Solle and Barnard come out on top of Somerset Bowls open pairs event at Clevedon

Somerset Open Pairs winners John Stolle and Simon Barnard. Picture: David-Rhys Jones

Somerset Open Pairs winners John Stolle and Simon Barnard. Picture: David-Rhys Jones - Credit: Archant

In line with government guidance Somerset Bowls staged an open pairs tournament at Clevedon Bowling Club.

John Stolle and Simon Barnard took on Jenny and Dave Byett in the final. Picture: David-Rhys Jones

John Stolle and Simon Barnard took on Jenny and Dave Byett in the final. Picture: David-Rhys Jones - Credit: Archant

Having run for the previous two weekends a total of 16 pairs, from 96 pairs from all over the county including Ilminster, Street, Bath, and the local clubs at Portishead, Clevedon, Nailsea, Backwell and Weston, headed to Clevedon.

In the final, played on a damp green at the famous club, Taunton Vivary pair John Solle, who transferred from Street last year, and Simon Barnard, chalked up an emphatic 13-4 win over the husband-and-wife duo of Jenny and Dave Byett, from Congresbury club.

They were presented with a pair of handsome gin glasses and modest cheques that would have more than covered the purchase of a suitable alcoholic liquid, so that they could toast their success in what was called a unique competition!

In the semi-finals, Solle and Barnard quelled a late challenge to beat the host club’s Neil Westlake and Nick Pearce, 11-8, while the Byetts swept past Adam Knights and John Couch, from West Backwell, 11-6.

John Stolle and Simon Barnard beat Jenny and Dave Byett 13-4 in the final. Picture: David-Rhys Jones

John Stolle and Simon Barnard beat Jenny and Dave Byett 13-4 in the final. Picture: David-Rhys Jones - Credit: Archant


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“It was a great idea, and we enjoyed every minute,” said reigning Somerset singles champion Barnard.

County President Tony Whitmarsh added: “I’ve attended a few funerals this summer, but this is the first proper game of bowls I have had the pleasure of attending. Full marks to our competitions secretary Charmian Pearce for organising it, and to the Clevedon club, who proved outstanding hosts.”

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Pearce praised the way all the competitors – and spectators, too – had observed the rules about social distancing, and thanked the members of the Clevedon club, who had undertaken to sanitise mats and jacks at the appropriate times.

And on behalf of the Somerset County Bowls Association, Pearce also presented David Fife, the Chairman of the League of Friends of Clevedon Cottage Hospital, with a cheque for £178.

A total of 16 pairs headed to Clevedon Bowling Club to take part in the Somerset Open Pairs. Picture

A total of 16 pairs headed to Clevedon Bowling Club to take part in the Somerset Open Pairs. Picture: David-Rhys Jones. - Credit: Archant

Somerset Open Pairs Results, last 16: Frye/Wilson (Weston Victoria) beat Winmill/Secker (Portishead RBL) 7-6; Westlake & Pearce (Clevedon) beat Warren/Anslow, (Clevedon Prom) 11-9; Hall/Cruwys (Street) beat Crombie/Dowsing (Clevedon Prom) 11-4; Solle/Barnard (Taunton) beat Brightman/Harding (Clevedon) 10-9; Byett/Byett (Congresbury) beat Renwick/Moore (Weston St Andrews) 12-8; Elley/Lorimer (Purnell) beat Elder/Powell (Nailsea) 13-0; Lightfoot/Hawker (Ilminster) beat Branfield/Holden (Clevedon) 12-7; Knights/Couch (West Backwell) beat Fuidge/Fuidge (Clevedon Prom) 18-3.

Quarter finals: Westlake/Pearce beat Frye/Wilson 12-3; Solle/Barnard beat Hall/Cruwys 13-9; Byett/Byett beat Elley/Lorimer 10-8; Knights/Couch beat Lightfoot/Hawker 9-5.

Semi finals: Solle/Barnard beat Westlake/Pearce 11-8; Byett/Byett beat Knights/Couch 11-6.

Final: Solle/Barnard beat Byett/Byett 13-4.

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