Players and spectators may have been soaked by the occasional shower during the week but spirits were never dampened as a very enjoyable 103rd Hastings Open Bowls Tournament drew to a close on Saturday.
Thankfully, the rain stayed away on Finals Day for a series of keenly-contested and exceptionally high-quality deciders - continuing the standard set by many of the matches in the earlier rounds.
The tournament, which was dominated by local bowlers, attracted many entrants from outside the county and they all appeared to enjoy not only the competition but Hastings too. Many of them have been coming for years and have promised to return in 2015.
Joyce Cox (White Rock BC) clinched the Croft Glass Ladies’ Singles after overcoming club colleague Brenda Baker 21-12 despite a strong fightback in the middle of the match.
Nick Wingfield won another all-White Rock final by getting the better of defending champion Colin Nutton in a very tense Croft Glass Men’s Singles. Not only did he collect the President’s Cup but also the crown of best local player.
The contest - which saw Wingfield, 20, come from 7-1 down to beat his 25-year-old opponent 21-12 - also refuted the assumption that ‘bowling is for old people’.
Nutton did pick up a winners’ trophy when in partnership with Alec Martin he secured the Don Softley Men’s Pairs by defeating newcomers Derek Weeks and Peter Thorpe from Clive Vale. Although the score was 30-15, it was only towards the end that the White Rock bowlers eased ahead.
The Gibbons, Mannington & Phipps Ladies’ Pairs Trophy was won by Pat Warner and Sally Robertson, playing on their home green, despite stiff opposition from Liz Pickett (Hollington Old Church) and Baker with a score of 26-14.
Home form again proved decisive in The Brickwall Hotel Open Triples when Glenn Newton and Tony Clarkson skipped by Shaun Godfrey (all White Rock) came from behind to triumph 21-16 against Kevin Blaylock (Morpeth), Trevor Logan and Chris Surman (both White Rock).
See today’s Hastings Observer for the full article and more pictures.