ANDY Colebrooke won the inaugural PlanetBowls Open Singles Tournament staged at Clarrie Dunbar last Sunday, writes DAVE EATON.

The 32 year-old, from Trowbridge, took the honours in a closely-fought grand final, winning one set 5-4 and drawing the other 8-8 to beat clubmate Graham Shadwell and lift the £1,000 winners cheque.

Colebrooke was 2-0 down in the first set after two ends but moved 4-2 up after four only for Shadwell to peg him back to 4-4 after six ends. However, Colebrooke grabbed a fortunate single on the seventh and last end to take the first set.

The second set saw Colebrooke score two threes and Shadwell two twos to lead 6-4 after four ends and then extend his lead to 7-4 on the next and seem in a commanding position.

However, 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Shadwell came roaring back hard to grab a maximum count of four and move 8-7 up with one end remaining.

On this seventh end Colebrooke held a count of three shots, Shadwell tried to draw in for shot but his wood just fell out.

As he was now holding one shot Colebrooke did not have to bowl his last wood as the single tied the set 8-8 and as he had already won the first set Colebrooke took overall victory and the £1,000 top prize.

“It was brilliant to beat Graham,” said Colebrooke, a goundsman at Warminster School.

“I am over the moon with the win and the prize money.

“It is always tough playing against Graham and it brings the best out in you so it is very pleasing to play well against him and beat the best.

“This is the most prestigious tournament I have ever won and I have always wanted one of those big presentation cheques – now I have got one and it is on display in the house.”

He added: “I hadn’t thought about winning the tournament, just about playing well.

“However, I will now have to have a re-think as I have not entered anymore of these planetbowls tournaments and a good run in another could see me finish in the top 32 of the rankings and get into the play-offs.

“I will have to look at the schedule in the next few days and see if there are vacancies in any of them.

“I had a few close matches on the way to the final but was pleased with the way I played and obviously delighted to win the grand final against someone as good as Graham.”

Colebrooke, the 2013 Clarrie men’s champion who represented the Standerwick club in both the last 16 of the national champion of champions competition and mixed pairs with Kim Smith recently, won five games.

He beat Sue Cridland (Taunton Deane) in a tie breaker 2-1, followed that up with a 2-0 win over Clare Stevens (Victoria, Street) but in the third round (last 16) was pushed all the way edging home 6-6 and 6-5 against Five Rivers’ Nick Revell.

In the quarter-finals Colebrooke eliminated Surrey’s Stuart Maxted 2-0 and in the semi-finals enjoyed a 2-0 win (8-3, 6-1) over teammate Russell Francis to book his place in the final.

Shadwell had beaten James Shillingford (Wey Valley, Guildford) 2-1 in a tie breaker (9-4, 4-7, 2-0), Michael Squires (East Dorset) 2-0 (6-4, 10-3) and Martin Timms (Welford) 1.5-0.5 (8-3, 6-6).

He was pushed by Bristol’s Paul Bryant in the quarter-finals but won on a tie breaker 6-7, 8-4 and 2-1.

Then in the semis he accounted for world number two Robert Paxton (Taunton Deane) 2-0 (7-4, 8-0).

Shadwell had the consolation of the £500 runners-up cheque to go with the £3,000 he won just before Christmas in the EIBA National Premier Threes competition.

The Open, which was sponsored by Jumping Jacks Bowls Shop and supported by Taylor Bowls and Timber and Allied Services of Westbury, drew a top-class field of 62 players, including five previous planetbowls tournament winners and a couple of Commonwealth Games medallists.

Matches were played in a sets format, each game consisting of two sets of seven ends with a three end tie breaker being played in the event of a 1-1 draw.

“The Open was a resounding success,” said club proprietor and manager Brian Hawkins.

“It was extremely well attended and I couldn’t believe the number of people here at 8.30 in the morning for the first set of matches and throughout the day.

“It was very well supported and the spectators entertained.”

He added: “Everything went very smoothly and the standard of play was extremely high. The planetbowls director Stephen Roberts even commented that it was the first tournament he had been to that everyone due to play turned up and there were no walkovers or reserves drafted in.

“We will certainly to be looking to run a planetbowls Open Singles Tournament again at the same time next year,” added Hawkins.


Last 16: Paul Bryant (Bristol) beat Vince Wilks (Gloucester) 1.5-0.5 (6-6, 8-6); John Freeman (Clarrie Dunbar) beat Norman Coad (Bodmin) 1.5-0.5 (9-2, 8-8); Russell Francis (Clarrie D) beat Keith Bailey (CD) 1.5-0.5 (5-5, 8-3); Graham Shadwell (CD) beat Martin Timms (Welford-on-Avon) 1.5-0-5 (8-3, 6-6); Ken Chedgzoy (Welford) lost to Stuart Maxted (Donyngs, Redhill, Surrey) 0-2 (2-8, 2-9); Robert Paxton (Taunton Deane) beat Tom Warner (Bournemouth) 1.5-0.5 (7-1, 5-5); Nick Revell (Five Rivers, Salisbury) lost to Andy Colebrooke (CD) 0.5-1.5 (6-6, 5-6); Wayne Snook (North Wilts) beat Craig Doughty (CD) 2-0 (8-3, 6-3).

Quarter-finals: Andy Colebrooke beat Stuart Maxted 2-0 (5-3, 7-2); Russell Francis beat Wayne Snook 2-1 (7-6, 4-8, 2-1); Graham Shadwell beat Paul Bryant 2-1 (6-7, 8-4, 2-1); Robert Paxton beat John Freeman 2-0 (7-2, 6-4).

Semi-finals: Colebrooke beat Francis 2-0 (8-3, 6-1); Shadwell beat Paxton 2-0 (7-4, 8-0).

Final: Colebrooke beat Shadwell 1.5-0.5 (5-4, 8-8).

CLARRIE Dunbar men begin the defence of their overall Wessex League title on Sunday.

The reigning Wessex champions, who won all six of their central region matches to top the table and book an automatic place in the end of season play-offs, face wildcard entrants Dorchester.