Rain did not dampen the Challenge of the day

Many braved the elements on Sunday 30 July, 2023 to participate in the Celebration Tournament marking 91 years of flat green bowling with Resolven Bowls Club.

Everyone who attended was honoured to see the Country’s top bowlers of all ages, showing off their skills and having a great time doing so, despite the incessant showery rain and drizzle.

Even under such wet and damp conditions the Resolven bowling green played very well and spectators were treated to some amazingly close competitive and accurately controlled bowling which was due in part to the hard work previously carried out on the green by various members particularly by Gareth Evans and the Groundsman Roy Gillespie with the cooperation of the Community Council.

Refreshments were provided throughout the day, with lunch included, all served by hard working volunteers.

The standard of play by the World class bowlers which local people rarely get a chance to see was extraordinarily entertaining and appreciated by Club members and all present. Many of those taking part will soon be representing Wales at the World Bowls Championships at The Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

The format for the tournament was 2 bowl triples with 6 groups of 4 teams (3 or 4 in each team) in a play off, and various points allocated throughout the 10 ends played.

After battling through strong competition the Winners of ‘The 91’ were Harlequins stars Jarrad Breen, Jack Davies and Ross Owen who you may have seen competing in the Commonwealth Games.

They were presented with the John Hopkins Memorial Trophy by RBC President, Hugh Lewis.

The Final was played as the light deteriorated so the flood lights, were switched on, a facility that is rarely seen at any other outdoor bowling green and an added feature that Resolven members past and present worked hard to obtain.

Runners-up were Ryan Thomas, Jamie Brown and Jon Tomlinson.

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The losing Semi-Finalists: Pontrhydyfen’s Barrie Evans, Ben Thomas and Chris Jones received their cash from RBC Vice-Chairman, Andrew Hopkins
Losing semi-finalists Dai Webley, Bryan Jones and Liam Stone receiving their cash from Andrew Hopkins

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It was decided and agreed by all concerned that due to the weather conditions that the final play-offs for ‘the plate’ would not be played, Instead, all 4 semi-finalists split the 1st and 2nd prize money. Seen Below receiving their cash from the hard working enthusiastic Organiser and Tournament Coordinator Mike Herbert are Ben Salmon on behalf of Dan Salmon’s team, Jasmine Staton on behalf of Martin Johnson’s team, Jon Williams on behalf of Robert Chisholm’s team and Rhys Colwill for his team.

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Congratulations and well done to all who weathered the conditions of the day.

The following are some photographs taken during the early rounds showing only a few of the many taking part over the day.

Resolven Bowls Club’s Martin Addis in full delivery action follow through with Nigel James in the foreground.
In Green and white, right of centre is Resolven’s Hugh Lewis preparing to deliver his bowl, with one of the younger bowlers on an adjacent rink.

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Many prizes were donated and a raffle was held during the day of The Tournament which raised a total of £400 for Building Blocks Family Centre in Resolven.

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Photographs by Hugh Lewis and Natasha Williams