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Malaga Champion of Champions
March 2017 - Lauro Golf BC
Report by Ron Jones, text editing by Amber Dineen & John Carr.
This 4 day event brought together the Ladies and Menís Singles Champions from each of the Clubs in the Malaga Province. A round-robin tournament that pitted every Club Champion against his or her counter-part to produce a bowler worthy of the title.
Hosted this year by Lauro Golf Bowls Club the competition was superbly organised and the hospitality of the host Club was outstanding, from complimentary drinks for the competitors to a full complement of Markers for every game, they left nothing to chance. A special mention, too, to the Umpires Association members who provided their usual unbiased expertise throughout the tournament.
As one would expect from bowlers of this quality the bowling throughout the event was of the highest standard, with many tight heads producing not only superb draw bowling but accurate running bowls when the situation demanded it and the large number of spectators were treated to 4 days of thrilling competition.
Of course everyone needs a little luck and often it is a matter of fractions of an inch that decides a game. Whether it was Theo Bellaartís wonderful draw on to Andy Salmonís back-toucher which squeezed the jack just a half an inch too far to lose 21-20, or Trevor Burginís last bowl draw on to Dave Wilsonís shot bowl only to see it fall agonisingly backwards to leave Dave holding match winning shot at 21-20.
In the Ladies competition we saw Val Thornton appearing to be unstoppable in the first two rounds with performances that had spectators convinced she was a certain winner. However she went on to lose the next two rounds opening the door for the late starters to overtake her going into the final round.
In the men it was apparent from the quality of their bowling that there would be two real contenders for the title as both Joe Stamper (Benalmadena) and Mike Old (Benavista) swept all before them , each winning all of their games with as fine an example of bowling as we can hope to see .
The luck of the draw - made days in advance of course - didnít pit the two men together until the final round. Each with 6 points it turned an all-play Ėall round robin into a sudden-death, winner take all final day.
Happily for the spectators, the Ladies event produced a similar final round with both Angie Holt (Lauro) and Julie Banfield (La Posada) both tied on 3 points - everyone else on 2 - and drawn to play each other in the final round. Another winner takes all finale.
In the Ladies game, Julie got off to a fantastic start, winning 5 of the first 7 ends before Angie began to exert pressure, drawing level after 10 ends and once she took the lead she gradually extended it, despite some excellent bowling by Julie, to run out winner 21-11.
The Men meanwhile were having an epic final with both playing some wonderful bowls, heads changing constantly but with surprisingly few low scoring ends, with both men picking up 2ís and 3ís Ė only 4 ends were single shots. Joe Stamper is such an unstoppable force and bowled so well in every game that it was no surprise when he claimed his 4th Champion of Champions title having previously won in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Prizes and Trophies were presented by FAB Malaga Chairman Ron Jones, who rightly pointed out that every one of the competitors had bowled superbly throughout and had done their Clubís and themselves proud with their performances. Congratulations to all who took part and very special congratulations to the two worthy winners Angie Holt and the Joe Stamper.
Holt Lauro Golf Bowls Club
Joe Stamper Benalmadena Bowls Club