This years Vet’s Merit was held at Argoed Bowling Club on Wednesday 7th June.  Always hosted by the Immediate Past President – it was Simon Walker’s day to welcome the players and his guests to the event. Supporting the day were the WCGBA current President Jack Hunt, Deputy President Pauline Lindley and members and officers of the WCGBA.

Our referees, Peter Hughes, Alan Davies and Peter Kempster were on hand to see fair play for all.

With the Vet’s competition, you can almost guarantee there are no ‘walk-overs’. Most of the 16 finalists on the day have many years experience to draw on. This proved to be the case in the first round with all eight pairs evenly matched. Game number 3 between Kevin Nicholas and Kevin Williams was a very close contest with Kevin Williams winning by just one chalk, 21-20. Steady games by Barry Harris, Bernard Goodhead, Kenton Shaw, Brian Salisbury, Roger Wilson, and Elfyn Jones saw them join Kevin Williams in the next round. The final game of round one saw Merfyn Jones well in the lead with his match against Mike Chamberlain. A spirited comeback by Mike saw them 19 across, before a cool Merfyn clinched the game 21-19.

The quarter finals were to be as steady as the opening round. Barry Harris beat Bernard Goodhead 21-18. Kenton Shaw beat Kevin Williams 21-16, Roger Wilson sealed his place in the Semi final by beating Brian Salisbury 21-16 and Merfyn Jones had another win 21-15 against Elfyn Jones.

In the first Semi final, Barry Harris started well and kept up his lead all the way. However, his opponent Kenton Shaw kept up the pressure and soon trailed by only one chalk.  Some great bowls on one of the trickiest corners saw Barry win 21-19. In the second Semi final, Merfyn and Roger were well matched. Roger played the green well and eventually beat Merfyn 21-15.

As the final opened, Roger got off to a brilliant start and found himself 14-7 up. No matter how many good woods Barry put up, he couldn’t make headway. Barry found himself 19-15 down when, like a true veteran, he dug his heels in to go 20 across. Once again it was all on the last end. Great bowling saw Barry take the trophy for 2023. Barry, Kenton, Roger and Merfyn all qualify for the British Vets Jack and Jean Isherwood trophy next month.