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Barry Harris Wins Welsh Veterans Merit

Thanks to David Matthias for this report:
The event was hosted by the WCGBA Immediate Past President, Simon Walker at the rather chilly Argoed Bowling Club, near Mold and run by the WCGBA Tournament Officer Dave Walker.
A slightly early start from the advertised 12.00pm, with the first Jack being bowled at 11.50am.
The First Round saw the following results:
Barry Harris beating Ian Pimblott
Bernard Goodhead beating John Jones
Kevin Williams beating Kevin Nicholas
Kenton Shaw beating Barry Phillips
Brian Salisbury beating John Langford
Roger Wilson beating K P Jones
Elfyn Jones beating Brian Hayes
Merfyn Jones beating Mike Chamberlain
The Quarter Finals saw:
Barry Harris beating Bernard Goodhead
Kenton Shaw beating Kevin Williams
Roger Wilson beating Brian Salisbury
Merfyn Jones beating Elfyn Jones
In the Semi Finals, Roger Wilson had a relatively comfortable win against Merfyn Jones, but the second Semi Final between two Gwynedd bowlers, Barry Harris and Kenton Shaw, was a classic encounter.
A ding dong match saw, Barry being 19/20 down with Kenton holding 2 for the match, only for Barry to change his peg, to win the end by a whisker. Then at 20/20, Barry bowled a front toucher to clich the win and a place in his second Veterans Final
In 2021, Barry lost in the “Covid Final”, at the Benllech Bowling Club, to Mike Chamberlain, so the question was could he go one better this year.
So the 2023 Welsh CGBA Veterans Final was between:
Barry Harris of the Beaumaris Bowling Club
Roger Wilson of the Rhos Park Bowling Club.
After four ends, Barry couldn’t find his earlier good form and Roger deservedly led 10/3
And after 15 ends, Barry was still not bowling to his usual high standard and again Roger deservedly led 16/9 and again by the 21st end, he led 19/13.
With Barry now finding a bit of form, he began to get on a roll, only for Roger to find a superb wood on the 24th end to lead 20/16.
So surely Barry could hear the “Fat Lady Singing” in the distance.
But a poorish lead by Roger, gave Barry a sniff of a chance and by the 27th end it was 20/20.
However the conundrum for Barry was were to go on the green. So like all good sailors he changed tack and bowled a straight mark along the edge of the green entrance and led a 18inch side of jack wood. Roger’s first wood was good, but unfortunately for him it rested behind Barry’s wood. Barry’s second wood was flying and snicked his first wood, but luckily left him still on. So it was all on the last wood of Roger’s, but unfortunately and possibly due to the pressure of the moment, he bowled his second wood short.
So a 21/20 win for Barry, in what was in the end a great final.
Congratulations to Barry and commiserations to Roger.
Barry, Roger, Kenton and Merfyn, now going forward to represent Wales in the BCGBA Jack and Jean Isherwood Championship, at the Prees Bowling Club, in Shropshire, on Wednesday 5th July 2023.
With Barry also going through to play in the Welsh CGBA “Champion of Champions” Competition, on a green in Gwynedd, in September 2023.
So all that was left was for the Welsh CGBA Immediate Past President, Simon Walker to make the presentations.
He of course also thanked the following:
The Agoed Bowling Club for hosting the competition.
The Ladies who served the refreshments and the Bacon Baps.
The Match Referee’s – Allan Davies and Peter Hughes.
Pauline Lindley and Duscia Price for organising the Match Day Raffle
Dave Walker – The Welsh CGBA Tournament Officer.
The Welsh CGBA Officials who were in attendance to support him on his big day.
I would also like to add my appreciation for the work Simon did himself, in not only organising the event so superbly, but also for the fact that he did, throughout the day, post the ongoing scores of all the matches on the Welsh CGBA website.
Congratulations again to Barry Harris on lifting the Welsh CGBA Julie Dawson Cup today. A worthy winner.
Jeanette Higham also reports on the day:


This years Vet’s Merit was held at Argoed Bowling Club on Wednesday 7th June.  Always hosted by the Immediate Past President – it was Simon Walker’s day to welcome the players and his guests to the event. Supporting the day were the WCGBA current President Jack Hunt, Deputy President Pauline Lindley and members and officers of the WCGBA.

Our referees, Peter Hughes, Alan Davies and Peter Kempster were on hand to see fair play for all.

With the Vet’s competition, you can almost guarantee there are no ‘walk-overs’. Most of the 16 finalists on the day have many years experience to draw on. This proved to be the case in the first round with all eight pairs evenly matched. Game number 3 between Kevin Nicholas and Kevin Williams was a very close contest with Kevin Williams winning by just one chalk, 21-20. Steady games by Barry Harris, Bernard Goodhead, Kenton Shaw, Brian Salisbury, Roger Wilson, and Elfyn Jones saw them join Kevin Williams in the next round. The final game of round one saw Merfyn Jones well in the lead with his match against Mike Chamberlain. A spirited comeback by Mike saw them 19 across, before a cool Merfyn clinched the game 21-19.

The quarter finals were to be as steady as the opening round. Barry Harris beat Bernard Goodhead 21-18. Kenton Shaw beat Kevin Williams 21-16, Roger Wilson sealed his place in the Semi final by beating Brian Salisbury 21-16 and Merfyn Jones had another win 21-15 against Elfyn Jones.

In the first Semi final, Barry Harris started well and kept up his lead all the way. However, his opponent Kenton Shaw kept up the pressure and soon trailed by only one chalk.  Some great bowls on one of the trickiest corners saw Barry win 21-19. In the second Semi final, Merfyn and Roger were well matched. Roger played the green well and eventually beat Merfyn 21-15.

As the final opened, Roger got off to a brilliant start and found himself 14-7 up. No matter how many good woods Barry put up, he couldn’t make headway. Barry found himself 19-15 down when, like a true veteran, he dug his heels in to go 20 across. Once again it was all on the last end. Great bowling saw Barry take the trophy for 2023. Barry, Kenton, Roger and Merfyn all qualify for the British Vets Jack and Jean Isherwood trophy next month.

The Two finalists:
Barry Harris receiving the Trophy from Simon Walker

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