The West Lancashire Masonic Charity Bowling Tournament 2015 saw Harry Jones of the Southport group lift the Cowper Trophy for the third time.
Having previously won the competition in 2008 at Fleetwood and in 2012 at Wigan Harry had to travel north to the Furness and South Lakeland group to achieve his hat trick.
The event took place at Roose Community Bowling Club based at Roose Conservative Club, Barrow in Furness. Group vice chairman Peter Schofield had overseen the arrangements with valuable assistance rendered by Neville Chanin and Les Preston.
A field of 58 entries contested the event which was superbly organised on the day by tournament secretary Trevor Barber and treasurer Len Hart.
With many wives and children watching proceedings it was very much a family day which saw the spectators and players alike enjoying a very sunny afternoon following a somewhat grey and breezy start to the day. Tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches were the order of the day in the morning with pie and peas enjoyed at lunchtime. The hot afternoon sun called for refreshments of an altogether more liquid nature.
The two greens were in full use for much of day with the final of the main competition and also the final of the secondary competition taking place on the main green. Both proved tight exciting games.
Contesting the main prize with Harry Jones was Darren James of Cleveleys. Having made the semi-finals last year Darren is obviously moving in the right direction. The skills on show from both bowlers were, to the delight of the spectators, out of the top drawer. On what is a fairly large green both competitors used the full width of it and often found the jack with great skill despite the distance the bowls had to travel. Even some of the on looking local bowlers praised the competitors’ efforts on a green which they had never seen before.
The final for the McGibbon Trophy in the secondary competition was a derby match between players from Wigan and Leigh. It saw Dennis Bruen from Wigan overcome Eddie Caulfield in another engrossing contest.
Following the finals the presentations took place. Tournament chairman Harry Cox thanked the Furness and South Lakeland Group for hosting the event and introduced group chairman Alan Jones who in turn thanked Peter Schofield and his team for putting in the work to enable the tournament to take place. Alan then presented Harry with a cheque for £3,800 for distribution to charity by the bowling tournament.
Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and his wife Maureen had added their support to the event. Harry presented Tony with a cheque for £3,000 in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity which represented the monies raised from the 2014 competition which had not been allocated during the year.
Tournament president Peter Pemberton was called upon to present the Cowper Trophy to Harry Jones. He also presented him with the President’s prize of some Diamante glassware.
Tournament vice president Martin Lockyear presented runner-up Darren with the Crewdson Trophy and the vice-president’s prize which was also Diamante glassware.
Other prizes were presented to the top eight finishers with Les Preston being the highest place local bowler in seventh position.
As winner of the secondary competition Dennis was presented with the McGibbon Trophy.
All in all it proved a highly successful day enjoyed by the bowlers, their friends and families and a fair number of local residents who popped along to watch. The local press were on hand to photograph proceedings and a report on the day appeared in the North West Evening Mail.
A raffle held on the day raised £500 which will be divided equally between Roose Conservative Club and Rose Community Bowling Club.
Pictured on the left – from left to right, are: Harry Cox, Alan Jones, Peter Schofield and Tony Harrison. Pictured on the right – from left right, are: Alan Jones and Harry Cox.
Next year the Liverpool group will be hosting the event at Warrington.