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Tournaments Reporter


Shadwell reclaims Champions title


I


t’s five years since personal commitments, and regular visits to play in Australia and


Asia, meant Graham Shadwell lost his place in the England team. The loss to the national side was illustrated in February, when he put on a majestic performance to reclaim the EIBA Warner Leisure Hotels Champion of Champions title he last won in 2006. Graham, who plays his bowls out of Clarrie Dunbar IBC, soon showed his class with a first-round victory over Surrey’s Alan Binns. This was followed by a 21-13 win over England triallist Lee Barber to set up an intriguing semi-final against his England team-mate Neil McKee, which proved to be the match of the championship. Never more than two shots


separated players at the top of their game until, at 10-12 down, Shadwell twice drew brilliantly before edging out Neil’s bowl to pick up two counts of three and edge 16-12 up. But Neil showed why he is


among the first on the England team sheet as he battled back to just one down at 18-17. After


Graham Shadwell in title-winning form


26 ends the large crowd knew that something special would be needed to win the match. It was Graham who provided


the magic moment to savour, when lying two down and with his last bowl, he played a perfect conversion shot to run the jack to his waiting back bowls for a count of three and a stunning victory. Waiting for him was 17-year-


old Travis Meller from the Isle of Wight who had already given England selectors an insight into his exceptional talents by


beating under-25 international Wayne Willgress and ex-England international Danny Dennison on his way to the final. In a hard-fought game, Travis,


already an under-18 international, was completely unfazed in playing the most important game of his career and enjoyed the backing of the large crowd. While competitive, and


swapping shots throughout the game, it was Graham who gained late momentum to ease past Travis 21-15.


Hankin rolls back the years to win


Legendary status suits Doreen Hankin’s after the Egham bowler relived the glory days of her 14 years as an England team regular to take the national EIBA Warner Leisure Hotels Champion of Champions title. Doreen, who left the international


scene five years ago, joined 16 top- class bowlers at Lakeside Coastal Village, Hayling Island. A first-round draw against


14-year-old Lydia Cutmore is the youngest player ever to reach a national singles final


14-year-old Lydia Cutmore from Yorkshire, who had rewritten the record books as the youngest player to reach a national singles final, had all the makings of a banana skin match for Doreen. Lydia had


been impressive in her regional matches to make the final 16, but Doreen’s drawing proved decisive and she ran out a 21-6 winner. Straightforward victories over


Bridport’s Annie Bowden (21-15) and Pat Kirk from Middlesex in the semi final (21-14) set up a clash against rising star Sophie Tolchard from Devon. At 8-5 up in the final it appeared Sophie was gaining the upper hand but Doreen won the next seven ends to hold an 18-9 lead. A mini rally saw Sophie back within five shots at 14-19 down only for Doreen to end the match with her trademark drawing bowls to take the title 21-14.


their efforts have been recognised


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seasons and I am delighted that


Jamie and Tom have both had exceptional


Jamie named bowler of the year


Northamptonshire’s Jamie Walker scooped the top accolade when he was named ‘Taylor Bowls Man Bowler of the Year’ at the Bowls England Men’s Annual Dinner held in Coventry in February – with Hampshire’s Tom Bishop winning the corresponding junior title. The 2012 season proved to


be an exceptional year for the Northampton West End BC ace in singles events, reaching the semi-finals of both the National Singles Championship and National Champion of Champions and the final of the National Junior Singles Championship. Tom, from Atherley BC, came


to prominence by lifting the National Singles Championship at Worthing in August thanks to a series of impressive wins. Tony Allcock MBE, Bowls


England Chief Executive, said: “Jamie and Tom have both had exceptional seasons and I am delighted their efforts have been recognised.”


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