Eden District brought off a stunning Warwick Financial Maturity Bowls South Africa Masters Open Singles Championships double at Wingate CC, Pretoria before a packed bank of enthusiastic supporters at the weekend.
Four of South Africa’s best made it through Sunday after seven rounds to the 21 shots to win the finals of the calendar’s annual blue ribbon event and while there are no upsets at this level, odds were the five times men’s and women’s titleholders would triumph.
It was not to be.
Holder, Colleen Webb Piketh (Johannesburg) and her Commonwealth Games team mate Elma Davis (George) went toe-to-toe, with Davis triumphing 21-17, while SA No1 men’s player Gerry Baker (Jhb) also succumbed narrowly, 21-16 to Davis’s club mate and Protea Billie Radloff.
Said Bowls SA president Rob Forbes: ‘A scintillating weekend at a great tournament. Bowls of the highest standard throughout all three championships and a barn-storming win from the champions. Great organisation and administration from Wingate CC – South African bowls at its best and just what was hoped for before we leave for the Commonwealth Games.’
It was both winners’ first Masters gold medal; for Baker, the sole unbeaten player in seven qualifying matches and bronze medallist last year, it was a seventh silver medal; he is off to Australia in April for the Games. Classy Radloff, back from injury, showed superb touch against a truly master player.
Open Women: Elma Davis (George, Eden) 21 Colleen Webb-Piketh (Bedford CC, JBA) 17
Open Men: Billy Radloff (George, Eden) 21 Gerry Baker (Bryanston Sports, JBA) 16
Women: Nan Roos (Dundee, KZN) 21 Loraine Victor (Wingate Park; BGN) 19
Men: Bernardus van der Spuy (Wingate Park, BGN) 10 Kenny Kyriacou (PHSOB, BGN) 21
Women: Lavona Gordon (Helderberg, WP) 4 Samantha Olivier (Pollsmoor, WP) 21
Men: Paul White (Durban Wanderers, PNB) 19 Wayne Roberts (Stella Park, PNB) 21
Report by: By Alan Simmonds, Media Officer, Bowls South Africa
Pictures of Radloff and Davis courtesy of Trevor Davis