BOWLS: Chalmers' team light up tournament
BOB CHALMERS’ rink from the host club won the inaugural Chippenham Town Open Floodlight Tournament.
They came from behind on the last two ends to snatch a one shot victory on the 21st and last end over Neil Connor’s quartet.
The floodlights – mainly funded by a major contribution from a Landfill Communities Fund grant from The Hills Group Limited through Community First, the Community Council for Wiltshire, were installed earlier in the summer and used for the first time. Funding was also received from the Wiltshire County Council Area Grant committee and the Chippenham Borough Lands Charity.
Twelve teams entered the tournament from Bloomfield (Bath), Chippenham Park, Holt, Malmesbury, Trowbridge Town and hosts Chippenham Town and were divided into two groups of six.
Host club Chippenham Town supplied the winners of both sections with Neil Connor’s rink winning Section A with eight points from four wins and Chalmers’ quartet unbeaten in Section C winning all their five games.
Runners-up spots though had to be decided on shots difference with Tim Bailey (Malmesbury) easily getting the nod over Richard Francis (Trowbridge T).
In Section B Mike Savin’s Chippenham Town rink were 20 shots clear of Holt for second place.
The final between Chalmers and Connor’s rinks was a hard fought game throughout although Connor held the advantage for practically the whole match.
Connor led 4-3 at five ends and 9-6 at ten but trailed for the first time when dropping a three on the 15th end to go 12-11 down.
But they hit back immediately with a five and led 17-15 at 19 ends.
However, Chalmers’ team rallied again for a big finish and tied the scores at 17-17 with a two on the 20th end.
On the decisive last end Connor, being three shots down, tried to hit the jack into the ditch with the last bowl of the match.
Unfortunately for him his wood hit the jack but only glanced it to one of his opponents bowls to concede a shot and lose 18-17.
The third and fourth place play-off between Mike Savin’s home rink and Malmesbury was won convincingly by the Chippenham Town quartet 19-11.
They never looked back after a flying start and leading 11-0 after only seven ends.
Long serving Chippenham Town president John Northover, who had made a substantial gift to the floodlight project, presented the top prize of £240 to the winners and the £100 runners-up cheque to Neil Connor.
Savin’s team collected £40 and Malmesbury, beaten semi-finalists at the Swindon Floodlit a week earlier, took fourth prize of £20.
Section A: 1 Neil Connor (Chip T) 8pts; 2 Tim Bailey (Malmesbury) 6pts (+ 44shots); 3 Richard Francis (Trowbridge T) 6pts (-16); 4 Alan Coles (Chip T) 4pts; 5 Ollie Little (Chip T) 4pts; 6 Brian Gingell (Chip Park) 2pts.
Section B: 1 Bob Chalmers (Chip T) 10pts; 2 Mike Savin (Chip T) 6pts (+ 49shots); 3 Wayne Simmonds (Holt) 6pts (+29); 4 Stewart Allison (Chip Park) 6pts (+13); 5 Lynn Newport (Bloomfield, Bath) 2pts; 6 Peter West (Chip T) 0.
FINAL (21 ends): Roger Button, Norman Gould, Robert Chalmers & Chris Brown (Chip T) beat Alex Wickham, Keith Fletcher, Will Jones & Neil Connor (Chip T) 18-17.
3rd/4th Play Off: Yvonne Savin, Roger Wickham, Mike Savin & Richard Gainey (Chip T) beat Steve White, John Smith, Danny Comley & Tim Bailey (Malmesbury) 19-11.