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November 4, 2018

Once again, it was a pleasure for Esselle Sports to welcome all the newcomers and well known faces back to what was our 27th Illuminations Bowling Festival in Blackpool.

Following on from the large downpours the UK had the week before, the festival was blessed with no rain and perfect bowling conditions throughout the week with the sun coming out for most of the event. The qualifying stages took part on a round robin format around the local greens in Blackpool and Cleveleys, paving way for the Finals Day at the Waterloo on the Thursday.

The first of the Finals to take place was the Men’s Plate Pairs Final with Brian Hallas and Andy Wike up against the experienced Andy Spragg and Mick Bower becoming Champions following a fantastic game going to 11-10. In the Ladies Plate Pairs, Fiona Creevy & Christine Bardsley bowled fantastically against Philippa Taylor and Joyce Ogden in a game winning 11-6. Courtesy of the festival’s sponsors, Taylor Bowls, both the Men’s and Ladies Plate Pairs Champions received a Bowls Bag each.

In the Ladies Consolation Final, Sylvia Bradbury was crowned Champion after a very close game against her friend Carol Gunter. The Men’s Consolation Final was played between John Armitage and Brian Thompson, and despite Brian’s best efforts, he was unable to prevent John from taking the game 15-8. Both Sylvia and John where awarded with a set of Bowls, courtesy of our sponsors Taylor Bowls.

George Ward and Margaret Tasker were crowned Mixed Pairs Champions, taking the game 15-5 against the runners up Doreen Bickerstaffe and Tommy Lunt, who, prior to the Final had had a fantastic run to reach the Waterloo, having met at Blackpool for a previous Festival.

Last years Champion, Carol Burns, narrowly missed out on being champion for the second year running after losing to this years newly crowned winner of the Ladies Main event, Anne O’Loughlin.

In the Men’s Main event, upon his first appearance at the Festival, Dave Robson was named 2018’s Champion after displaying fantastic bowling against the runner up Ron Hill.

With the assistance of the King of the Green himself, Brian Duncan, Steve Rigby closed off the festival with the awards presentation in the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

We would like to express our thanks the the Norbreck Castle for once again hosting us, the Greens around Blackpool and Cleveleys that allowed us the use of their services; the referees from the North Lancs and Fylde Referees Association who put so much into this event; our sponsors Taylor Bowls who once again providing amazing prizes, and last but certainly not least, yourselves – who all took part in what has been a memorable festival, and we hope to see you all once again very soon.


Fiona Creevy (Rochdale)& Christine Bardsley (Staffs)                       11

Philippa Taylor & Joyce Ogden (Isle of Man)                                        6



Brian Hallas & Andy Wike (Huddersfield)                                                             11

Andy Spragg (Chesterfield) & Mike Bower (Manchester)                 10



Sylvia Bradbury  (Manchester)                     15

Carol Gunter (Manchester)                          4



John Armitage (Leeds)                   15

Brian Thompson (Liverpool)         8



George Ward (Coventry) & Margaret Tasker (Isle of Man)              15

Tommy Lunt (Liverpool) & Doreen Bickerstaffe (Blackburn)            2



Anne O’loughlin                (Birmingham)                    21

Carol Burns (Wigan)                                      19



Dave Robson (Leeds)                      21

Ron Hill (Wigan)                              9