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BCGBA Senior Individual Merit 2018 Report

Chris Mordue finally got his hands on the BCGBA Senior Individual Merit trophy after beating Wayne Ditchfield 14 in the final. He had trailed 6-3 early on but went 14-8 and 19-10 up on a mark across the middle, and stopped Wayne getting any breaks himself. Wayne scored two 2s to get back to 14-19 before Chris scored a two and added this triumph to the 2010 Champion of Champions. Chris had beaten two of the other three most fancied players, Callum Wraight 15 in the 1st round and Simon Coupe 19 in the Quarter Finals. He also beat James Seville 11, Andy Raymond 17, from 12-6 down, and Danny Barwise 15 in the Semi Finals. Wayne though had been in imperious form throughout the day, only conceding 37 shots up to the final. He started off by beating Andrew Skyes 4, then Craig Richardson 6, and his next three opponents 21-9, Mick Andrews, John Bailey and Gareth Gwillam. Gareth defeated Paul Lamb 18 in his Quarter Final, and Danny Barwise beat Ed Furniss 14 in his Quarter.

On his television interview after with Globegig, Chris Mordue was over the moon with the win. “I know I appear older than I look but I’m still only 53, but have been bowling since the dinosaur age. I never thought this day would come, I always thought it was out of reach because of my game, even though I’ve won other big things, but bowls can be played young or old. Concentration is more difficult now but kept it together today.”

On playing Callum Wraight first game, “I’ve played Callum lots over the years, in finals too, and if I can beat him, it’s on a holding green like today. But after beating him I told myself to start over again, it’s only one game.”

Talking about other players he beat on the way, “Commiserations to everyone I played, especially Wayne, who is a quality act and is going to win Waterloos and All Englands. I was aware from the Quarters how well he was playing, and knew that he was playing the long corners. I tried to keep him out of there and get inside his head as he is an incredible and natural player. The support helped me and the green died and got slower and Wayne struggled with that, I did struggle myself later on. I’ve put in so much time and effort and it’s finally paid off. I remember Gary Ellis saying in the Waterloo that things happen at the right time. I was 12-6 down against Andy Raymond and it started to rain and made the green heavier and helped me overturn that. Everything dropped into line from the type of green, to the weather and the speed of the green. Won most tosses too and took advantage. Will look now to get the 2 caps I need to make 100 appearances for Yorkshire.”

Finally, Chris added “thanks to all those who supported me, including my son Josh who’s my biggest critic. It means so much to finally win it. Thank you to the organisers, from the catering, greenkeeper, sponsors to globegig for filming it. Thank you all.”

Wayne Ditchfield admitted “I was outbowled in the final, after playing so well all day, it just wasn’t my day. Chris played well all day, especially in the final. I didn’t think I could lose, but he asked me questions and I didn’t have any answers for them and didn’t play well enough. I thought it was going to be like the Waterloo, having won that in my second final, but now I’ve lost in two of these finals. Time is on my side, so hope I will win it in the future. The final green was dead apart from picking up speed on the brown patches. Other green was slow in places, so was awkward all day and didn’t adapt in the final. Can’t take anything away from Chris though, he played unbelievable, he’s from Yorkshire and a good friend of mine. There was good support throughout the day, just a couple of iffy shouts in the final.”

BCGBA President Keith Andrews thanked “the Grange for staging the competition, from the secretary to the groundskeeper, the volunteers who helped make it a success. Thanks to the referees and assistant referees and the committee, and Graham Rolls was a rock helping with the raffle. Also thanks to Mark Bircumshaw who is interim CEO, John Coxill who helped run it, the security people and to globegig for televising it. I thank everyone so much.”

About Rob Burroughs

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