The finals of the 80th Bexhill Men’s Open Bowls Tournament took place on the sun-drenched bowling greens at The Polegrove last weekend.
In the championship singles, Rob Morphett (Spartan & Lakeside BC) beat Steve Jeapes (White Rock BC) 21-15 after 25 ends.
Morphett lead 15-5 after 16 ends, but Jeapes won the next four ends after shortening the jack to make the score 15-12. By the 23rd end Morphett led 17-15 and he won the next two ends to seal victory.
Morphett had previously clubmate Ray Batsford 21-9 after 18 ends in the semi-finals, while Jeapes overcame Mike Taylor (Eastbourne BC) 21-15 after 19 ends.
Batsford won the trophy for the local player going the furthest without reaching the final and Taylor took the trophy for the best visiting player not reaching the final.
Morphett, in fact, celebrated a double because he also won the championship pairs alongside 16-year-old son Ajay. They saw off Simon Moore (White Rock BC) and Keith Bailey (Eltham BC) 22-13 in the final.
Moore and Bailey led 10-6 after 12 ends before the Morphetts won four of the next five ends to hit the front at 13-10. Although they dropped a three on the next end, making the score 13-13, the Morphetts then pulled away with a 5-2-2 to secure the title.
In the semi-finals, the Morphetts recorded a comfortable 22-9 win over Tim Phillips and John Ruff (Rosemount BC), and Moore and Bailey edged out Phil Saunders and Lee Heitzman (Spartan & Lakeside) 18-17 on the last end of a very close game.
The triples winners were Pete Copper, Steve Judd and Barry Fordham (Polegrove BC). They beat Tosh Springate (Swale IBC), Dave Shorey (Sidley Martlets BC) and Lee Dickson (Spartan & Lakeside) 16-14 after scoring a three on the last end.
The winners got the better of Dave Smith, Terry Barnes and Ken Ferguson (White Rock BC) 15-8 in the semi-finals, while the losing finalists scraped past John Southgate (Harrow BC), and Mick and Derek Deeprose (Sidley Martlets) 17-16.
The consolation pairs was won by Gwen Burke (Margate BC) and Arnie Lewis (Camberley BC), who beat Colin Hall and Bill Gale (Bexhill BC) 16-14.
Before the presentation of the trophies, a surprise presentation was made by the tournament committee to the tournament organiser Bill Whittington on his retirement after 20 years of running the event.
Presentations were also made to Drew Stewart and Colin Taylor, who have also retired after many years’ service to the tournament.
Thank you cards signed by the competitors were also given to the three retirees in appreciation of the work done by them.
At the conclusion of the day’s finals, Billy Hines, representing the Birchwood Group - the main sponsors of this year’s tournament - presented the trophies to the winners.
The tournament was very well organised again by the tournament committee, which was once again ably led by Whittington, the tournament organiser. This was very much appreciated by most of the competitors.