North Notts Community Arena hosted a major bowls tournament last weekend, as players battled it out for a prize pot of £2,000
The Worksop Open Singles tournament was the very first planetbowls.com event at the Arena, and the winner of the 64-player competition walked away with a cool £1,000.
Planetbowls.com is a series of Open Singles which are contested at many venues throughout the country, with the Worksop Open being number 20 of 28 of the 2013/14 season.
The quality of play was high, the event attracting a star studded field of ex world champions, world ranked players plus current and past England and Scottish internationals, including Greg Harlow, Simon Skelton, Danny Brown, Ian Honnor, Michael Jackman and Vinnie O’Neill.
It kicked off on Saturday with 15 local players taking part in the first round, resulting in Bassetlaw’s Paul Hill, Stuart Bratley, Dave Barrowcliffe, Craig Snowdon and Nigel Turner progressing into the second round.
Four big names exited the competition at the first round stage, world number 16 Simon Skelton among them.
In the second round Boston winner Danny Brown from Lincoln was defeated by John Webster of Featherstone, thus claiming the £50 bounty which was on Danny’s head as the highest ranked player in tournament.
In the last 16, there were plenty of quality players left in the tournament, including Bassetlaw’s Bratley and Barrowcliffe, who were then beaten by Lee Rowland of Ipswich and Webster.
Ex world champion Greg Harlow exited at this stage, beaten 2-0 by Michael Jackman.
The quarter-final line up pitched Ashley Clipston and Gary Wallis together in an all-Alfreton tie, the latter emerging triumphant.
Jackman beat Bill Hobart, Rowland overcame Andy Smith from Avon Valley and Lea Blackham needed a tie break to overcome Webster.
In the semi-finals, Clipston took the first set against Jackman 7-2 with aggressive play, but Jackman showed great resolve to turn it around and take the second 6-3 drawing in beautifully.
The tie break went down to the last bowl before young Clipston triumphed 2-1.
The second semi saw Rowland back to his very best, winning a tight first set 7-6, before running away with the second 7-1 to win 2-0.
On Sunday evening Clipston and Rowland strode onto rink three for the final.
The crowd were treated to an excellent final as both players used different styles, Clipston’s positive but accurate running shots against Rowland’s accurate drawing bowls.
Clipston won the tight first set 5-4, but Rowland dug in and sneaked the second 6-4.
In the resulting tie break the ends were keenly contested, the players, in their sixth game, unbelievably held both their nerve and maintained the skill level.
However, in the end Clipston won 2-0 to take the title, the £1,000 and the beautiful cut glass crystal trophy.
Nigel Turner of North Notts Arena told the Worksop Guardian: “It was an exhausting weekend for all concerned but we would like to congratulate Ashley Clipston on his great win and thank all the competitors, umpires, markers and particularly the crowd for their support.”
“Watch out for next year’s event.”