The weekend of 14 & 15 May saw the conclusion of four of the Henley Bowling Club’s Knockout Competitions which had been postponed from 2021 because of injury and Covid. Saturday turned out to be a lovely sunny day and the first final played was the 91-Up between Simon Hatcher and Barrie Davies.
91-Up is where the four closest bowls to the jack score 4, 3, 2 and 1 shots respectively so the maximum score on any one end is 10. With Barrie being the Club’s reigning Men’s Champion from 2020 and Simon the relative newcomer to the game, it surprised some to see Simon edge into the lead after seven ends. However, Simon consolidated his lead over the next four ends to take him to 66-44 and, although Barrie started to find his form from this point, he left it too late to claw back the deficit. Simon ran out the winner 94-66.
In the afternoon, the 2 Wood Pairs final saw Simon Hatcher and Norman Daniells play Jim Turner and Barrie Davies over 21 ends. This was a ding-dong of a match with very little between the scores throughout. Although Simon and Norman took the lead in the first half of the match, Jim and Barrie fought back and after levelling the score at 11 all on the eleventh end, edged into a lead of 18-13 on the eighteenth end. However, Simon and Norman then turned up the heat to take 7 shots in the last three ends and run out winners 20-18.
On Sunday the first game played between Dave Wilson and Barrie Davies, was the Mixed Singles competition, also known by its trophy donor, the Harry Porter. Dave took an early lead and by the fourteenth end had a 19-10 lead. At this point, Barrie started to get his eye in and staged a comeback to win all but one of the eight ends needed for Barrie to 20-22. An important win for Barrie as he had won every other competition in the Club except this one since he won his first competition, the Novices, in 2012.
The weather then took a turn and what had been a pleasant morning became very wet and the start of the prestigious Men’s Championship was delayed in the hope it would clear. It didn’t ease at all so the match started and finished in the rain. Despite the horrible conditions, the audience was treated to an excellent spectacle of bowling between Steve Sullivan and Dave Wilson. There was never much difference between the scores throughout the match. Dave took a 5 shot lead by the eighth end at 9-4 but by the fourteenth end, Steve had turned that around to 13-9. The game see-sawed throughout until Dave eventually took the win at 22-17.
Then to finish off the day, last year’s Ladies’ Champion, Angie Issac played the newly crowned Men’s Champion, Dave Wilson in the Club’s Champion of Champions 6 end final. Although Angie did have a short practice period, she was clearly at a disadvantage as Dave had played a full two games that day with the last one being played in the wet. Dave won by 6 shots to 3.