RADNOR Indoor Bowls Stadium hosted their annual Heart of Wales tournament over the weekend of the September 30 to October 1.

The decision was taken to change the format of the tournament this year with games being played over the Saturday and Sunday only.

This allowed those who had to work and/or travel and found it difficult to play on a Friday the opportunity to take part.

A total of 24 triples were attracted to the Heart of Wales this year which was a very welcome increase from last year. It was particularly pleasing to see teams willing to travel from as far afield as Whitlands, Pembrokeshire, Caerphilly, Iyslwn, Merthyer Cardiff, Swansea and Birmingham.

The group stages were played on Saturday on a ‘round robin’ basis. The top two teams from each group continued to the knock out stages of the main Heart of Wales Tournament and a chance to win the top prize of £450. The remaining teams went on to compete in a separate knock-out stage with the prize being the Barry Halstead Memorial Trophy.

Semi-finals saw local teams “3 Strongbow Please” consisting of Jess Sims, Luke Harwood and Shaun Jones play against “Taylor’s 3” who comprised 3 of our Welsh Ladies elite squad members Caroline Taylor, Emma Woodcock and Laura Daniels. The ladies won this semi final 9-3 to see them through to the final where they played against “Mismatch” comprising Ken Price, Lee Daniels and Ed Jelfs, along with a very able substitute in Wendy Price. In their semi-final “Mismatch” put out another local team “Wasp Attack” consisting of Dan Powell, Sam Roff and Ashley Morris with a score of 11 - 4.

The final, played over 15 ends was played in a very competitive style. Taylors’ 3 went into an early lead and held that position until the 12th end when Mismatch fought back to make the score equal at 10 shots each. Tactical bowling was paramount, shot position changing frequently as the last 3 ends were played out. Taylors’3 were 2 shots down playing the last end but with good position around the jack. With Mismatch holding shot and also having good position, skip Laura played a running bowl which hit the target and took the jack through the head to the back bowls. Unfortunately for the ladies, opposing skip Ken Price had played a bowl which now held the shot and also claimed the match for his team Mismatch.

In the final of the Barry Halstead Memorial trophy a team including two visiting players from Caerphilly, father and son Mark and George Lewis joined forces with our own wheelchair bowler Mick Thorn to form the “Dragons”. They went on to win the match against “Brooks-side” consisting Pat Brooks, Margaret Hart and Ken Evans with a score of 20-9.

At the end of the tournament Vice President Ken Evans presented the trophies and prizes to all the winners.