The 84th running of the Men’s Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament, sponsored by Langham Hotel, commenced on Sunday morning in glorious sunshine.
Following an initial welcome to the participants there followed a challenge match between the Worshipful The Mayor Cllr Mike Thompson and Tournament Sponsor Neil Kirby (Langham Hotel) played at Gildredge Park BC (Tournament Headquarters).
The one end match was won in some style by The Mayor, who drew within eight inches of the jack!
In attendance were Terry Fitzgerald (President of the British Wheelchair Bowlers Association - a charity supported by the Tournament) and Ian Blackmore (Immediate Past President SCIBA) who were presented with a donation of £250 in favour of the BWBA.
As is customary, the tournament began with the singles competition, where reigning Champion Peter Jackson (Eastbourne BC) was attempting to become the first player in the history of the event to retain the prestigious singles crown against a very tough field that included another six former champions.
His opponent in the first round was Eddie Hart (Knighton Victoria BC), one of the strong Leicester contingent who travel to the South Coast to play in the event each year. Peter emerged victorious by 21 shots to 11.
Peter then won his second round match against Ted Vidler by 22 shots to 11.
In case Peter was feeling complacent, all of the other former champions were also victorious, with Francois Celada looking in ominous form, winning his first match to nil and only conceding nine shots in the second round.
The Triples competition started in the evening where reigning champions T Pearce, A Fleming and J Orchard commenced the defence of their title winning by a comfortable 25 shots to 12.
Monday saw the commencement of the Pairs with the current holders Ted and A Vidler winning through to the last 16 where they will play Martin Biggleston and Roger Butler.
The tournament continues through the week, the finals take place on Friday (today) at Gildredge Park greens followed by presentation of the prizes.
Langham Hotel will continue its sponsorship next year. Visit: www.eobt.net for further details.