Joan takes singles title in historic bowls event

Singles winner Joan Jones
Singles winner Joan Jones

The 75th Eastbourne Ladies Open Bowling Tournament singles title was won by Joan Jones.

The historic tournament was opened on Monday morning in a heat wave which lasted throughout the competition.

The first wood was bowled by Eastbourne Mayor Mike Thompson.

This year there were 32 entries in the singles, 47 pairs and 67 players in the mixed pairs.

Once again several ladies from the Saffrons Club were unable to enter as the Sussex County finals were played on the same day as the tournament finals.

Mr Neil Kirby from the Langham Hotel was the generous sponsor providing the prize money and trophies.

In the ladies pairs there were some hard fought games in the semi finals with Julie Fordham and Joan Mortlake beating J.Asquith and J Nottage 22-19.

In the other semi-final, Jean Akehurst and Stella Lysaght won 21-14 against M.Woolley and S.Allen.

In the final played to 21 ends, Joan Mortlock and Julia Fordham went into the lead on the 9th end against Stella Lysaght and Jean Akehurst, by the 13th end they were still hanging on to the lead by one shot - the score 9-8.

However, the 14th end saw them score four shots which were vital to the game, with Joan and Julie staying in front to finish 17-13 up.

In the mixed pairs, Anne Summers and Ken Hook were playing well against Rachel Maccriell and Mike Taylor.

17-17 at 15 ends and 18-18 at 17 ends, it was the last four ends that decided the fate of the game. Rachel and Mike scored five shots to Anne and Ken’s two and it was Rachel and Mike who went through 23-20.

The other semi-final saw Sandy Brewster and Chris Field playing a strong game against E Thompson and Peter Friend, in front from the 9th end Sandy and Chris went on to win 26-16.

The final was a disappointment for Sandy and Chris. Mike Taylor had bowled superbly through all the rounds of the mixed pairs and paired with Rachel they were a strong team, only losing four of the 16 ends played. They went on to win 20-7.

In the singles semi-finals, Christine Vermeulen was in top form against Nula Farber, scoring two 4s in the middle of the game was a boost to Christine who won 21-8.

It was a smilar story for Joan Jones who settled quickly against Anne jackson with the last five ends going to Joan - she won 21-8.

In the final, Joan Jones made a positive start to be 10-0 up at five ends. She kept up the pressure right to the end and this time Christine was unable to match it with Joan winning 21-12.

Christine is the daughter of the late Sheila Sutton who played at Eastbourne Ladies and is always remembered with affection.

The Perpetual Challenge Cup (Cavendish cup) which is awarded to the local club member going the furthest without winning a trophy went to Julie Savin.

The Mayhew Memorial trophy for the local player who was runner up to the Cavendish cup went to Sandy Brewster.

In her speech Terri Welsh, the tournament president, congratulated all the winners, and Princes Park who provided delicious cakes and refreshments which were enjoyed by everyone.

Plans for the 76th Tournament are already in hand for next year when the president will be Mrs Barbara Archer.