Further matches in the Major Singles Championship have been completed over the last week with some exciting matches and outstanding play. Noel Downie completed his first two round matches grabbing the scalps of two very tough opponents. In his first round clash he played Stuart Graham. Though down on confidence in recent weeks he started well and moved to a 16 – 6 lead after fourteen ends. Graham seized the momentum winning five ends in a row to close the gap to 16 – 12. However, Downie showed his class to regain control and take the match 31 – 19.
Form player Joel Hilliard took on Michael Atkinson in their round 1 match and didn’t have it all his own way. After 19 ends of very tight bowls the two were tied at 13 all. Hilliard started to move away at this point but it took him another 13 ends to secure a place in round 2 with a 31 – 17 victory.
Noel Downie had another difficult game when he was drawn to play former champion, Bruce Lidbury in round 2. After a very tight start to the game, Lidbury was the first to make a break when he led 13 – 8. Downie quickly turned things around picking up 9 shots in four ends to move to 17 -13. From this point he controlled the game and won 31 – 19.
Peter Wood and Des Jackson had the tightest match in round 2. With his confidence boosted after a good win in the first round Jackson approached the game against his much more experienced opponent in the right manner. Wood was winning the majority of ends but he could not shake Jackson who either limited Wood’s score or grabbed a handful for himself. After 21 ends they were at 22 apiece after Jackson picked up 7 shots in four ends. They continued to go shot for shot until they were 27 all. Wood was able to close the game out with two shots on each of the last two ends to win 31 – 27.
The longest game was between Stan Peck and Ben Hewison. It took 39 ends for a result in a very keenly fought game. Both players played great draw bowls and most ends were decided by one or two shots. Peck was able to keep his head in front for most of the game but he knew Hewison was always in the hunt Peck was able to win 31 – 22.
John Fahey played Patrick Sager and, though in front for most of the game, Fahey was never in total control. Sager was able to play a critical bowl at vital stages to keep in the game. It took Fahey 33 ends to grab a hard fought 31 – 23 victory.
Alan Mcleod had a dream start against Ron Cox racing to an early 16 – 1 lead. He was able to consolidate this and was in total control as he moved to a convincing 31 – 10 win. Michael Kennedy also had a good win over Col Fletcher. He was far too consistent for Fletcher who was playing only his second game of singles.