Welcome to The Delivery! This is our daily feature that brings you a round-up of the action from the Aviva National Finals 2023 at Victoria Park.
Day 18 Round Up – Sunday 27th August
The final day. The swansong. It’s bittersweet at Victoria Park as we wrap until 18 days of wonderful bowls, great memories and celebrations. Thanks to all our spectators – whether you have been here in person, or watching from home. Thanks to our volunteers, players, umpires, greenkeepers and everyone else who has made this event a huge success. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Today saw some incredible action on the greens, with the Men’s Senior Singles, Women’s Senior Singles, Walker Cup and the Middleton Cup.
Men’s Senior Singles
We kicked off with Quarter-Final action in the Men’s Senior Singles, with three more convincing wins and Nottinghamshire’s Mike Owen narrowly edging out Oxfordshire’s Howard Watts, 21-20.
The Semi-Finals saw Warwickshire’s Graham Ashby facing Lincolnshire’s Chris Hanslip and Steve Poyner (Worcestershire) who took on Mike Owen. Ashby and Poyner had a steady run to the Final, with respective scores of 21-11 and 21-13 in their Semi-Final matches.
The Men’s Senior Singles Quarter-Final match between Poyner and Burnham can be watched back here.
Unfortunately for Ashby, the Final was one step too far as Poyner took home the title with a 21-3 win.
For all results from the Men’s Senior Singles, please click here.
Women’s Senior Singles
Eight would become one in the Women’s Senior Singles, with the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final taking place throughout the day, but it was down to Sue Allen (Yorkshire) and Kate Kyle (Leicestershire) to decide who would go home with the trophy. Both women secured convincing wins in their Quarter-Final matches, with Kyle having another stellar performance to make her way to the Final (21-13 against Margaret Smith of Surrey), whereas Allen had a trickier time. She saw off her opponent, Gillian Barnes (Suffolk) with a tight scoreline of 21-20.
There was little to separate the two finalists, who were neck and neck throughout the match. But Kyle tipped the scales and pulled out in front to finish on 21-17.
For all results from the Women’s Senior Singles, please click here.
Over to the team events, and the Walker Cup Semi-Finals. It was an exciting line up as Berkshire took on Lincolnshire, and Norfolk took on Cornwall.
The battle of the South saw Norfolk ease their way to the Final, with a combined score of 51 to Cornwall’s 20, in 36 ends. Meanwhile, it came down to the wire as Berkshire and Lincolnshire took their deciding match of the Cup to an extra end. As the only remaining match in play on A and B Green, all eyes were on Morgan Merryweather and her last bowl to keep Berkshire in contention. Unfortunately, Lincolnshire played a blinder of a last end and despite their best efforts and their lead throughout, it wasn’t to be for Berkshire.
The Final saw Lincolnshire face Norfolk, and the two powerhouse teams were neck and neck at the 22nd end, 16-16. But it was Lincolnshire, who have had a superb campaign at this year’s Finals, who secured the victory with a combined score of 32-27.
For all results in the Walker Cup, please click here.
The Middleton Cup got underway with last year’s winners, Berkshire, going up against Warwickshire and Lincolnshire taking on Huntingdonshire. No-one needed to ask where the Middleton Cup Semi-Finals were taking place, you could just follow the noise! Both Semi-Finals were coming down to the wire, with both matches closely fought. Lincolnshire secured that coveted spot in the Final with a combined score of 106 over Huntingdonshire’s 95. Berkshire took an early lead and managed to keep their noses in front for the entirety of the match, but Warwickshire dug deep and managed to get back in the game. It was a nervous wait for Warwickshire, with a measure in the latter stages, but Berkshire held on to their lead and secured a Final spot with a score of 121-113.
Berkshire were looking to retain their title, but it was Lincolnshire who were edging in front throughout. Berkshire dug deep to narrow the gap and were 10 shots down in the latter stages of the matches, but Lincolnshire didn’t bow down to the pressure and finished off with a 115-98.
For all Middleton Cup results, please click here.
2024 Aviva National Finals
The Aviva National Finals will be returning in 2024, on 15th August to 1st September. Keep up to date with the latest news on next year’s event by following Bowls England social channels and heading to bowlsengland.com.
Celebrate this year’s winners at the Double Tree by Hilton, Coventry, on 25th November. Tickets on sale soon – save the date!
If you would like to volunteer at next year’s event, find out more at bowlsengland.com/volunteer.
Relive the 2023 Aviva National Finals action by streaming past matches on bowlsengland.com/bowlstv.