Bungay battle against the elements

The winners of the Secretary’s Shield, from left, Keith Patrick, Richard Brinded and Roger Bullen ,

The winners of the Secretary’s Shield, from left, Keith Patrick, Richard Brinded and Roger Bullen , being presented with their prizes by Arnold King, right. - Credit: Archant

The remnants of Hurricane Bertha sweeping across the green caused Bungay Bowls Club’s last tournament of the season to be curtailed last Sunday.

Despite the heavy overnight rain and persistent drizzle 18 teams of triples turned out to compete for the Waveney Windows sponsored Secretary’s Shield. Despite a couple of stoppages due to heavier rain and thunderstorms the tournament organiser and players persisted with the competitions until just after lunchtime when the prospect of conditions improving for a timely finish faded. The decision was taken to determine the finalist after just two of the three proposed qualifying rounds and to reduce the finals from 10 to eight ends.

By winning both their matches in the first qualifying group 10-5 and 16-7 last year’s winners from Norwich Union, Graham Jay, Ron Mitchell and Trevor Burton booked their place in the Grand Final by a shot difference of just two shots from Bungay’s Richard Allen, David Simpkin and Bob Wright who had won their matches 10-6 and 12-4. The latter triple would be playing in the third place final.

The second qualifying group, headed by Bungay’s Roger Bullen, Keith Patrick and Richard Brinded won their two games 10-8 and 18-1 to finish five shots clear of another Bungay triple of James Gosling, Gilly Angus and Marion Frost who had won their matches 12-6 and 16-8.

The third place final was a very one-sided affair as Allen’s triple ran away to a 13-1 win in seven ends to take third place.

The Grand Final looked to be heading for a similar score line as Bullen’s triple scored a six on the second end to lead 6-1. However, Jay’s triple responded to level the score at six apiece with three ends to play. The next two ends were won by Jay by just a single shot. Allen cast a long jack on the final end and his triple held one shot with both skips to play.

While Allen was looking for covering shots Jay only need to move the shot wood to lay a match winning four. Unfortunately he narrowly missed thus ensuring that Bullen took the title for the second time in three years.

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Arnold King presented the prizes to the finalist while co-organiser Dominc Belisario thanked everyone for making the tournament possible and for the patience and understanding of the competitors in the difficult circumstances.

Tomorrow, Bungay Bowls Club will be playing their most important match of season as they attempt to win the Suffolk, Bowls England, Bert Edwards Cup for the second time in their history.

They won it for the first time in 1990 and came close to a second win last season when they lost the final to Lowestoft Railway. Club captain Bullen and vice-captain David Sheppard were forced to make changes to a winning team due to player holidays for the semi-final and now believe a happy combination of players who played in both of those rounds will give them another chance of a win. Their opponents at the neutral Melton green will be Felixstowe & Suffolk, one of the county’s top sides with many international and county bowlers, and holders of two of the four county cup titles. As players with county appearances are barred from the competition Bungay will hope for a closer match than when they played the same club in the Norton Cup and lost by 18 shots across the two rinks.