Thanks to Lynn Pritchatt for producing this report below.
THE 2018 LES AND MEL EVANS MBE INVITATION MEMORIAL CLASSIC
The Easter Monday Invitation Classic held at Chadsmoor Progressive WMC in Cannock took on a whole new meaning this year. The 2018 competition was staged in the name of two great gentleman who lived and breathed Crown Green Bowls and, in particular, Chadsmoor Progressive Bowling Club – Les Evans and Mel Evans MBE. This year’s event was sponsored by Hillside Developments, Halsall Electrical, Osprey Water Management, Bob Horrocks, Media Access Solutions, Thurstons Bowls and Snooker, Mel Evans MBE and Lynn Pritchatt.
We amassed a high quality line up which included Greg Smith (W&W), the first man in the history of the event to win the tournament three consecutive years running.
Shropshire star and one of the games fabulous entertainers Callum Wraight, fresh from his victory in the Meole Brace Open the previous day, joined the great Brian Duncan, Greg Smith, Lee Lawton and Chris Brown to become the fifth player to lift the trophy on three occasions. Callum Wraight, the 2012 champion, breezed through his first round encounter against Staffordshire county player Nathan Dawes 21-8. His second round encounter saw him face his good friend South Yorkshire’s Chris Brown. In a highly entertaining battle, Callum came out on top 21-17. In the quarter final Callum faced W&W star Gareth Herbert and made quick work of this match with a 21-5 win. Callum’s semi-final encounter was an all Shropshire affair with Callum paired against Wayne Rogers. Wayne had been playing the tricky Chadsmoor green superbly, defeating reigning champion Greg Smith 21-10 in his quarter final. However, Callum’s green knowledge came to the fore and he secured his place in the final with a 21-10 win.
The top half of the draw saw Derbyshire county player David May perform magnificently all day. It was only David’s second visit to the Chadsmoor Bowling Green, having previously competed in the tournament following his Junior Merit win in 1998. David faced a tough first round clash with current BCGBA Champion of Champions winner, Shropshire’s Michael Beer. In a hard fought battle, David narrowly progressed to the second round with a 21-19 win. His second round was an equally close encounter against Staffordshire county captain Scott Simpson. By the narrowest of margins, David just edged to victory with a 21-20 win. Following two epic battles against two talented players, David had to continue his excellent form if he was to get over his quarter final match with reigning BCGBA Senior Merit champion Darren Plenderleith. His good form continued and he secured a semi-final place with a 21-13 victory. David’s semi-final opponent was W&W county player Tom Pritchard. Tom had also been in impressive form during his previous two matches but on this occasion was unable to stop the in-form May, with David earning himself a place in the final with a 21-11 win.
So to the final. With Callum Wraight fresh from his previous day’s win in the Meole Brace Open, already earning himself a place in the 2018 BCGBA Champion of Champions and David May showing superb form and clearly benefiting from his time spent playing on the famous Panel, the final was sure to be a nail biter. The final did not disappoint with both young men playing some excellent bowls. The final was a splendid match and both were worthy winners. It was Callum who edged over the line with a 21-18 victory to take the title for the third time.
The prizes were presented by 2018 BCGBA President Keith Andrews Esq from Lancashire. Sadly the weather played its part in reducing the number of spectators who normally make the annual pilgrimage to the Chadsmoor Progressive venue.
In his acceptance speech, Callum was clearly delighted and proud of his victory and made reference to how special this particular victory is.
Lynn Pritchatt announced the tournament would be staged in 2019 on Monday 22nd April.
The results are here.
Callum Wraight with the trophy presented by Lynn Pritchatt. Runner up Dave May is on the right and BCGBA President on the left.