The 34th and 35th National Champions of 2022 were crowned last weekend as the Top Club finals graced Victoria Park. The sixteen clubs involved provided excellent action for those in attendance and brought the 2022 Bowls England National Finals to a close in sublime style.
Women’s Top Club – Winners: Kings BC (Devon)
Kings BC (Devon) extended their reign as Women’s Top Club champions to an incredible fourth year after they beat Gerrards Cross (Buckinghamshire) 4-0 in Sunday’s final.
This is the fifth time that Kings BC have won the title with their first coming in 2009.
All four formats secured wins for Kings BC in the final. Sophie Tolchard narrowly won 21-20 against Gerrards Cross’ Julie Skelly in the singles. In the pairs, Charlotte Aspinall and Natalie Chestney overcame Anne Green and Katie Reid to win 22-14.
Lauren Hackett, Ruth Rogers and Lorraine Hackett sealed a 21-16 victory over Gill Young, Janice Welsh and Denise Newport in the triples. Kings BC’s four of Sue Bywaters, Jan Boyt, Barbara Bellamy and Hayley James beat Fran Wilson, Margery Kennedy, Mary Smith and Margaret Poole 19-11.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Kings won 3-1 against Royal Leamington Spa BC (Warwickshire). Sophie Tolchard won the singles 21-11 against Anita Cowdrill. Charlotte Aspinall and Natalie Chestney claimed the point in the pairs as they beat Dawn Horne and Janice White 19-16.
Royal Leamington Spa picked up the point in the triples as Caroline Edwards, Caroline Williams and Tracey Turner-Smith won 20-15 against King’s triple. King’s four, skipped by Hayley James, earned a 23-12 win over Sandra Payne, Christine Leigh, Bonny Claridge and Jenny Wickens.
Gerrards Cross won their semi-final by the closest of margins against Norfolk BC (Norfolk). Rebecca Willgress (Norfolk) won the singles 21-17 against Julie Skelly. Norfolk’s four of Ellie Johnson, Nicola Segolo, Jenna O’Hagan and Suzanne King took an impressive 25-5 victory against Gerrards Cross’ four.
The pairs and triples won for Gerrards Cross. Anne Green and Katie Reid beat Norfolk’s Louise Knights and Brenda Whitehead 20-9 whilst their triple claimed a resounding 29-14 win against Carole Baker, Christine Rednall and Jackie Devitt.
With the semi-final level at 2-2, it went down to the overall score from all four formats in which Gerrards Cross narrowly won 71-69.
In the quarter-finals, Kings BC (Devon) beat Eastbourne (Sussex) 4-0. Royal Leamington Spa BC also came through as 4-0 winners after beating Wigton BC (Cumbria). Norfolk BC (Norfolk) won 3-1 against Oxford City and County BC (Oxfordshire). Gerrards Cross BC (Buckinghamshire) beat Sutton BC 69-60 after drawing in the formats.
Men’s Top Club – Winners: Cheltenham BC (Gloucestershire)
Cheltenham BC (Gloucestershire) burst into celebration as they claimed the Men’s Top Club title for the first time in their history. They beat 2021 runners-up Culm Vale (Devon) 3-2 in a thriller.
Both singles triumphed for Cheltenham BC as Finley Williamson secured a 17-10 win against Simon Broom in the two-wood singles and Lee Williamson won 21-18 against Jamie Chestney in the singles.
Culm Vale BC took wins in the pairs and triples. Phil Murphy and Dom Tuckett bagged an 18-10 win against Cheltenham BC’s Nick Holliday and Nathan Kitchen. Culm Vale’s triple of Scott Eveleigh, Ryan Clements and Jamie Heard beat Adam Smith, Jack Williams and Matt Cuthbert 16-7.
The decisive point in the final came from the fours. Cheltenham’s four, Nick Charlwood, Alex White, James Fitzgerald and Stuart Hodges, landed a tight but crucial 20-19 win against Dave Williams, Kieran Daniels, Dan Rice and Matt Boss.
In the semi-finals, Cheltenham BC achieved a 4-1 win over Boscombe Cliff BC (Hampshire). Mike Squires and Chris Daniels made sure of the point for Boscombe Cliff in the pairs with a 23-13 over Nick Holliday and Nathan Kitchen. However, Cheltenham triumphed in the two-wood (13-8), singles (21-20), triples (18-8) and fours (21-16).
Culm Vale earned a 3-2 win over Wellingborough BC (Northamptonshire). Both the two-wood singles and singles were won by Culm Vale. Simon Broom beat Neil Corbyn 16-13 in the two-wood as Jamie Chestney won 21-16 against Dave Love.
Bryn Walker and Paul Broderick (Wellingborough BC) convincingly won the pairs 23-11 against Phil Murphy and Dom Tuckett. Wellingborough’s four of Alex Pearson, Ian Roy, Nigel Hawkins and John Marlow claimed a narrow 15-14 win. Culm Vale got the decisive point in the triples by winning 20-11.
In the quarter-finals, Boscombe Cliff (Hampshire) won 3-2 against Aspatria (Cumbria). Cheltenham BC (Gloucestershire) beat Romford B BC (Essex) 3-2. Culm Vale BC (Devon) recorded a 5-0 win over Gerrards Cross (Buckinghamshire). Wellingborough BC (Northamptonshire) won 4-1 against Appleyard BC (Kent).