Bowls HISTORY-Looking back: 30 years ago and 20 years ago

Featured in the May 1990 issue of Bowls International:

  1. Stephen Rees of Swansea, one of the quiet men of bowls, produced play more eloquent that words to emerge from a field which included 14 internationals to win the Robert Hutchinson Opticians Ely Masters.

 His commanding 9-3,9-3 final victory over John Ottoway won him the £800 top prize and quiet satisfaction.

No fewer than ten of the players who finished behind Rees were scheduled to play in the British Isles International Series the following week. He was not, the Welsh selectors had dropped him from their team.

  • Beckenham boys best of the blackstuff yet again- Thomson and his Cyphers colleagues Martin Sekjer, Terry Heppell and Gary Smith had meted out tough treatment to their opponents, winning the title for the third time in succession and the fifth time in eight years.

Some measure of their dominance in this event is reflected in the total scoreline of their five matches. They obtained 156 and conceded only 43 shots in those games, none of which went the full distance of 21 ends.

Featured in the May 2000 issue of Bowls International:

  1. Greg Moon received an early wedding present when he won the England indoor national singles title at Melton Mowbray.

Fiance Lisa was in the crowd biting her fingernails as her husband to be snatched a tense and dramatic 21-20 victory over Sunderland’s England International skip Gary R Smith. 

The three hour, 29-end battle saw the computer programmer from Banbury, who is still to be capped at senior level, produce two accurate weighted bowls in the last two ends.

This prevented Smith, 12-18 down at one stage, from capping a second major comeback of the day, he was 10-18 down to Ryedale’s Mark Walton in the semis before winning 21-20.

  • British bowlers returned from Women’s World Bowls in Australia with exactly half the 16 medals on offer including two gold.

For England Norma Shaw, Jill Polley and Kath Hawes won the silver in the triples and Jean Baker and Mary Price combined for a third place bronze in the pairs.

Ireland’s Margaret Johnston regained the singles crown, albeit in rather controversial circumstances after challenging Margaret Letham’s bowls (they passed a table test back home then failed on a different make of table Down Under, meaning Letham’s penultimate round victory was void with Johnston being awarded the points).

Letham and Joyce Lindores won the pairs and Lindores also won a silver in the fours with Julie Forrest, Betty Forsyth and Sarah Gourlay.

Wales’s Rita Jones won silver in the singles and Jersey collected two bronze medals, Karina Horman in the singles and Liz Cole, Gean O’Neil, Sue Dingle and Sylvia Syvret in the fours.

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