Written by Mikey Titcombe
We have arrived at the final weekend of action at the Bowls England National Finals. This weekend, the last two competitions with Wiltshire involvement took place, with Keith Sanders of Amesbury and Sue Cooke of Box in action in the Men’s and Women’s Senior Singles respectively.
First up, we go to Keith Sanders of Amesbury, who after battling through several rounds to qualify for Leamington, faced off against Essex’s Senior Singles champion, Graham Easterbrook. A closely fought contest took place, with both players racking up shots. However, it was Graham who secured the win, unfortunately ending Keith’s run in round 1 of the national finals, 16-21.
Over on E Green, Sue Cooke took on Gill Crossley of Northamptonshire in her opening match. Putting the vast experience she had on these greens over the last 18 days to good use, Sue recorded an impressive 21-5 victory to book her place in the last 16, to take place later that same day.
Next up for Sue was Middlesex’s Hannah Hollis, who had edged out Isle of Wight representative Sandra Aldridge in round 1. This proved a tougher test for Sue, however she still passed with flying colours, recording a 21-11 victory. This booked her a spot in the Quarter-Final, and a spot in day 18, the final day of the championships at Leamington!
This brings us nicely onto day 18, with Sue as the last Wiltshire player standing at the championships. Sue would face a tough test in Surrey’s Margaret Smith in the Quarter-Final. In what was always going to be a challenging game, Sue battled hard, but could not get the better of Margaret on this occasion, eventually bowing out of the competition at the last 8 stage, 15-21. A great effort by Sue to reach the Quarter-Final!
That rounds off my coverage of Bowls Wiltshire at Leamington, I hope you have enjoyed following the progress of our competitors! Thank you to all who have taken the time to read any of my reports, it is much appreciated!