Claridge takes the top men’s honours at Spa’s club finals day

Bill Claridge bowling during his singles victory over Jerry Horne. Picture submitted
Bill Claridge bowling during his singles victory over Jerry Horne. Picture submitted

Spectators were treated to games to match the glorious late summer sunshine at Royal Leamington Spa’s club finals day last weekend.

The standout performer of the day was Bill Claridge, who became the new men’s four-wood singles champion with an impressive 21-9 victory over Jerry Horne.

A first final appearance for both players, Claridge was always in command and never allowed his opponent to settle.

Claridge also featured in the men’s handicap competition, where things were not quite as straightforward against Malcolm Wickens.

Starting strongly, Claridge built up an early 8-2 lead, which he extended to 15-7 before being pegged back to 15-all.

Wickens then briefly led 21-20 before Claridge picked up two doubles to claim his second trophy of the day.

Horne made up for his championship disappointment by taking the Jeffs Cup 21-8 against David Payne while in the two-wood competition, Ray White, who at one stage was trailing 6-4 against Richard Ashley, stormed to a 21-6 win after taking 17 shots on 12 consecutive ends.

Earlier in the day, Alan Taylor and Geoff Cook took the four-wood pairs trophy with a 23-11 win over Payne and Vic Paget, while Mike Brayne and John Rheams lifted the three-wood pairs title with a 20-11 success over John Murray and Jim Tighe.

In her first appearance in the ladies’ championship, Sandra Payne made an excellent start against 2012 champion Donna Kerr, building up a 6-1 lead.

However, a run of eight winning ends saw Kerr turn things around to lead 18-6 before eventually regaining the title by 21 shots to ten.

This was Kerr’s second trophy of the day, having won the ladies’ chosen pairs in the morning with partner Janice White.

Playing Jan Allibon and Vi Palmer, they eased to an early 18-0 lead before the game was conceded with White and Kerr 30-8 ahead.

In the ladies’ drawn pairs, there was another comfortable victory for Sheena Harris and Dawn Horne who overcame Anna Moloney and Cynthia Briggs by 25 shots to ten.

It was a busy day for Moloney who was also involved in the Handicap and Sadler Cup competitions.

Shrugging off her disappointing morning result, she faced Jenny Wickens in the handicap where she claimed eight unanswered shots over four ends to win 21-17. Another trophy soon followed in the Sadler Cup when she eased to a 21-8 win over White.

Having narrowly lost in the ladies’ handicap, Wickens suffered another last-ditch defeat in the two-wood competition, played over 21 ends.

Having led for 20 ends, Wickens held a slender one-shot advantage going into the final end but saw Horne claim two shots to win 16-15.

Malcolm and Jenny Wickens overcame Wyn Jackson and Tony Barnett 2-0 (7-5, 7-4) in the mixed pairs.

In last week’s ladies’ friendly matches, Spa lost 32-36 against Southam in a four-triples match that was restricted to just ten ends because of very heavy rain and were well beaten 50-24 in a two-rink encounter with St Barbara’s.