National Singles Championships 2018 Summary
Although entry numbers were down on last year the 2018 indoor championship draw welcomed newcomer Lyn Bolton, who many of us will know from crown green along with her steely determination, competing in her first indoor championship.
The quarter finals matches opened with Lyn beating seasoned campaigner Ann Hollingworth in straight sets. There were comfortable wins for Marcia Pearson and Paula Garrett, whilst the anticipated match of the night between Muriel Cain, the current indoor champion, and Janice Pilling, the outdoor champion, never really got going. Janice struggled to find her winning form and Muriel took the match in straight sets.
The semi-finals saw a repeat of last year’s final between Muriel and Paula giving the spectators the match of the night. Paula found her form early and took the first set 8-5. Muriel took the second set 9-5 to level the match. The tie breaker end came into force with all to play for. Muriel’s drawing expertise gave her the necessary 1 point to win the match and a place in the final.
In the other semi-final, the much improved Marcia Pearson came up against Lyn Bolton and despite a close game, Lyn ran out the winner taking straight sets 8-6 and 8-6 and a place in final at her first attempt at indoor bowls!
The final was then set for an exciting match with the defending champion against the newcomer. Lyn was first to settle into form and galloped away with the first set 11 points to 7. Muriel immediately fought back with a commanding lead in the second set to take it 17 points to 10. One set all. The buzz around the hall was are we about to witness a changing of the guard? Like a true champion when upping your game is essential, Muriel did exactly that and produced the match winning shot in the tie breaker to win the end and the championship. This was an excellent final and congratulations to both Muriel and Lyn, who is mostly definitely a player to watch out for next season.
Numbers were well down on last year but the draw produced a preliminary round sprinkled with top players including last year’s runner up Tony Dugdale and former winners Mike Cain and Ben Dugdale. In the bottom half of the draw was the defending champion Mark McGreal and seasoned campaigners Stuart Garrett, Clive McGreal and David Quirk along with up-and-coming newcomer Wayne Roberts.
First Round Ties
The first round tie between Mark and his father Clive was the match of the night with Clive taking the first set 8-7. Mark then took the second set 11-8 to take the match to a tie breaker finish. Mark upped his game to win the match by just one point. Wayne Roberts despatched a two sets straight win over David Quirk and Stuart Garrett did likewise against Mike Moyer. The match of Mike Skelly against Gary Lenton went to a tie breaker finish with Mike winning through. This was an excellent first match for both players who are newcomers to the indoor scene although known to many on the summer crown greens.
Another newcomer Alan Franklin beat Steve Cook in straight sets and then in the next round beat Eddie Carlyle, again in two sets, taking him into the quarter final stages at his first attempt. Peter Greenlees beat fellow newcomer Mike Ashmole in straight sets. Tony Dugdale found his form first, beating Phill Smith in straight sets. The last match of the night was former junior and senior champion Ben Dugdale up against one of the favourites for the title Trevor Quayle. Ben took the first set but Trevor taking the second set took the match into a tie breaker. Trevor’s drawing accuracy on this occasion enabled him to win the match.
Going into the quarter finals saw an interesting mixture of four newcomers, the reigning champ, last year’s runner up and two much fancied players all with everything to play for.
Tony Dugdale opened his match against Alan Franklin with a flying start taking the set 13 points to 3. Alan rallied round to get back into the match but Tony’s vast experience on this occasion was just too much for Alan and he ran out the winner in straight sets.
Another newcomer, Wayne Roberts was making a big impression on the competition by storming to an early lead by taking the first set 11-2 against the evergreen Stuart Garrett. However Wayne took his foot of the gas allowing Stuart to re-grouped his thoughts, find his form, and comprehensively win the second set 8-0 to take the match into the tiebreaker. Continuing this winning streak Stuart won the tie-breaker and the match.
Trevor Quayle came up against newcomer Peter Greenlees, who back in September at the start of the season was a complete novice. This match was so close all the way through with Peter putting up a tremendous performance. First set 7 points all. Second set 7 points all. The tie-breaker was needed to separate these players. With the match going right down to the wire, Trevor had to keep a cool head and dig deep into his experience and skill to counteract the constant pressure from Peter in order to get the necessary one point to take him into the next round. Well done to Trevor and to Peter who will be a player to watch out for in the future!
Match of the night however went to another newcomer Mike Skelly and defending champion Mark McGreal. Mark settled into form quickly in the first set taking it 12 points to 4. Despite this shaky start, the highly competitive Mike opened the second set with an impressive display of attack, counter-attack, defence and superb drawing skills to storm the set winning 10 points to 4. The tie-breaker was a thriller with everything to play. Mark drawing on his bank of experience got the necessary point to win. This match was so close to being a major upset in the competition. Credit goes to both players for an excellent game.
After 3 out of 4 of the quarterfinal matches going into tiebreaker finishes, uncertainty was now creeping in to the possible outcome of the competition. The standard was high throughout each round.
Last year’s runner up Tony Dugdale faced Trevor Quayle who was looking for his first singles title. Tony hit form first taking the opening set 8-3. The second set was hard fought by both players but with Trevor just winning 9-7. The tie-breaker was needed to separate these evenly matched players. Trevor raised his game at the vital time to claim a victory and ensure a place in his first final.
The other semi-final saw Mark McGreal up against a former pairs champion Stuart Garrett. This was never going to be an easy draw, which the first set demonstrated ending in a 7 all draw. Stuart needed to up his game to secure the second set and take the match into a possible tie-breaker finish. However, Mark’s drawing skills helped him to up his game and take the second set 10-6 and the match. This was Mark’s first match of the championships not going to tie-breaker and sent out an early warning of his improving form.
Friday evening saw the climax of the week with the finals being played with defending champion Mark McGreal facing Trevor Quayle eager to get his first singles championship scalp.
Mark got off to a flying start taking the first set 11-2 with Trevor struggling with his form and the speed of the green. Early in the second set Trevor scored a much needed winning end of 3 shots which seemed to help regain his confidence and settle him back into winning ways and eventually taking the second set 12-9. Spectators were treated to a rollercoaster game and with the scores now level it was all to play for going into the tiebreaker finish. Holding his nerve and with some excellent drawing shots, Mark was lying game to which Trevor had no answer taking the match and championship to Mark. Congratulations to both players.
The presentations were made by the Association’s Fixtures Officer Tony Dugdale and Secretary Joyce Ogden. Tony congratulated the winners, runners up, competitors, markers, measurers, spectators and Association officials for making the 2018 National Singles Championships a success.
Tony concluded the evening by wishing Mark and Clive McGreal all the best for their trip to the Commonwealth Games in Australia to participate in the lawn bowls event.
Lyn Bolton beat Marcia Pearson 8-6, 8-6,
Muriel Cain beat Paula Garrett 5-8, 9-5, 1-0
Muriel Cain beat Lyn Bolton 7-11, 17-10, 1-0
Tony Dugdale beat Alan Franklin 13-3, 10-6
Trevor Quayle beat Peter Greenlees 7-7, 7-7, 1-0
Stuart Garrett beat Wayne Roberts 2-11, 8-0, 1-0
Mark McGreal beat Mike Skelly 12-4, 4-10, 1-0
Trevor Quayle beat Tony Dugdale 3-8, 9-7, 1-0
Mark McGreal beat Stuart Garrett 7-7, 10-6
Mark McGreal beat Trevor Quayle 11-2, 9-12, 1-0
- March – National Pairs and Triples championships
- April – Annual General Meeting, details to follow.