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For the first time in 10 years the weather had an effect on the Bowls Cyprus National finals, held in early May at the Coral Bay Bowls Club.

Scheduled for two days, the 13 events are normally competed on time but heavy rain on the first afternoon and second morning extended the event over three days.

Despite the weather, however, some excellent and competitive bowling was witnessed involving all four clubs in Cyprus.  Aliathon Bowls Club won the most events with eight titles, followed by Coral Bay Bowls Club with four, Peyia Bowls Club one and Aphrodite Bowls Club being represented in three finals but unfortunately coming out as runners-up in all of them.

The two top awards, the Menís and Ladies Singles both went to Aliathon players, Bob Manson beating Loukas Paraskeva (Aphrodite) 21-6  and Diane Roberts dispatching fellow club mate Sol Robertson 21-12.

For Bob it was the second win in three years while Diane took the trophy for the second successive year.  Both will now represent Cyprus in the World Champion of Champions tournament next year.

The bowling backgrounds of these two champions are in stark contrast to one another.  Edinburgh born Bob (63) has been involved with bowls since the age of nine, encouraged to take up the sport  by his bowling parents while Diane only began playing 14 years ago, one year after coming to live in Cyprus from Basingstoke.

In the other singles matches, involving two bowls, Coral Bay came out victors in both events - Billy Nicholls having a comfortable win 21-10 over  John Woodcock (Aliathon) and Sheila Bowden narrowly beating Linda Ryan (Aliathon) 21-19 in one of the best matches of the tournament with the result in doubt until the final end.

First match on the schedule saw Peyia BCís Handicap Triples team of George McGill and Terry and Babs Austin account for Coral Bayís Tony Edwards, Ronnie McCall and Ray Cutts 17-12.

An in-form Colin Dodd (Aliathon), partnered by Linda Ryan beat fellow club memberss Sol Robertson and Richard Norman 28-11 while in the Open Two-Bowl singles Aliathonís John Woodcock beat fellow member Irene Owen 16-9.

The afternoon session involving the Menís Rinks, the Ladies Triples and the Ladies Pairs had only just got into their stride when the heavens opened up, putting the green under water and forcing an abandonment for the day.

While the second morning was also scrapped because the green was still holding water, play finally resumed around midday, seeing Aliathonís Ben Hebdige, Chas Hunt, Michael Jarvis and Howard Davis overcome Aphroditeís Sid Swan, Danny McKenzie, Barry Westwood and Loukas Paraskeva 17-12 in the Menís Rinks, while Peyiaís Val Williamson, Norma Redfearn and Carol McGrath took Aliathonís Val Mulley, Diane Roberts and Irene Owen to the last end before going down 12-13.  The third resumed match involved Sol Robertson and Linda Ryan (Aliathon) beating Coral Bayís Rita Mulhall and Dorothy Gibbons 26-18 in the Ladies Pairs.

The final day involved the Mixed Triples, Menís Pairs and Menís Triples, with Coral Bay being involved with all three and eventually running out winners in two of them.

Mervyn Williams, Marjorie Healey and Ray Cutts beat Sid Swan, Elaine and Paul Chester (Aphrodite) 17-11 in the Mixed Triples, Dave Girling and Dave Griffiths had a terrific match with Aliathonís Ben Hebdige and Malcolm Rowe, eventually coming out winners 17-15 on the last end and Ray Henderson, Dave Webb and George Gray going down 11-18 to Aliathonís Chas Hunt, Michael Jarvis and Howard Davis.

The finals day was put together by Linda Ryan, the Domestic Match Executive Officer, while Bowls Cyprus Chairman David Hart acted as MC.  Fran Davis, the Coaches and Umpires EO organised the markers, Colin Dodd, Pat Ryan and John Gibbons, along with the umpires Barry Smith, Brian Ricklesford, George McGill and Rob Archer.

Trophies were presented at the end of each session by Bowls Cyprus President, Carol McGrath of the Peyia Bowls Club.

As always with such events, organisations are grateful to the sponsors who help fund and provide trophies.  Bowls Cyprus therefore appreciate the assistance given by Trophy Planet (Gents 2-Bowls Singles), 4 x 4 Service Centre (Gents Pairs), Avalon Europe (Ladies and Gents Triples), Cyprus Lettings (Ladies 4-Bowl Singles), Finsbury Group (Mixed Triples) and Savvas Optical (Mixed Pairs and Handicap Triples).

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