Bowls glory for Atherley youngster

Tom Bishop

Tom Bishop

First published in Sport

ENGLAND singles champion Tom Bishop has scooped another national title.

The 21-year-old Atherley and Hampshire player collected the Taylor Bowls Junior Male Bowler of the Year award during the Bowls England annual dinner at Coventry.

He attended the function with parents Doreen and David and Bowls Hampshire president Ken Graham, who said: “The junior prize was a very close run thing, but Tom fully deserved it for his Worthing performance.”

The senior accolade went to Jamie Walker of Northamptonshire, a semi-finalist in both the national singles and Champion of Champions as well as being runner-up in the under-25 final.

Walker was knocked out of the senior singles 21-15 by Wayne Willgress, the Norfolk international whom Bishop pipped 21-20 in that heart-stopping final during a rain-swept August afternoon at Worthing.

Banister Park’s attempt to bring an indoor national trophy to Hampshire was scuppered in the quarter-finals of the English IBA over-60 fours sponsored by Collette Worldwide Travel.

Playing in the last 16 at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Cliff Higgins, Steve Whitehead, Denny Graydon and Graham Standley scored a revenge win against West Berks who had shaded them by one shot in the semi-finals of the over-60s’ double-rink championship the week before at Northampton.

The Hampshire rink saved their best to last, accelerating to a 20-14 victory after being just 8-7 ahead at 10 ends and only 14-13 up by the 15th against Derek Parsonson’s quartet from Newbury.

Banister Park gave a repeat performance in the next round with a robust comeback, but could not totally repair the damage inflicted by Featherstone in the first 15 ends.

Trailing 8-1 after five ends, Park were still 16-9 adrift on the 15th. Though cutting the gap to 16-15 following the 18th, they lost 21-16 to the Yorkshire side.

The Victory rink of John Farrar, Terry Smith, Alan Sprake and Iain Mackenzie enjoyed a great run to the semi-finals.

They disposed of Egham 18-17 after being 16-14 down on the 18th and won another thriller 24-22 against Exonia, only to fall 29-20 after a disastrous start that saw them 14-4 behind on five ends against eventual champions Tye Green from Essex.

Weekly bowls review in today's Daily Echo

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