24-9. At this point Orchard and Gallagher shook hands and conceded the match to the new Pairs Champions Neil Smith and Neil Collett. They received the Ernest Dean Challenge Cup and a cheque for £1,000. Runners up Peck Orchard and Ian Gallagher received prize money of £500.
In the Semi-finals Smith and Collett beat the Shadwells (Spencer Moulton) 23-13. Whereas the Cumbrian duo overcame 2015 Pairs Champions Connor Hayes and Callum Sharp (Old Dean) 22-14. Each pair of the losing semi finalists received £150.00.
Men’s Triples Final
Sponsored by Grosvenor Casinos was contested between the local trio Lee Croad (Ringwood), Jim Garner and Chris Weekes (Poole Park) and the Mid Surrey Club representatives Tim Orr, Gareth Morgan and Steve Tuohy. Garner, Croad and Weeks were dominant from the start and held an 18-8 advantage by the fourteenth end. Suddenly the Surrey trio clicked and picked up seven shots leaving them needing three on the last end to draw level. However the recovery fell short of the target leaving Croad, Weeks and Garner the 18-16 winners and Champions. The victorious trio were presented with the Ivor Rose Bowl and a Cheque for £720. The runners-up received a cheque for £300. The losing Semi-finalists received prize money of £150 for each triple.
Mixed Pairs Final
Sponsored by Bebbington Steps, Rick Gallagher (Carlisle Subscription) and local lady Sue Dillon (Swanmore) were out to complete a hat trick of victories after winning the title in 2015 and 2016. Out to stop them were the Aspatria pairing of Ann Creighton and Stuart Irwin. The reigning Champions were in devastating form and by the fourteenth end were leading 23-5. The Cumbrians picked up three shots on the next end but that was to be their final flourish. With the score at 24-8 Creighton and Irwin gracefully conceded the match leaving a jubilant Sue Dillon and Rick Gallagher as three times Champions. Rick and Sue received the James King Challenge Vase and a cheque for £500. The runners-up received prize money of £300. Each losing Semi-finalist pairing received a cheque for £100.
The Ladies Tournament
Sponsored by Coleman Insurance Brokers, and based at Moordown Bowls Club it featured many local bowlers in the final stages.
Ladies Singles Final
Local bowler Jenny Cooper of Redhill Park scooped the honours. Jenny’s opponent in the Final was Southbourne’s Sue Dadson. Cooper made the better start and after eight ends had established an 8-2 lead. Dadson struck back and by the sixteenth end was leading 13-9. The Redhill bowler then recovered until the game was finely poised at 15-15 all. Jenny Cooper continued to pick up shots to win the title 21-17. Jenny received the Carne-Stephenson Trophy and a cheque for £400 pound from Jonathan Mayo of Coleman Insurance Brokers. The runner up received a cheque for £200.
On her way to the Final Jenny Cooper was losing 15-14 to her Semi-final opponent Lucy Smith (Royal Wootton Bassett), but rallied to win the next seven points for a 21-15 victory. Sue Dadson progressed to Final with a comfortable 21-7 win over Gill Rice (Old Dean). Each of the losing Semi-finalists received a cheque for £100.
Ladies Pairs Final
Ellie and Trudi McCubbin (Auchencairn) faced formidable local bowlers Julie Hudson (Swanmore) and Sue Dadson (Southbourne). The experience of Hudson and Dadson showed from the start and the Scottish duo was restricted to just six single shots as the locals stormed to a 20-6 victory. Julie Hudson and Sue Dadson were presented with the Moordown Bowl and a cheque for £250. The runners-up received a cheque for £150.
Ladies Triples Final
The knowledgeable audience were on the edge of their seats for this one. The Southbourne trio of Ellie Wilson, Sue Dawe and Pauline West lined up against the strong combination of Sally Black (Saint Saviours), Fiona Archibald (Jersey) and Val Davis (Torquay). In a close fought contest, reflected by the final score of 13-12, the title went to the locals Ellie Wilson, Sue Dawe and Pauline West. They were presented with the Alan Tavener Vase, by Kim Tavener and a cheque for £210. The runners up received £90.
View a pdf of the Bournemouth Open Bowls Tournament 2017 Results.
Thank you to Southbourne Bowling Club and photographer Graham Kerwood for allowing us to share these images