WITH the summer competitive bowls season totally destroyed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the members of Penarth Bowling Club set about arranging a competitive season of their own.

The competition was aptly named the Covid Cup and consisted of both Pairs and Singles games in two separate sections.

Entrants were drawn into Pools for the early round robin games, all of which culminated on the 31st August.

The winners of each Pool were then drawn to play on a knockout basis, culminating in semi finals and finals being played on Saturday.

The semis being played in the morning and pairs and singles finals starting at 2.30pm.

The morning semis saw some excellent bowling none more than a very close and edgy singles game against Dave Clements and Nick Chandler.

Things were pretty close over the first 5 ends with Dave edging in front by 5 shots to 3.

Dave pulled further away to lead on the 10th end by 10 - 5.

With a real battle ensuing Dave continued to lead by 13 - 9 on the 15th end with 3 ends to play.

Nick however managed to take the upper hand and score 6 shots on the last 3 ends to triumph by 2 shots, 15 - 13.

Rob Grant was already waiting on the bank to meet his finalist opponent, having beaten Paul Church by 6 shots, 19 - 13.

Rob led most of the game securing a 10 - 3 lead at the 6th end.

Paul rallied somewhat and pulled back to reduce the deficit to 3 shots by the 11th end, only for Rob to pull away again to hold an unassailable lead of 19 - 9 on the 16th end.

Paul again came back at him but could only close the gap to 6 shots, Rob winning by 19 - 13.

The only lady, Sandra Roberts, competing in the finals played with the old master, Ron Birkby.

They came up against the daunting pair of Colin Grant and Gordon Smith.

The two Scots were firing on all cylinders and ran out comfortable winners by 23 - 3.

The other pairs semi saw Chris Haines and ( slightly late ) Paul Gunter up against Russell Daniel and Nick Thomas.

Chris and Paul got of to a flyer picking up 8 shots without reply by the 5th end. Russell and Nick clawed back and by the 11th end the gap was only 2 shots. trailing 11 - 9.

The last 4 ends of the semi saw some really classic bowling from all 4 bowlers, with the shot changing hands with some brilliant woods and at regular intervals.

Chris and Paul hung on superbly to win by 15 - 11.

A very enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd assembled for the afternoon finals with Gordon and Colin facing Chris and Paul in what was expected to be an interesting battle.

Gordon and Colin settled the quicker and led by 6 - 1 after 4 ends. some exquisite bowling saw low scoring until Gordon and Colin wrested a 5 on the 11th end to take a commanding lead by 15 - 6.

Not to be outdone, and to raise the tension somewhat, Chris and Paul replied with a 6 on the 13th end to close the gap to 4 shots with 2 ends to play.

The experience of Colin and the guile of Gordon won the last to ends to take the Covid pairs title by 21 - 12.

On the adjacent rink, the ageing Nick Chandler took on the ebullient youth of Rob Grant in what promised to be a fascinating final.

Despite the age difference, Nick quickly set the pace to lead 7 - 1 after 5 ends.

Rob battled back as expected to cut the lead to 1 shot after 8 ends.

Nick awoke from his short nap and set about controlling the rest of the game.

Rob was having some difficulty to stay in the game and suffered from some really bad luck over the second half.

Nick was eventually victorious by 18 - 10 to become the 'Covid King'.

Loads of thanks have to be given to all those who were involved in the organisation and running of the event, which enabled the majority of our members to enjoy a very social but competitive series of games.

The overall support was amazing, only matched by the level of enjoyment gained.

Hopefully this will be a one off tournament and we will be back to normal in April.