Dramatic turnaround in fortunes throughout final stages of Ottery competition

PUBLISHED: 08:02 15 August 2020

The two sets of finalists in the Ottery St Mary competition (left to right) Mike Kelsey, Marion Kelsey, Gerrard McCarthy, Margaret Bright, George Hutchinson and Tony Panzeri. Picture: OSMBC

The two sets of finalists in the Ottery St Mary competition (left to right) Mike Kelsey, Marion Kelsey, Gerrard McCarthy, Margaret Bright, George Hutchinson and Tony Panzeri. Picture: OSMBC

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Last Friday saw the first-round matches of a friendly triples knock-out competition at Ottery St Mary Bowling club which carried on throughout the weekend in the finest of summer weather, writes Ron Cook.

Action from the Ottery St Mary competition. Picture: OSMBCAction from the Ottery St Mary competition. Picture: OSMBC

Ottery opened their greens back in early June under strict guidance rules from Bowls England (BE) playing singles and pairs on three rinks within two-hour sessions.

With further BE relaxed rules, the executive committee together with captains Chris and Gail Hawke, worked hard with a team of volunteers to organise two competitions to create more interest and playing opportunity for the members. The first was a ladder for singles and pairs which will run to the end of the season, proving a great success with a flurry of matches.

In a single week the competition controller reported some 40 plus bookings showing how popular it has proved to be.

A proposal was then put forward to run a triples knock-out which attracted a total of 39 players.

Players at Ottery St Mary socially distanced ahead of first round matches. Picture; OSMBCPlayers at Ottery St Mary socially distanced ahead of first round matches. Picture; OSMBC

First round matches were played on the Friday with quarter-finals on Saturday rounding things off with the semi-finals and final on Sunday.

Blessed with the fine weather, our volunteers provided barbecue snacks and bar waiter facilities between matches for players and spectators. .

The semi-final stages served up some superb bowling, thrilling contests and terrific turn-a-rounds!

George Hutchinson, Margaret Bright and skip Tony Panzeri played Eileen Burston, Carol Bennett and skip Leighton Burston. Leighton’s team were quick off the mark scoring 17 shots in 12 ends including two fives.

The Ottery St Mary competition winners Mike Kelsey, Marion Kelsey and Gerrard McCarthy with club chairman Sharron Kenney and club captain Gail Hawke. Picture: OSMBCThe Ottery St Mary competition winners Mike Kelsey, Marion Kelsey and Gerrard McCarthy with club chairman Sharron Kenney and club captain Gail Hawke. Picture: OSMBC

Tony’s team could only manage four in reply. Then everything changed! Tony’s team found line and length to add 19 shots in six ends with only one shot in reply, running out 23-22 winners.

The other semi-final was between the captain’s team of Gail Hawke, Alan Lascelles and skip Chris Hawke against Gerrard MacCarthy, Marion Kelsey and skip Mike Kelsey.

Mike’s team had a very steady start leading 12-1 after five ends.

Gail’s team then made a fighting come back scoring a five followed by three fours in five ends with only four shots in reply to lead 18-16 after 12 ends. Then, just like in the first semi-final, everything changed.

Celia Russell sends a wood down the green during the competition. Picture; OSMBCCelia Russell sends a wood down the green during the competition. Picture; OSMBC

Mike’s team responded to the challenge to run up 14 shots in six ends with only one in reply to run out the overall 30-19 winners.

The final began well for Tony’s team getting off to a flier to lead 4-0 after four ends.

Mike’s team responded with five shots to Tony’s six and, after 12 ends, Tony’s team held a 12-5 lead and then, just as had happened in both semi-finals, everything changed!

Mike’s team scored on four out of the next six ends to pip Tony by one shot, winning the final 15-14.

Ottery St Mary bowlers that took part in the Saturday action. Picture:OSMBCOttery St Mary bowlers that took part in the Saturday action. Picture:OSMBC

So, incredible results from all three matches and the moral of the story is: ‘Don’t relax if you lead at 12 ends and be determined if you are losing at 12 ends!’

All members played their part in making this an exciting weekend of bowling and the whole competition was an absolute reedit to all the committee, captains and volunteers who made it work so well, and all within the tight restraints that we live and play under these days.


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