Those drawn in the early rounds in particular knew it would take a massive effort in the searing unseasonable heat, needing to win five games to lift the trophy and see off some seriously good opponents.
And so it proved, with at least three previous '”majors” winners falling at the first hurdle being usurped by the upcoming new talent.
As the competition progressed at the quarter-final stage only three of the pre-tournament favourites and previous winners had survived, but it was still odds-on that their experience would be a factor in the end.
At the semi-final stage the line-up was previous winner Dean Lambert against Greg “Hollywood” Holman and defending champ George Sasanov facing Fin Teuvo “Tue” Valtanen.
Greg is a relative newcomer to the game and Tue only an occasional bowler, so the odds were firmly in favour of the two previous champs making it to the final once again.
Form can always be overturned of course, but it was somewhat of a surprise as both of the previous winners were defeated. Tue beating George is a “super end” after they were tied nine all at the end of regular play whilst Greg held his form to beat Dean by a single point – the third game he won by a single point in the tournament.
Sportingly, both of the previous incumbents acknowledged that they had been beaten by better opponents on the day.
So the scene was set for an intriguing final between the two underdogs. Lane 1 was chosen for the final and fittingly neither bowler had bowled that lane before on the day so there was no advantage of either player having the experience of how the lane was running.
The early stages of the final were nip and tuck with Greg edging ahead 2-1 after three ends. What followed then was Greg living up to his nickname by continually leading with a “Hollywood”' bowl leaving Tue having to settle for damage limitation and hoping to get back into the game by stealing the jack somehow.
However, Greg continued to bowl an almost unbeatable snorter first up end by end and gradually crept away virtue of this, and when he finally added to his score by earning two points at ends 8 and 9 there was no way back for Tue, and Greg deservedly took the trophy by a margin of 9-1 – the scoreline not actually reflecting the closeness of the game.
So it was a “Hollywood” day for the new Kamala Open Champion Greg who had to play all five rounds a true test of skill and endurance and somewhat refreshing to see the two relative newcomers in he final.
What that proved was that going forward, each of the “majors” will truly be an “Open” competition and predicting the winner will be virtually impossible.
In the “Silver Cup” competition for first-round losers Rupert Maunder was victorious against Stroud Dale.
The date for the next major, “The Pryder Cup”, is December 17. All welcome to enter.
– Robert Knight
Kamala Lawn Bowls Club is open six days a week all equipment provided and available for corporate or pub hire. The members run a tournament every Monday and Friday, starting at 3pm. For more information contact the club on 09-48987476 or 09-91307255.