THE large gathering of supporters that attended each evening of the Ceredigion County Finals at Aberaeron were treated to an exciting climax on Friday evening.The final of the Ceredigion Under 25s Singles competition was played between Hari Butten, of Lampeter Bowlijng Club, and Iwan Davies, of Cardigan - and it proved an exciting encounter.
With both playing some excellent bowls, Butten built up a lead of 10 shots to 3 after eight ends, but Davies clawed back to level the scores at 12-all after 14. The scores were again level at 16-all after 17 ends and again 18-all after 20 ends.
With Butten holding three shots required for victory at the next end, Davies drew shot with his last bowl to score a single and keep his own title hopes alive.
Butten, however, scored a brace and a single on the next ends to win by 21 shots to 19 and be crowned Under 25s champion.
Proceedings had started on the Tuesday evening, when the James brothers, Colin and Kevin, of Cardigan, were defending their Open Pairs title against Andrew Wilson and Henry Jones, of Lampeter.
Wilson and Jones were leading by 10 shots to 4 after 11 ends, but the Cardigan pair scored a four and a double on the next two ends to level the scores at 10-all.
The next few ends were evenly contested, with the scores being level at 13 all after 18 ends. The James brothers, however, stepped up a gear to score a three, a four, and a single over the next three ends to win by 21 shots to 13. This is the sixth time for the brothers to win this title.
On Wednesday, Martin Cross, Llandysul, took to the green to defend his Senior Singles tile against John Jones, Tregaron. Cross led by 8 shots to nil after five ends, but Jones whittled the lead down to only 1 shot after 13 ends, with Cross leading by 10 shots to 9. Cross then took command again for the next nine ends and ran out the winner by 21 shots to 11.
Also on Wednesday evening, the Senior Rinks final was played between Ron Thomas, Ieuan Jones, Elfan James, and Steve Entwistle, of Lampeter, and Andre Bann, Dilwyn Jones, Michael Williams, and Paul Edwards of the Cardigan Club.
The Cardigan quartet were leading by 9 shots to 4 shots after nine ends, but the Lampeter four turned the tables when they scored a double, a four, and a five on the next three ends to take the lead by 15 shots to 9. The Lampeter quartet eventually ran out the winners by 20 shots to 13.
Kevin James returned on the Thursday evening to defend his Open Singles title and win for a third successive time - a feat that has not been achieved before.
He took on Nick Randell, Lampeter, in what turned out to be a one-sided affair with James leading by 12 shots to nil after six ends, before running out the winner by 21 shots to 6. This win will also give James a chance to defend his Welsh Singles title at the National Finals in August.
Thursday evening saw the Open Triples, and Senior Triples finals take place.
In the Open Triples, Dilwyn Jones, Gethin Davies and Paul Monders, of Cardigan, faced Michael James, Brian H Davies and Jamie James, Queen’s Road.
The Queen’s Road trio dropped a three and a seven on the first two ends, with the Cardigan three building up a lead of 21 shots to 4 after 10 ends. Although the Queen’s Road three rallied, the Cardigan trio ran out winners by 22 shots to 12.
In the Senior Triples, Ron Thomas, Elfan James, and Steve Entwistle took on defending champions John D Evans, Robert Davies, and Martin Cross, Llandysul.
The Lampeter trio were 8 shots to nil up after four ends, but the Llandysul trio drew level at 14 shots each after 16 ends. With a dramatic climax anticipated, the Lampeter trio held their nerve to score two singles to win by 16 shots to 14.
Friday night saw a repeat of last year’s Open Rinks Final as Colin and Kevin James were joined by Paul Monders and Marc James to defend their title against Aled Roberts, Emlyn Dudley, Emyr Thomas, and Nick Randell of Lampeter.
After being overwhelmed the previous year, the Lampeter quartet had a slight lead in the early stages, only for the Cardigan four to claim the win by the narrowest of margins, by 19 shots to 18.
The concluding match saw Ron Thomas and Steve Entwistle return for a third time to take on John Williams and Robert Davies, Llandysul, in the Senior Pairs.
In a keenly contested affair, after trailing by 7 shots to 8 after seven ends, the Llandysul pair scored a six to regain initiative, and went on to win by 19 to 17.
Unfortunately, the only one entry in the Under 18 Singles competition was George Monders of the Cardigan Club. He will now automatically represent the county together with all the winners at the National Finals, being held at Llandrindod Wells between 9-16 August.