Paul Morgan makes it to last 16 of British Crown Green Bowling Association’s Senior Men’s Merit

On Saturday, one of the area’s top crown green bowlers, Paul Morgan, took on some of the country’s best bowlers at Heaton Park, Manchester.
The Terry Summersgill Drawn Pairs Merit finalists line up.The Terry Summersgill Drawn Pairs Merit finalists line up.
The Terry Summersgill Drawn Pairs Merit finalists line up.

Morgan (Whitby) was unable to play in the East Coast Crown Green Bowling Association’s Knock Out Cup, which was held on the same day, as, by reaching the quarter-finals of the Yorkshire Merit at Magnet Sports, Tadcaster in May, he qualified for the British Crown Green Bowling Association’s Senior Men’s Merit (the All-England).

Morgan did very well in this 64 entry competition by getting to last 16.

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He beat Mark Blackmore (North Midlands) 21-9 and Steve Barber (Derbyshire) 21-10 before losing to Anthony Walker (Greater Manchester) 21-14 after a downpour.

The Dukes Park Merit finalists.The Dukes Park Merit finalists.
The Dukes Park Merit finalists.

On Sunday, the Men’s Inter-District team travelled to Elland to play against Huddersfield District and Leeds Over-60s.

The East Coast team got off to an excellent start against Leeds, winning the first four games to lead 84-63 through Danny Cooper (North Cliff), Morgan, Andy Deighton (Dukes Park) and Barrie Watson (Borough) but unfortunately after that Leeds won the six remaining games to win the match 186-171.

The match against Huddersfield was always going to be difficult and only one of the opening five games was won, Andy Deighton beating Gary Siswick 21-11.

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It was the same story in the second half with only Jack Bird (Borough) winning against Ashley Tattersall. The final score was 193-148 to Huddersfield.

There was no disgrace in this performance; East Coast were drawn against two very strong teams and put up a good fight. Huddersfield then lost to Halifax in the semi-finals and Halifax in turn went down the West Riding in the final.

Saturday saw the first round and quarter-finals of the East Coast Association’s Knockout Cup played, for the first time, in a new format.

Previously all rounds apart from the final have been played on midweek evenings with six players from each side at home and the other six playing away.

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This year the first two rounds were played on one Saturday and on neutral greens.

Twelve teams entered, an improvement on previous years.

In the first round Eastfield played North Cliff B at Hunmanby, Westgate B played Whitby at Eastfield, Hunmanby played Dukes Park at Westgate and Borough B played Westgate A at North Cliff.

For the quarter-finals Eastfield and Whitby travelled to Borough and Dukes Park and Borough B travelled to Eastfield while Borough A played Brid Bay at Hunmanby and North Cliff A played Robin Hood’s Bay at Whitby.

The results were, perhaps, predictable with Whitby winning 235-135, Dukes Park winning 243-144, Borough A winning 237-173 and North Cliff A winning 252-114.

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The semi-finals and finals will be played at Robin Hood’s Bay on Saturday, August 12.

The semis will be played in parallel starting at 10am and the final following on with a target start time of 2pm.

On Friday there was an Over-60s Singles Merit at Dukes Park, Bridlington.

With only 23 bowlers turning up all games could be played off scratch. Rain on Thursday evening meant the green wasn’t particularly fast but the weather was warm, maybe too warm at times, and sunny for much of the day.

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In the early rounds there was the usual mixture of comfortable wins for some players and some very hard fought games.

In the semi-finals Geoff Price (Dukes Park) beat Gary Thornton (Eastfield) 21-16 and Robert Child (North Cliff) beat Barrie Watson (Borough) 21-8.

The final, which lasted for 29 ends, was a close contest for the first 12 ends, as Child led 8-6. The latter opened this to 12-7 before Price came back to take the lead at 14-13. Child conceded only two more scores to win 21-16.

On Sunday 38 players, including two non-locals Linda Armstrong (Castleford) and Richard Jackson (Halifax), competed in the Terry Summersgill Drawn Pairs, a competition honouring the memory of the late Terry Summersgill of Borough BC.

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This competition is specifically played on the same day as the Men’s Inter-District County competition to encourage players to enter in the knowledge that they won’t have to play one of the “star” players. As is usual a drawn pairs threw up some interesting combinations and, as is also not unusual, not all the apparently strong pairs progressed very far in the competition. Once again the weather was generally favourable with only a few very short and light bits of drizzle on a breezy day that alternated between sunshine and cloud.

In the semis Brian Whitehouse and Chris Dobson (both Dukes Park) beet Sue Green (Whitby) and Peter van de Gevel (Dukes Park) 21-10 and Denise Dobson (Dukes Park) and Richard Jackson (Halifax) beat Callum Malone (North Cliff) and Sheila West (Brid Bay) 21-18.

In the final featuring, by one of the quirks of Drawn Pairs, a husband and wife on opposing sides.

The first ends of the final were close but then Whitehouse and Dobson scored a 4 followed by 5 in the next four ends to go 13-6 up.

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The next three ends were all single figures but then Dobson and Jackson scored a 4 to bring things back to 15-11.

After losing two of the next three ends to make the score 18-12 they then scored a 3 but were only able to add 1 more to their score, Whitehouse and Dobson finally running out winners by 21-16.