James Wilcox and Lucas Cooper net Gambart Baines wins

Bowlers from across Yorkshire locked horns at Scarborough’s prestigious annual Gambart Baines Crown Green bowling tournament.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 4:00 pm
From left, Lynne Broadbent, Roger Crowther Cup winner Lucas Cooper, The Mayor of Scarborough, Councillor Eric Broadbent, and Gambart Baines winner James Wilcox, of Leeds

First played for in 1919, when it was won by Zena Smith of Cleckheaton, the competition is still held at North Cliff’s Alexandra Gardens.

Bowlers from all over Yorkshire, including five past winners, were competing for the trophy.

Also in the field was David Koerner who was trying to emulate his father and grandfather who both won the cup in the sixties.

The juniors line up before the Roger Crowther Cup event

The draw produced some tough opening matches - none more so than Kenny Wale of Whitby who beat record seven time winner Andy Spragg of Chesterfield 21-16.

Kenny then beat another previous winner, Pete Wilcox, before losing out to Scott Fisher in the quarter finals 21-10.

James Wilcox, the eventual winner, was drawn against Phil Todd, the Scarborough & District president, in the first round.

James won this game 21-14 and smoothly progressed to the quarter final stage.

There were a good number of local bowlers of which Andy Deighton of Dukes Park, Bridlington, fared the best, reaching the semis.

By mid afternoon the quarter finalists were known. Andy beat Mark Allman 21-13 to set up a semi-final with Gareth Coates (the winner in 2017.) who beat Billy Speed 21-11.

Stuart Thompson lost out in the other last eight match to Wilcox 21-15.

The semi-finals saw three past winners and Deighton left in the competition .

Coates overcame Deighton to win 21-12 and James Wilcox - the winner in 2013 and 2014 came through 21-16 against Fisher.

The final saw some fantastic bowling and Wilcox established a 19-7 lead.

Coates then mounted a good late rally but was unable to claw all the points back and Wilcox triumphed 21-13 to win the coveted cup and the £500 first prize

This year, for the first time, a junior competition was also held.

This was the idea of Wendy Crowther of Huddersfield, who purchased the cup and named it after her late husband, Roger, who won the main event in 1979.

They both regularly travelled to Scarborough for many years to support the competition.

The junior tournament ran alongside the main event and the 18 youngsters had plenty of vocal support from the spectators.

Three Scarborough juniors, Callum Malone, Nathan Davies and Lucas Cooper along with Katie Gates, of Dukes Park, formed the local challenge and in an afternoon of many close games it came down to Cooper v Charlie Ripley and Charlie Fisher v Jake Morgan in the semi-finals.

Both were closely contested games with Cooper and Morgan just getting the better of their opponents.

The final also went down to the wire, when at 20-19 up Cooper was looking at 2 down and defeat but managed to hit the jack for the final point he needed to win the game 21-19 and take the cup and the £50 winner’s prize

There was a lot of keen interest in this final as Cooper, 13, was watched by his father Danny and grandfather John -both of whom are regular players for North Cliff BC.

Cooper’s name will be the first on the trophy that will sit alongside the Gambart Baines Cup on show in the Town Hall.

Paul Mottram of A Star Couriers sponsored other awards on the day.

Kellie Hill was the most successful lady and Grace Rhodes was the winner of the best girl in the juniors.

Mottram got some of his money back by achieving the highest break in the main competition with Tom Gilbert doing the same in the juniors.

The organisers would also like to thank Alan Landers of Landers Butchers, Whitby for sponsoring the junior competition and other sponsors Steve Wainwright and Starlight Embroidery of Whitby.

The competition committee are also very grateful to Councillor Guy Smith for his help in the funding of the green hire.

The Mayor of Scarborough, Councillor Eric Broadbent, accompanied by his wife Lynne, congratulated the winners and presented the cups and other prizes to the worthy winners.