Unlike last year, when it poured from the heavens, The Ardgowan Club played host to the Greenock & District Championship Finals in almost perfect conditions for the players,officials and spectators.
Grosvenor's Alan Bradley, stormed to victory in the Singles and saw off a strong challenge from Robert Davidson of Victoria by 21 shots to 8 in just over one hour and fifteen minutes. However, Alan did not have things all his own way, in the early stages of the game he was made to fight for every shot by a determined Robert Davidson. After scoring a double in the first end, Alan found himself down by 5 shots to 2 as Robert delivered some excellent shots to gain the early lead.
Alan then made up some ground by taking full advantage of a slack end by both players, to take the shot with his last bowl with the nearest other bowl being around two feet away. He followed this up with another single to make the score 4 shots to 5 to Robert after seven ends played
The next end saw Robert increase his lead again to 2 shots, but once again Alan fought back and by the tenth end at was all square at six all.
Just as it was looking like we were in for a long close game, Alan Bradley decided otherwise and began to take full control of the game and over the next four ends had built up a sizeable lead over his opponent by 14 shots to 6, which included a full house of four shots at the twelfth end, followed by a treble in the next.
Over the next few ends both players took shots but Alan once again delivered a devastating blow to the hopes of Robert, recording his second full house of the final, to lead 19 shots to 8 shots, which took him to within touching distance of the trophy.
The victory was sealed at the next end when Alan recorded the remaining two shots required to become Greenock & District Champion for 2008
This was a good game to watch, both players produced some excellent bowling. The turning point in the game seemed to be after Alan captured that first full house, which he then followed up with a trio, to build up the first large lead in the game, which is always quite difficult to recover from. This dent to Robert's confidence was also a boost to Alan's and he of course took full advantage of the situation.
Congratulations to Alan and well done to Robert on reaching this stage, a stage that I am sure he will grace again in years to come.
The Pairs was won in devastating fashion by Port Glasgow's Peter Johnstone and Dougie Twaddle over David Quigley and Billy Hamill of Rankin Park. They finished the game after just 15 of the scheduled 17 ends with a winning score of 31 shots to 9.
Gourock Park's Michael Stevenson, Ramsay Crawford and Terry Duffy claimed the Triples with a fantastic team display over D Hourston, A Rennie and Jim Metcaffe of Lady Alice.
When I first started to take notes on this one, 'The Park' were well in command and leading by 12 shots to 4 shots with ten ends completed and looking good for success.
Lady Alice however were not done yet, they fought back to reduce the deficit to just three shots after 12 ends to give them a real chance of coming back.
Michael, Ramsay and Terry were in no mood to let their opponents hit back any further however and proved this by taking three shots in the next end and then a single to go into the final end seven shots up!
Facing an uphill battle, Lady Alice played on and took the final end by 2 shots to make the overall score 16 shots to 11 shots to Gourock Park
An extra end was required to decide the winner of the Fours and it was Inverkip who came out on top to win the game by 18 shots to 16 shots over Victoria.
The Seniors Title was won by Gourock with a convincing victory over Victoria by 20 shots to 5 shots.
The Junior Singles title went to Rikki Mc Neill from Lady Alice who saw off the challenge of Stephen Henry of Wellington Park with a winning score of 21 shots to 13. Rikki was also presented with the Young Bowlers trophy, which he won earlier in the season.
Ardgowan Club President Peter Walker
The Ardgowan Club
Greenock & District Singles Champion 2008
Greenock & District Pairs Champions 2008
Dougie Twaddle & Peter Johnstone
Port Glasgow BC
Greenock & District Triples Champions 2008
Ramsay Crawford Terry Duffy & Michael Stevenson
Gourock Park BC
Greenock & District Fours Champions 2008
W MacGregor, J Balsillie, B Small & W Gibson
Greenock & District Seniors Champions 2008
J Dillon, W Telfer, A Ritchie & J Robinson
Greenock & District Junior Singles Champion 2008
Rikki Mc Neill
Lady Alice BC
The Singles Final underway
The Gourock Park Triples are captured on camera by George Brydon
Fort Matilda's Tom Dunn collects the Reid Cup and Fletcher Trophy
"C'mon the Park"
Gourock Park members enjoy their day
Hugs and handshakes for Ramsay and Terry
Greenock & District Mixed Pairs Winners
Stacy Lungley & Terry Duffy
Ardgowan's President, Peter Walker collects the League Runner up shield
Councilor Jim Clougherty makes short speech before the presentation of prizes
President Robert Cummings collects the G&D Top Ten for Wellington Park
What a difference a week in bowling can be!
Terry asked me to include these two pictures to illustrate the highs and lows of bowling! On the left we see him watching on in apparent agony as he is losing 12 nil in the Gourock Park Presidents final and on the right a picture of happiness with not one G&D title but two!
President Robert Grant collects the 3rd Division Trophy for Gourock Park
The Semi-Finals of the G&D took place at Ardgowan on Saturday 23rd.and the weather looked as if it was going to stay dry, completely unlike last year.
