Singles First Round Report

Past Winners Shine in Singles Championship

The Championship’s first round comprised four groups of ten bowlers, from which just the top six in each group would go through to the quarter finals. And in those groups were nine previous singles champions who would all qualify for the following week’s quarter finals.

Of those four initial groups, group A was the most exciting and high scoring. Although looking good to qualify before bowling his last leg, Bert Clewlow (Engineers) made sure he would progress by then making a 13 stack to top the group with 42 pins. Glyn Morley (Lodge Farmers) and Mick Stanton (Jumbo Jets), both previous champions, made 38 to join Clewlow. The remaining qualifying places all went to a trio of Lodge Farmers bowlers, Frank Morris also making 38, while 37 pins each was just enough for the Chris Prichard and Richard Long. Spare a thought for Mac Eaton (Nomads) failing to qualify with 36 pins, a score which would have seen him easily qualify had he been in any of the other groups.

Group B had the 2019 champion, Craig Ellis (Engineers) looking in good form to lead the way with 36 pins. Following were the Jumbo Jets pair of Rich Johnston and Len Quartly making 35 and 33 respectively and there was also 33 from Rachel Morris (Lodge Farmers) just one of only two ladies to progress. The 2022 champion, Rob Quartly (Jumbo Jets) edged in with 30 pins with Andy Gill-Smith (Bernie’s Bolts) close behind on 29 pins.

Mark Ganderton (Engineers), and the 2017 winner, always looked good to qualify before making a 14 stack in his last leg to cement his qualification and top group C with 42 pins. Bagging the last spot though by a single pin was Tim Jones (Lodge Farmers) with 30 despite a near calamitous leg four score of only two pins. Jones’ hiccup seemed to spook three times winner Alan Cummings (Nomads) who, bowling immediately after Jones, could then only score one pin. But Cummings had already banked three good leg scores including a 14 stack and with a sound fifth leg score finished with a qualifying 36 pins. He was joined, and more sedately, on 36 pins by Ian Greenway (Engineers), champion in 2016 & 2018. Scores of 32 were then comfortable enough for qualification for Maurice Wroe (Engineers) and the 2007 winner Dave Maule (unattached).

James Marshal (Nomads) had a great first ball nine in his opening leg and went on to make a 15 stack in that leg. Marshal’s qualification was never in doubt and led throughout the game on his way to a group D topping score of 40. Dave Orton (C&G Show), Jim Child (Nomads) and Steve Court (The Borough) made 36, 33 & 31 respectively followed by the second lady qualifier, Angela Guest (C&G Show), and the defending champion Scott Few (The Borough) with 29 pins each.