WCGBA Senior Merit 2019 (Gwyn Morris Trophy)- President, Dave Mathias with the foursemi-finalists.

The Senior Men’s Individual Merit is seen as a feast of bowling, and the 2019 finals day at Benllech BC delivered just that. The event was hosted by our President Dave Mathias with excellent support and help from WCGBA Management members and Gwynedd Area Officials. Clive Morris, a great supporter like his late father, Gwyn, was also there and guest Ken Burton, a Director from Bowls Wales.

The Referees for the day were DT Evans, Alan Davies, Arthur Peake and Ian Black.

Benllech is not an easy green with its prominent crown and dips and hollows in unexpected places and gave the 32 players plenty to focus on. In the first four, no one player stormed away with a strong lead. The four blocks seemed to be evenly matched and it was Scott Parry (St Asaph) who reached double figures first in his game with Craig Jones (Cunliffe). Craig, down at the start, stayed with it to win 21-15. Bryn Hughes (Craig Y Don), Ryan Short (Bangor), and Daniel Jones (Llanrwst) also made it to round two.

In the middle section, Gary Roberts (Craig Y Don) had a nail-biting game with Michael Pritchard (Llanrwst) and won 21-19. Dave (Rocky)Jones (Esclusham) had a comfortable win over Mark Lamb (New Brighton) 21-11. John Bailey (Llanrwst) sailed into round two. Not so lucky, John Bonatti (Coed Talon) could not get past Geraint Booth (Llanfair PG) and lost 21-11. Down to the last sixteen. Craig Jones stormed away with a stunning performance to beat Bryn Hughes 21-6. Lewis Scott (St Asaph) also got away well and won his game 21-9. Nick Jones (Chirk AAA), Gary Roberts, John Short (Beaumaris) and Geraint Booth also earned their place in the last eight. Paul Hallett (Llay) quietly got on with his first and second round matches to join the others in the quarter-finals.

Craig Jones was not so lucky in his game with Daniel Jones and lost 21-13. Nick Jones and Lewis Scott were closer at the start with Lewis winning 21-15. Gary Roberts led from the start of his game. He was 12-4 in front against John Short. He stayed in the lead all the way to win 21-4. Geraint Booth and Paul Hallett had a tight game in the early stages before the rain came. Geraint went ahead to finish 21-16.

In the Semi Finals, Geraint Booth met Gary Roberts, with Geraint 10-4 in front. Gary, a former winner of the Merit ( in 1969 ) then chalked up a few ends to bring the game 10 across. Gary took the lead 11-10 but Geraint pulled away confidently first to 14-11, then to 17-11. Geraint won his place in the Final with 21-14. In the second Semi Final, Daniel Jones started off with a 11-7 lead against Lewis Scott. Some spirited bowling from Lewis brought him 17-12 up and he was to triumph with a 21-14 win.

The stage was set for the Final and this was to be a ‘Game of Moans’ – gasps of delight and disappointment from the spectators as first one player then the other won or lost an end. Geraint Booth appeared very cool and some of his precision bowling made Lewis work hard to stay with him. In the end Geraint really began to pull away and won a comfortable 21-12.

Geraint Booth is our 2019 Senior Merit winner and will represent Wales at the BCGBA Merit in Derby next month. This also enters him for the Champion of Champions at Blackpool later in the calendar.