The new year’s bowling program is underway with the playing of the preliminary round of the Open Lightning Singles. This is a variation of normal singles that is played in a shortened format of two 5 end sets. If the players are locked at one set each the match is decided by a one end play off. The event has become a popular part of our program with players competing for a trophy in memory of the inaugural winner of the event – Barry Sloane.
Players randomly select a rink number with three players on each rink. Each group plays a round robin with the player with a bye acting as marker. This year only one green is available and the excellent nominations – 27 in total – meant that the preliminary round had to be played in two sections. After the completion of both sections the top 8 performers have progressed to a knockout stage which will be held next Saturday.
Women performed very well in the event and provided 5 of the 8 qualifiers. Irene Macdonald led the way being the only player to record a straight sets victory earning her the maximum 6 points. Rose Farrington and Chris Codington were close behind with five and a half points after drawing one of their sets. Farrington won two tight sets against Jonathan Green but was held to 5 all in the first set against Di Challice. Codington upset his coach, John Wagstaff, with a very close 6/4, 3 all victory. He secured his place in the last eight with a strong two set win over Alan Skelton.
The remaining five qualifiers all managed to score 5 points that came from a two set victory and a win in a tie breaker. Warren Hodder proved to be the dark horse in the first session when he managed to nudge out Mick Challice in a tie breaker. He had a good win over Di Newell. In a very strong section Peter Macdonald, Alan Mcleod and Bill Burch had a very tight tussle. Macdonald won both if his games in tie breakers while Mcleod also managed 4 points with a straight sets win and a loss in a tiebreaker. Macdonald finished on top with a better shots margin.
Denise Lidbury was pushed all the way by new member Geoff Lee. Both players had good two set wins over Sue Fahey with Lidbury coming from behind to defeat Lee in a tie breaker. Lorraine Bird proved too good for Col Fletcher and Marcel Kors. She downed Fletcher in a tie breaker and had a two set win over Kors. Margaret Downey completed the good day for the women when she came from behind to topple Bruce Lidbury in a tie breaker after both players had good wins over Mick Atkinson.
Ray Downey is the final qualifier after getting the better of Doug Williams and John Fahey. Williams was very unlucky as he played well in both of his games before losing in the tie breakers. In both cases he held the advantage only to see his opponents snatch victory with their last bowls!
The qualifiers will randomly draw a number that will place them in a quarter final position. The winners will then progress to semi-finals and a final to determine the winner of the event.