MULTI-COLOURED bowls battled for supremacy as record breaking numbers entered this year’s West Lancs and Sefton Junior Bowls Forum Merit Competition, writes Ian Gill.
The competition saw 32 junior bowlers from across West Lancashire and Sefton take to the greens at Formby Legion/Our Lady's to vie for the prestigious crown.
After an entertaining day of bowls Scarisbrick Saracens’ Alistair Adams overcame last year’s champion Mathew Gill (Windmill) in a dramatic final.
Sponsored by Thurstons of Liverpool, who supplied a bowls bag and towels as prizes, the tournament saw the Formby greens a blaze of colour as the young bowlers tested out their snazzy multi-coloured bowls.
The event turned out to be extremely exciting for the gathered spectators.
The first round of matches saw the bowlers split into six groups, with the winners of each group and the best two runner-up bowlers qualifying for the quarter finals.
This year’s new bowlers – Ryan Maughan, Matthew Woods, Joe Gillen, Jack Clivery and Nathan Browne all acquitted themselves well and managed to get a win in the group stage, despite some only having played a couple of times.
The quarter finals produced some good matches, the best being the contest between Luke Sinnott and Harvey Wright, which Sinnott won 11-10.
Other games saw Kyle Dawes overcome his younger brother Luke 11-4, Alistair Adams beat Fergal Wright 11-5 and last year’s champion Matthew Gill beating Kez Adams 11-7.
The semi finals were even more dramatic than the quarters with both producing the narrowest 11-10 wins after fantastic comebacks in each game.
Alistair Adams came back from the dead after being 10-5 down to win against Kyle Dawes, and Matthew Gill beat Luke Sinnott after being 8-4 down.
This set up a 'little and large show' final between Matthew and Alistair.
The game was nip and tuck throughout, with both players producing some superb bowls on a fast and tricky green.
In the 15 up game, the players were level on 13 across as the game went to the wire before Alistair snatched the victory and the 2012 trophy – as well as the £25 first prize.
All-in-all the organisers celebrated a wonderful day in the Formby sunshine which demonstrated the vibrancy of the local junior bowls scene.
The merit came off the back of an entertaining year in the area’s growing junior bowls scene, with several new teams boosting the West Lancs and Sefton Junior Bowling League and the area’s federation team continuing to improve.