Bowls - Risbygate Masters



The much awaited Risbygate Masters bowls tournament was played out last Sunday to a packed house of enthusiastic bowlers. All the top names previously agreed attended and the knockout competition started sharp at 10am with some world class bowling.

Liam Botten one of Risbygate’s qualifiers was drawn with ex world champion Mervyn King and won through to the quarter final.

Mark Royal Risbygate’s England International played Martin Heitzman in a keenly fought contest which finished with Mark taking the match.

The second session started with Wayne Willgress brushing aside Billy Jackson and Dan Brown knocking out Greg Harlow this year men’s world finalist which was the second time Greg has lost at Risbygate in recent months. Martin Rumball the second Risbygate qualifier drew world champion Les Gillett who recently won the world indoor pairs and was semi-finalist in the world singles and showed some class to ease out Martin whilst Ladies current world champion Katherine Rednall dispatched Martin Spencer, and Mathew Orrey overtook Rebecca Field.

 In the quarter- final Liam Botten lost out to Wayne Willgress who was now showing consistent form and Mark Royal saw off Graham Smith. Danny Brown went down to Mathew Orrey and Katherine Rednall wore down Les Gillett.

The semi-final line up produced even more excitement with the home crowd willing on Mark Royal however Wayne Willgress held strong and made it through. On the other rink, Mathew Orrey came up against a determined ladies champion and had to settle for second best which made the final line up of Wayne and Katherine.

After a hard fought game, Katherine Rednall proved why she is the ladies world champion running out the winner with a final score of 9-6 7-5.

The tournament was well-supported by local businesses, specifically Armstrongs Funeral Service, G.L. Cars, CMC Properties, Pitkin & Ruddock, Pro-Flat, Towergate Insurance and True Vehicle Sales.

This was the first Masters Tournament organised by the club and all the players were so impressed with the playing surface and general arrangements including hospitality they would be happy to return next year at which time the club would look to make improvements and offer even greater prizes within this clash of Masters.

With a host of sporting activities available, the indoor bowls hall is a superb example of the facilities offered at Risbygate Sports Club, most certainly a hidden gem within the heart of Bury St Edmunds.

Results:   Round 1: Liam Botten bt Mervyn King 6-5 6-7 2-1; Wayne Willgress bt Billy Jackson 3-5 5-3 2-0; Mark Royal bt Martin Heitzman 9-2 11-1; Graham Smith bt Ellen Falkner 7-2 2-7 2-0; Danny Brown bt Greg Harlow 2-7 6-1 2-1; Mathew Orrey by Rebecca Field 5-4 9-6; Katherine Rednall bt Martin Spencer 6-5 6-5; Les Gillett bt Martin Rumball 6-5 9-1.  Quarter-finals: Willgress bt Botten 3-8 11-4 2-0; Royal bt Smith 9-6 2-7 2-0; Orrey bt Brown 9-1 8-0; Rednall bt Gillett 4-9 5-4 2-0.  Semi-finals: Willgress by Royal 3-4 8-3 2-1; Rednall bt Orrey 9-4 6-5.  Final: Rednall bt Willgress 9-6, 7-5.




The Risbygate Sports Club, in Bury St Edmunds, is gearing up for a major indoor tournament next month which is to attract some of the top world and international class bowls players.

The Risbygate Masters is taking place at the venue in Westley Road, on Sunday, February 19, and the competition will consist of 14 of the UK top players plus two of Risbygate’s best who have played a club knockout competition to join the elite group.

Mark Royal, the club’s own international, has invited over a dozen of the top 16 to join him in this first competition which is hoped to become an annual event held in Bury, just after the world championships.

The event is set to attract much media attention from the top bowlers over the country and will be covered by local newspapers and radio plus coverage from ITV. And it will attract the top money earners on the bowls circuit who will be playing for a £1,000 first prize.

Spectator tickets will be limited but free and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

All day refreshments will be available and the event will culminate with the prize giving from major local sponsors all of which have been instrumental in bringing this major tournament to the town.

Risbygate Sports Club’s indoor bowls hall is fully heated and air conditioned with a first class playing surface and is ideal for world class bowlers.

They have a very high standard with local members Dan Poole beating past world champion Greg Harlow last month and Liam Botten recently edged out by the current world champion Nick Brett.

Invitations have been sent out to top players to join Mark Royal at the tournament including Greg Harlow, Mervyn King, Billy Jackson, Matthew Orrey, Les Gillett, Rebecca Field, Katherine Rednall, Martin Heitzman, Ellen Falkner, Danny Brown and Martin Spencer, with a couple more to confirm.

All bowls enthusiasts wishing to attend and enjoy this Masters of Champions should call the office at Risbygate Sports Club on 01284 755468 between 8am and noon, Monday to Friday, to guarantee their free entry.

An internal knockout competition has been held at Risbygate Sports Club for two home bowlers to take reserved places alongside the stars in the Masters competition.

A total of 17 members participated playing two sets of seven ends with a tie break of three ends.

In the top half of the draw the play-off was contested by Dan Poole and Martin Rumball.

Poole won the first set but Rumball, boosted by a full house of four shots on end one, edged the second.

Poole had to save a match lie on end two of the tie break and then in a similar position on end three hit his target, only for Rumball’s shot bowl to remain closest.

In the other half Stuart Gaught was one of the favourites but lost in round one against Mike Bowen.

Bowen then lost to Avril Nicholls, one of only two women in the 17.

In the play-off Nicholls faced Liam Botten and although the margins were slender Botten won by two sets to nil.

Rumball and Botten will join the stars on February 19 hoping for some glory and dreaming of the prize money.


Risbygate Masters 2017 Sponsors

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