Organizers Bowled Over By National Success. Titles Shared by all the Regions.
The 2013 Spain National Lawn Bowls Championships reached its climax on Saturday 25th May, where, at Quesada Bowls Club, after two glorious weeks of competition, the finals of the men’s and ladies singles brought the tournament to a thrilling conclusion.
“We hardly had a hiccup” said National Director John Muldoon. “The occasional threat of wind and rain was about as close as it got. All in all it was an extremely successful fortnight of bowling.”
The tournament saw competition divided into eight disciplines with the competitors demonstrating accuracy and nerve as they each contested men’s and ladies singles, pairs, triples and rinks (fours) events.
What was especially pleasing was to see the trophies distributed amongst all five participating regions, North Alicante, South Alicante, Almeria, the Malaga and Tenerife.
Both Rinks competitions were sponsored by the Leader Newspaper. The Men’s competition was won by San Luis Bowls Club, Colin Jackson, a day before his 70th birthday, Allen Bowen, John Withers and Mal Hughes, who beat near neighbours San Miguel in a thrilling final. Meanwhile, the Ladies title went to Quesada, who were bowling on home turf, represented by Lisa Bonsor after her 3 year sojourn in Australia, three time winner Diane Lawton, Deirdre Leeming and Maureen Kidd. They put paid to the aspirations of La Siesta, who were looking to pick up their first national title since Tony Pilling won the Men’s singles back in 2002.
CS Bowlswear sponsored the Ladies Triples and with El Cid defeating the Tenerife trio in the final. Sara Hamer, Hazel Brown and Yvonne Briden received their trophy together with a rather big bunch of flowers. The only club to successfully defend a title was Quesada where they had two teams contesting the Men’s triples final. National Director John Muldoon finally showed that he’s not just a pretty face when he led out Bill Pain and Pete Bonsor to pick up the winning the trophy.
Tenerife Bowls Club were again the runners up in the men’s Pairs final, beaten by Colin Jackson, on his 70th birthday, and Mal Hughes of San Luis. Both had previously featured in winning the Men’s Rinks the day before. Led by MC Jackie Breslin Colin picked up his trophy to a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. A small but enthusiastic entry from the Malaga province, managed to take one title, the Ladies Pairs. Kate Morris and Mary Detheridge of Bel Playa narrowly ousted the girls from the relatively new Bonalba Bowls Club.
The two blue ribbon events, the Men’s and the Ladies Singles finals, were both nail biters, going down to the very wire, much to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd.
Spain International Jan Dando of Indalo had to come from quite a way behind before she eased her way to victory, 21-17, over club mate Linda Lester. At 15 ends there appeared to be no way back for Jan who trailed 16-6 but she gradually clawed her way back into the game picking up singles in the next 4 ends before piling on a succession of two’s to close the game out in the 26th end.
The Men’s Singles Competition saw the popular Derek Sale, bowling in front of his home crowd, fall 8 pts behind to Javea’s Tony McKenna, by the 14th end, but then as Tony lost the jack he was unable to come to terms with Derek’s longer length. As a result the Quesada man had forced his way to a two point lead by the 19th end needing just 3pts to secure the title. But it was Tony’s greater experience that won the day as he edged back to tie the game at 20-20. Thereafter Derek put his first three woods in the gutter and with Tony holding his nerve it was the former Spain International who picked up the vital final point.
The final two presentations were made to the Men’s and Ladies Player of the Tournament which Jackie Breslin announced. He said that the deliberation by the National Committee had been long and difficult which made the winners even more worthy of their awards. Jacky Playford of Tenerife won the Ladies nomination while the Men’s prize went to Mal Hughes of San Luis.
After the presentations the closing ceremony took place in which the final thank you’s were left to Jackie Breslin who expressed the gratitude of the players and the organizing committee to all sponsors, CS Bowls Wear, Dales Sports Surfaces, Greengauge Surfaces and the Leader Newspaper, for their generosity before making a gift of wine to representatives from the six participating clubs, Vistabella, El Rancho, La Siesta, San Luis, Greenlands and Quesada Bowls Clubs.
Jackie then went on to thank the result coordinators, umpires, markers, scorers, all club helpers and tournament organizers who had made the event such a success.
There were a few words too from Valencian Delegate Bob Donnelly after which national Director John Muldoon said that the 2013 championships had been a wonderful success and good preparation for the upcoming staging of one of the most prestigious events in the International Bowls Calendar, the Ninth European Team Championship involving almost 20 nations, which is coming to this part of Spain, from Sunday 29th September 2013 to Friday 4th October 2013.
He then oversaw the lowering of the Spanish flag before declaring the 2013 Championship closed.
There is no doubt that the participation of record numbers of bowlers, over 700 in the eight competition disciplines, and the much publicized buildup toward the European Team Championship will help to increase both awareness and participation in what is already one of the most popular and successful sports in Spain.
New members are welcomed at all clubs where the sport is played, not only for the challenge and competition, but for personal enjoyment, activity, the pleasure of spending time outdoors and for social interaction, it is also a low impact, therapeutic form of exercise and absolutely ideal, particularly for those of a certain age.
Report by Kevin, “The Leader” newspaper, photos by Carl Eagle.