By Suzi Cooper
The 2017 Linea Directa Valencian Championships came to a close on Tuesday. Once again we were treated to some high class finals, played this year under the enthusiastic eye of two Orihuela councillors and whilst not always close there was superb bowling.
The first finals to take place were the Mixed Fours & the Mixed Triples. These were able to take place together as no player was in both finals.
In the all Vistabella Fours final the team of Lynne Bishop, Charlie Watkins, Les Barber & Eric Bishop started well & kept up the pressure against their clubmates Maureen Foulcer, Tony French, Martin Foulcer & Ian Kenyon with the final score 17-6 in favour of Erics team.
At the same time in the Mixed Triples, the Emerald Isle trio of Ann-Marie Stevenson, Drew Gerrard & Colin Lindgren met Sue Kemp, Lin Watkins & Brian Zelin of Vistabella. The Vistabella team led at the halfway stage 8 shots to 4 but only scored on 1 more end with the Emerald Isle trio winning 22-11.
The following day we started with Mens & Ladies Pairs Finals. In the Mens Pairs the San Luis air of Roy Cordell & Russell Marks dominated the match against Peter Whitehall & Eric Bishop of Vistabella. Both Roy & Russell were on top form and with one end to spare took the title by 21 shots to 11.
In the Ladies Pairs it was 2017 National Pairs Champions Gail Willshire & Lynn Greenland were looking to make it a double and after 3 ends they led 6-0. But the Emerald Isle pair of Mary Whitelock & Ann Marie Stevenson got into their stride and at the halfway stage led 8-7. With 3 ends to play they were leading 17-8 and despite losing the remaining ends took the title 17-12.
In the afternoon the premier events of the Mens & Ladies Singles Finals took place. In the Ladies final Peta Rhodes of Quesada played first class bowls against her opponent Mary Dyer of San Miguel. Even when Mary held a count Peta would slot the crucial bowl in to take shot. Despite dropping a 4 on one end Peta won by 21-12 to become the 2017 Valencian Champion.
In the Mens Singles Colin Lindgren of Emerald Isle played 2016 National Singles Champion Martin Foulcer of Vistabella. For the first 12 ends the players traded shots and the score stood at 12-12. Martin then took 8 shots over the next 4 ends & despite dropping a 2 took the title 21-14.
The presentation of prizes took place following the Singles Finals when the awards were presented by Neil Reardon on behalf of Linea Directa and the Orihuela Sports & Tourism councillors, Victor Valverde and Sophia Alvarez.
Bob Donnelly gave thanks to the 3 venues, to their committees and members. He thanks the coordinators at all 3 venues who were presented with a gift. He then thanked Competition Secretary Suzi Cooper before also presenting her with a gift.
The competition closed with the playing of the Spanish National anthem and the lowering of the flag.