Pavilion score hat-trick of wins in bowls leagues

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Worthing Pavilion played home and away in the West Sussex Bowls League to launch the outdoor season as spring finally arrived.The Bears, keen to defend the Division One championship they claimed last September, travelled to Chichester, while the Bulls, who retained their place in the top flight by finishing fifth in 2023, played host to Southbourne.

Both Pavilion teams made a winning start, with the Bears winning 82-69 and the Bulls winning 87-67.

Keith Lyons, Bill Muir, Ken Chapman and skip Simon Warr were top rink against Southbourne, aided by a rare seven on the fourth end. They were never caught after that, though a five for Southbourne narrowed the gap. A three for Pavilion on the last end sealed a 24-15 success.

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George Rhodes, Derek Little, Tim Baldwin and Alan Vidler made a flying start to go 8-0 up after three ends. They led all the way and finished strongly for a 22-14 win. Peter Woods, Roger Dutton, Keith Wadhams and Gavin Beven trailed until scoring a four on the seventh end. That put them 8-6 up and, although the lead changed hands twice more, Pavilion held on to win 23-20 despite dropping six shots on the last two ends. Tony Beale, Colin Johnson, Richard Krupa and skip Warwick Davis, who was Bulls captain for the day, looked set to earn Pavilion maximum points when they led 18-10 with three ends to play. The visitors then scored one, three, four at the last to tie the game 18-18 and take Southbourne's lone point. Nine points from 10 was an excellent return for the Bulls, whose next match is away to East Preston on May 26. The Bears opened their defence of the title with a tricky fixture at Chichester. Late changes led to Bryan Bodicoat and David Berry being drafted in at the last minute, while four other members of the team were making their debut: Richard Maton, Kevin Yeo, Dave Richardson and 14-year-old Tommy Walker. Despite those extra challenges, the Bears registered victories on two of the four rinks and won 82-69 on shots aggregate, to take six of the 10 points available. Top rink went to Andy Peters, Nour Dissem, Kevin Yeo and skip Dave Richardson, who turned on the power to win nine of the 10 ends from the sixth onwards after a tight start. A strong finish, including a five on the 21st end, sealed a 29-11 victory. Pavilion's other win was earned by Tommy Walker, Francis Fahey, Paul Ward and John Frew. They won the first three ends before dropping a four. Chichester went 6-5 up after seven but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Two threes and a four from Pavilion in the final six ends gave them a 22-13 success. Colin Davey, Bryan Bodicoat, Arthur White and Richard Maton led from end four and were eight shots clear after 14. They then dropped a five and three twos in five ends, eventually losing 18-16. Jeremy Simpson, David Berry, Russ Doherty and Mark Strong dropped a five on the second end, immediately responded with a four, but then lost six ends on the trot. They went down 25-15. Pavilion's first competitive match of the summer season brought an impressive win against Marine Gardens in the Brodie Tray on May 3. Heavy rain had caused the club's opening drive to be postponed on April 21, then abandoned a week later, but Pavilion's team showed few signs of being underprepared against opponents who had already played three friendlies and a Brodie match against Shoreham. The decision to select a team that included several regulars from the top division of the West Sussex Bowls League was fully vindicated, with Pavilion taking eight of the 10 points available. Andy Peters, Phil Carter, David Berry and skip Ken Chapman earned top rink with a 30 shots to 14 win. The game was in the balance after 12 ends, with the hosts leading by only two shots, but three successive fours followed by a two put them firmly in control. Simon Warr skipped Malcolm Gardiner to a 22-15 win in the pairs, which would have been more emphatic if Marine Gardens had not rallied on the 18th end to score the only five of the game. Keith Lyons, Bill Muir and skip Richard Krupa led from start to finish in their triples game, opening with a three and scoring a single on the final end in a 17-10 victory. The visitors prevented Pavilion recording a clean sweep by winning the other triples game against Peter Woods, Bryan Bodicoat and skip Warwick Davis by 17 shots to eight. Phil Carter, this season's Brodie captain, was delighted with the strong start, with Pavilion looking to improve on last year's campaign in which they finished runners-up to Southwick. This weekend, Pavilion will be hosting two days of bowling for NHS employees. They will be shown the indoor and outdoor facilities at the club in Pavilion Road, Tarring, and invited to try their hand on the rinks. The sessions start at midday and club members will be volunteering their services to make everyone feel welcome as well as firing up the barbecue on Saturday and Sunday.

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