Qualicum Beach lawn bowler survives two close shaves

Ken Wellwood’s team hangs on for 8-7 win in mixed triples title match

In a see-saw match at Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club, Ken Wellwood and teammates Meri Danarti and Drew Braid hung on for a one-point victory in the Pat and Gavin Reid Mixed Triples indoor tournament Sunday afternoon, Jan. 14.

The championship came down to the final bowl of the match, but the real nail-biter for Wellwood’s team came before the trio even set foot on the indoor green to start the A final.

“Drew already had his street shoes on and was halfway to the door,” Wellwood joked after edging fellow Qualicum Beach skip Mick Banks 8-7 in six ends. “We didn’t expect to be in the match.”

The two-day, 12-team tournament, which drew 36 bowlers from Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo, was played in two sections. Sunday’s finals pit the two section winners for the championship and the two runners-up in a match for third and fourth place.

While Banks cruised to the top spot in his section with teammates Lorane Martin and Charley McIntyre, Wellwood’s team finished in a crowded, four-way tie atop his section’s leaderboard. After tourney officials conferred and waded through their tie-breaking formula for roughly 10 minutes, Wellwood was awarded the top spot and a showdown with Banks for tourney honours.

Brian Sutton, with teammates Barb Radcliffe and Adrian Hewitt, emerged No. 2 in the tiebreaker and squared off against fellow Qualicum Beach skip David Childs for third place.

Childs and teammates Pam Coward and Joe Randazzo made quick work of the third-place game, using an eight-point third end to break open a 2-2 match on their way to a 13-4 romp.

Wellwood, meanwhile, took a more white-knuckled road to the triples title in a back-and-forth final.

After spotting Wellwood three points in the opening end, Banks answered with a four-ball pickup in the second and pushed his lead to 6-3 with two more points in the third. Wellwood started his rally with a two-point fourth that cut his deficit to 6-5, then scored a big three-pointer in the fifth end to jump in front 8-6.

Poised to close things out comfortably with two counting bowls in the final end,

Wellwood instead had to sweat out the finish after McIntyre delivered a near-perfect shot that pushed one of Wellwood’s bowls aside and left Banks’ team with one counter.

However, attempting a delicate take-out of Wellwood’s second bowl in order to force an extra end, Banks sent a wobbling final bowl that rolled harmlessly wide of the mark to fall short by a point.

The tournament was named in honour of Pat and Gavin Reid, who were on hand to help present the first-place trophy and top-three prize payouts. Gavin Reid is credited as one of the driving forces behind the creation of Qualicum Beach’s indoor green, the only such facility on Vancouver Island, which opened in 2007.

“We’re very proud of the fact they asked us, and we were happy to accept,” Gavin Reid said of the recognition.

Next month, Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling will host the provincial junior indoor competition, for bowlers 19-under. The tourney takes place Feb. 17-18.

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Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club hosted the Pat and Gavin Reid mixed-triples tournament Jan. 13-14, 2018, drawing 36 players to Vancouver Island’s only indoor green. — J.R. Rardon photo

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