Yesterday Bletchley Towns’s Dave Labrum and Malcolm Drage won the Bowls Englands Men’s National Senior Pairs Competition, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.
They defeated Sussex’s Ian Watson and Keith Holman 23-16 in the afternoon’s final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.
Their campaign started way back in May with a 24-5 win over John Kayne from Newport Pagnell they continued with wins over David Creamer (Newport Pagnell), James Ingarfield (Newport Pagnell) Don Savage (Bletchley Town) Martin Gallop (Stony Stratford) with eventually qualifying for the final stages of the National Championships as Buckinghamshire’s champions by beating Trevor Room and Tony Osbourne (Waddesdon) 22-18.
Their fine set of results continued at Leamington Spa as they took to the C green on Friday afternoon against Hampshire’s champions Brian Gordon and Steven Hockham, the Bletchley duo were always in control of this game and ran away to a 20-11 win.
On to the 2nd round they were drawn against Herefordshires Phil Holland and David Magness, the boys were again in blistering form and picked up another convincing win 21-9.
The quarter final followed on Saturday afternoon this time it was against the Cornwall team of Phil King and Keith Blake, again they got off to another fast start and flew in to a 18-3 lead at 13 ends despite a mini fight back from the Cornwall side the Labrum and Drage recorded a 26-10 win at 19 ends to book their place in the Semi final.
After a good night’s sleep they returned to Victoria Park for their National Semi against Cambridgeshire’s Steve Botten and Barry Stephens. The guys fell behind early on trailing 5-2 before they strung a run of ends together to including a big 4 on the 7th end to take the lead 8-5. They never looked back and carded a 10 shot win 21-11 to reach the National final.
Dave and Mal were to face off against the Sussex team of Ian Watson and Keith Holman who were in fine form and had demolished the Surrey Champions 24-9 in the morning. We got off to a great start picking up 6 shots in the first 5 ends to lead 6-2 they managed to extend the lead to 5 shots after 10 ends to lead 10-5. A good run of ends saw the gap increase to 10 shots to leave the score at 15-5 at 13 ends. Sussex were not giving up their chance of a national title and dug deep to bring the scores to 16-13 at 17 ends. As the nervous supporters watched on the Town hit back with a massive 4 on the 18th end to lead 20-13, they dropped 3 on the next end to go in to the last 2 ends with a 4 shot lead. The 20th end started well and we were holding a big count before Holman ran at the head with his last bowl only to leave the Bletchley Town pair with 3 shots and for the opposition to wave the white flag with the score at 23-16 with just 1 end to go. Ladies and Gentlemen we have national champions!!!!!
This is the first men’s national title picked up by the club in the 105 year history so a massive achievement by both Dave and Mal and the club would like to congratulate them for everything they have done.