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Andalucian Championships

Sept. 2019 - Santa Maria BC

Report by by Ron Jones,  photo editing  by John Carr. 

Bowlers from both Malaga and Almeria Provinces came together to compete in the annual Andalusian Championships.  As always the standard was extremely high with some exciting games being played in the hotter than usual September temperatures.

Hosted in Malaga this year by Santa Maria Bowls Club in Elviria, with the assistance of Miraflores Bowls Club for a round of the Men’s Pairs, the Championships was officially opened by Federación Andaluza de Bolos Vice President , Bixio Foletti, who warmly welcomed the bowlers from both the Almeria and Malaga Provinces. Almeria Delegado, Ruth Compton gave a reply on behalf of her bowlers and tapas and drinks were served.

Blacktower Financial Management were once again the main sponsors for the Championships and this year added a special prize for the first team to manage a “Hotshot”. This is the equivalent of a Hole in One in Golf or a maximum 147 break in Snooker, a difficult but not impossible achievement involving winning an end and scoring with every one of their 8 bowls. We had a couple of 7’s but no one managed to find that elusive 8th shot.

Other sponsors this year were Avalon Funeral Services  - another regular sponsor of Lawns Bowls whose support is always gratefully received, and a new sponsor, Lobster – the English speaking mobile phone company.

The 9 days of bowling was well supported with more than 300 entries across the disciplines which were, as always, Mixed Fours, Ladies Pairs, Men’s Pairs, Ladies Singles and Men’s Singles. The Fours and Pairs are played over 18 ends, the Singles are won by the first player to reach 21 shots.

Throughout the Championship’s there were some excellent matches and the quality of the Semi-Finals left people wondering whether the Finals themselves would prove a disappointment. In the event they proved to be even better.

Ladies Pairs Final was between Esther Gatter and Nancy Shaw from Miraflores Bowls Club (Malaga Province) and Debbie Colquhoun and Maggie Holmes from Indalo Bowls Club (Almeria Province). Both teams played high quality bowls throughout with Debbie and Maggie taking the title 17-16.

The Men’s Pairs Final was an all Malaga affair with Marcus Smith and Kevin Westwell (Lauro Bowls Club) playing a team from the host Club Craig Lewis and Phil Baldry. The game was tied 15-15 after the 18th end, meaning an extra end had to be played.  With the Lauro team holding 4, Craig Lewis managed to kill the end forcing the end to be replayed. In another tight head, Kevin and Marcus were again holding the winning shots before Craig trailed the jack to give his side the win and the title.

In the afternoon, Kevin Westwell and Craig Lewis faced each other again, this time in the in the Men’s Singles Final . Kevin was in no mood to lose another Final and swept to a 21-2 victory in a superb exhibition of singles play.

The Ladies Singles Final was a much more balanced game with both Babs Davies from Indalo Bowls Club and June Baldry from Santa Maria winning shots in turn up to the 18th end. Babs then pushed ahead but after June took four shots on the 26th end both ladies were equal again.  On the 29th end the scores were again equal 20 - 20. This meant someone had to win on the next end and superb bowling from both players showed their levels of concentration and determination to win with June Baldry getting the final point to win the title.

Reg Birmingham and his team of Chris Ewer, Janice Laing and Doreen Hall (Almeria Province) played well throughout the competition but could not quite hold the extra quality of Gordon Kain’s team of Julian Thomas, Tony Land and Margaret Kain. The team from Santa Maria and Lauro Bowls Clubs proved just too strong and took a comfortable 24-15 victory.

The Presentation followed, thanks were given to our Sponsors, Blacktower Financial Management, Avalon Funeral Services and Lobster Mobile, to Santa Maria and their members for hosting and supporting the  smooth running of the competition. A buffet was enjoyed and singing and dancing finished the event.

Lawn Bowls is a sport for all ages, where Men and women can compete equally and  where skill and co-ordination is more valued than physical strength. New bowlers are always welcome at any of the clubs. Give us a call and come along and have a try. The Malaga FAB website is www.malagafab.com for more information.

Kevin Westwell Men's Singles Champion.

Ladies Singles Champion, June Baldry.

Craig Lewis & Phil Baldry, Men's pairs winners.

Ladies Pairs Champions, Maggie Holmes & Debbie Colquhoun.

Mixed 4's winners, Gordon & Margaret Kain, Tony Land & Julian Thomas.

Why not email your Spanish regional championships report and items of special interest to www.bowlinginspain.com?  Where appropriate, please accompany the report with photos.

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