The Greenland’s Bowls Club ensign was certainly flying high above the finals venue last week for the 14th edition of the Valencian Lawn Bowls Tournament, as the Los Montesinos based Club performed a ‘clean sweep’ in all seven disciplines, the first occasion this has been achieved in the history of the competition.
Whilst many might put the feat down to the club having home advantage, when remembering that a new bowling surface was laid by Dales Sports just days before the competition got underway the claim would seem to have very little substance, and although many of the finals went down to the wire, the current crop of players were just too strong for their opposition.
This is the seventh occasion that Linea Directa has kindly acted as main competition sponsors and their presence was clearly in evidence with many company banners scattered around the venue. Valencian Delegate, Bob Donnelly, was particularly complimentary of the company as he singled them out for thanks prior to the final presentations.
After two weeks of almost perfect weather, with the early rounds played at Bonalba and Greenlands, the Championships came down to the wire with the Finals getting underway last Sunday.
In the Mixed Triples there was no stopping the home side of Sue Bosworth, Dave Robinson and Andy Miles who were in outstanding form against the Emerald Isle trio of Colin Lindgren, Drew and Ann Marie Gerrard as the Greenlands outfit romped to a comfortable victory. The usually reliable EI threesome just didn’t have any answers, finally throwing in the towel after 14 ends.
It was an all Greenlands affair in the finals of the Mixed Pairs with Debbie Perryman and Graham Shoots meeting current holders Lisa & Peter Bonsor. Perryman and Shoots let by 11-3 at the midway point with the champions unable to find their form of the previous rounds. As the Aussie veterans wilted in the sun Debbie and Graham went on to claim a 19-8 win.
On to Tuesday morning it was the turn of the Mens and Ladies pairs. In the Ladies Peta Rhodes and Lisa Bonsor met clubmates Janet Jukes and Debbie Perryman and although Jukes and Perryman established a healthy early lead Rhodes and Bonsor turned the game around scoring 5 shots on the 8th end. Despite a late surge from their opponents the pair picked up another ‘cinco’ on end 17 easing their way to a victory by 20-16.
There was rather more daylight in Mens Pairs final, which brought together 2 strong pairings in Noel Davis and Russell Marks of Emerald Isle and Andy Miles and Pete Bonsor of Greenlands. Despite looking capable of lifting the trophy in the earlier rounds Noel and Russel had few answers as Miles and Bonsor powered their way to a 17-6 lead after 14 ends. At that stage the EI pair felt the match had slipped away and conceded the win to their opponents.
After a short break it was the turn of the two blue riband events, the finals of the Ladies and Mens Singles.
In the Ladies, both Lisa Bonsor and Debbie Perryman were back on the green after their earlier finals during the morning session, with Debbie establishing a narrow lead after 7. Lisa hit back to take the lead with 4 shots on 8 and with a further 4 on 14 and 3 on 16 Debbie gradually fell away with Lisa taking the match 21-9.
The Mens singles had Pete Bonsor, who had earlier despatched 3 x times winner Peter Morgan, paired against Quesada’s Jeff Pitt and against all expectations Jeff was quickly out of the blocks as he established a 6 point lead after just 5 ends. Bonsor, however, was completely unphased picking up threes on ends 9 and 11 to edge himself into the lead.
This was a thrilling match to watch and as the spectators roared on both bowlers Peter gradually pulled away to put himself within touching distance of the crown, but there was still more on offer from Pitt as the Quesada bowler’s late effort gradually narrowed the gap. In the end, however, Bonsor managed to close the game out by 21-12.
Following the six finals the Presentation of prizes then took place by Delegate Bob Donnelly, assisted by Competition Secretary John O’Brien.
In a short pre-presentation speech Donnelly gave thanks to a multitude of organisations and individuals for their help and support during the tournament; to long-time supporter of Lawn Bowls in Spain and Tournament sponsor, Linea Directa, to the owners, management and members of both competition venues, Bonalba and Greenlands Bowls Clubs, to the club contacts who ensured that both venues ran in accordance with the schedule, to the CBUMA, their umpires and their markers, who attended to ensure fair play, and to the competition secretary John O’Brien for his work before and during the event.
Because of players commitments and other competitions the final of the Mixed Rinks was held over until the Friday. Again it involved two teams from Greenlands ensuring that, regardless of the winning foursome, all seven titles would be held by the club.
The match itself featured Mark Jukes, Rudy Wattley, Debbie Perryman and Janet Jukes against Dave Morrison, Andy Miles, Graham Shoots and M Hanratty with team Morrison eventually coming out on top.
The damage was done in the early stages as they had raced to an 11-2 lead by the conclusion of the fifth end but as complacency set in team Jukes then pulled back to 11-10 just 3 ends later.
The setback appeared to be the reminder for team Morrison that the match still needed to be won, at which point they picked up the pace and gradually edged away from their opponents to take the final by 25-12.
The final act of this very successful two week tournament was the presentation of the prizes to the winners and runners up of the Rinks Competition by the Chairperson of Levante Lawn Bowls, Jean Cooper.