All of the ties were played in good spirit and completed in time for a lunch break of nearly two hours.
The Senior Singles match between Mick McAulay and Alan Bradley went the distance and ended in a victory for Alan, but it was a great tussle and good for the spectators.
The other game was between Robert Davidson of Victoria and Nichol House, who is no stranger to these type of games. Robert dominated this game right from the off and was a deserved winner.
In the Junior Singles, Stephen Hendry was determined to reach the Final and won his game against H.Casement of Lady Alice with time to spare. In the other game it was a different story, Ricky McNeill was not having it all his own way and had to use all of his skills to eliminate fellow Lady Alice player J.McCue.
In the Pairs, Port Glasgow were just a bit too strong for Gourock Park and moved into the Final where their opponents were Rankin Park, who had just seen off Lady Alice in another close game.
Gourock Park and Lady Alice were too strong for Port Glasgow and IBM respectively and moved into the Triples Final without a lot of bother.
The Inverkip fours were having a great tournament and a lot of people were delighted to see “Big Willie” Gibson playing in the championships instead of Umpiring and they were going well too, as Fort Matilda found to their cost. Fort Matilda have won this championship for the last two years – but not this year. Their opponents were to be Victoria who were having a good tournament also. Grosvenor came up against the Victoria team and just ran out of ideas.
The Senior Fours had two Gourock teams in a situation that could see them playing against each other in the Final – but not this year. Gourock # 1 lost to yet another Victoria team, but their counterparts were having a ding-dong battle with Port Glasgows # 2 team. It went to an extra end and was well worth the money for the spectators.
The Finals started bang on time and served up some cracking ties. Ardgowan Club was ready for it’s finest day and all of the T’s had been crossed and the I’s dotted.
The Singles Final started off well for Victoria, but didn’t last and a victory for Alan Bradley was on the cards. Alan won his 2nd.G&D Singles title in fine form which pleased the large support that was there from Grosvenor.
Rikki McNeill had already won the Young Bowlers tournament this year and was playing well. His opponent was Stephen Hendry of Wellington, who has been a part of the Wellington team for a few years and is more than capable of winning titles, he has already won it in 2005 at IBM. The game was played in somewhat windy conditions at the earlier part, but was always in Rikki’s control and he ran out a worthy winner.
Port Glasgow dominated the Pairs Final and Rankin Park must have wondered what hit them – maybe next year!!
Gourock Park won a close game with Lady Alice and finished off a good year for the Darroch Park club.
The Fours final was won by Inverkip and “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house” Inverkip won a close game with Victoria and went home happy.
Gourock’s 2nd string ended any hope of Victoria winning and took the Senior 4’s title with a convincing display.
The presentation of prizes took place on the North Green and the following trophies were presented:-
League Division One Flag & Shield Grosvenor BC
League Division One Runner – up Ardgowan Club (Melvin Shield)
League Division Two Not decided yet (Peter Clark Shield)
League Division Three Gourock Park BC(Trophy Box Shield)
County Flag Kilmacolm BC
Reid Cup Fort Matilda BC
Fletcher Cup Fort Matilda BC
Top Ten Wellington Park BC
Hospice Wapinshaw Wellington Park BC
Mixed Pairs Gourock Park BC (S.Lungley & T.Duffy)
Young Bowler Lady Alice BC (R.McNeill)
Senior Fours Gourock BC
Runner-up Victoria BC
Fours Inverkip BC
Runner-up Victoria BC
Triples Gourock Park BC
Runner-up Lady Alice BC
Pairs Port Glasgow BC
Runner-up Rankin Park BC
Junior Singles Lady Alice BC (R.McNeill)
Runner-up Wellington Park BC (S.Hendry)
Singles Grosvenor BC (A.Bradley)
Runner-up Victoria BC (R.Davidson)
After the presentation of prizes, the players, invited guests and officials retired to the Ardgowan Club for a lovely meal which had been prepared by the Ardgowan Ladies. The customary speeches were made by :- Councillor Jim Clocherty, who was representing Provost McCormick, SBA Councillor Bill Knox & RBA President Robin Kyle. Crystal glasses were distributed to the players and presentations were made to Sandy Wotherspoon for his tremendous achievement in winning the British Isles trophy along with the Gourock Park rink of Joda Reid, Alex McIlravey, Roger Lynn & Ian Brown. The British Isles trophy and the National Fours trophies were both on show, thanks to the winners bringing them along. Unfortunately, at. the presentation of trophies, I forgot to mention Sandy’s win in the British Isles and it didn’t go down well in certain quarters. I suffered a severe attack of memory loss and cannot apologise enough. Sandy being the gentleman that he is accepted my apology immediately and I’ll need to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
All in, the Championship Finals were a tremendous success and credit must be given to Ardgowan Club for the way in which they worked as a team to ensure that all areas were covered.