Elite quest for the ultimate crown

Waterloo Bowls Champion Simon Coupe from Preston at the Waterloo Hotel, Blackpool.
Waterloo Bowls Champion Simon Coupe from Preston at the Waterloo Hotel, Blackpool.
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THE stage is set for the biggest week in the Blackpool crown green bowling calendar.

The countdown is on to the coronation of the 2012 Ospey Waterloo champion.

The historic event at the Waterloo Hotel, South Shore, dates back to 1907 and Saturday sees half of the 128 competitors in action, with the other 64 playing on Monday.

Each bowler must win twice to go through to the last 32 on Tuesday.

The last eight play down to a finish on Wednesday, when the most sought-after title in the sport will be won.

The format is shorter this year as the bowlers play off five and not from zero.

Preston’s Simon Coupe will be bidding for a third successive Waterloo win and a fifth final appearance.

However, the bookies make Gary Ellis the 4-1 favourite, with Coupe at 8-1 wih Graeme Wilson. Sunday is finals day for the Waterloo ladies’ competition, when 32 bowlers play down to a finish.

The consolation event, the Waterloo Plate, takes place a week tomorrow.

To augment an excellent week’s bowling, Marton Institute will be hosting an invitational competition next Thursday.

Men’s Waterloo Saturday: Simon Coupe (Preston) v Simon Homer (Dudley Dell) Peter Marrow (Wigan) v Roger Morgan (Sale) Gary Cooper (Doncaster) v Dennis Hartley (Halifax) Gavin Dunkley (W and W) v Andrew Cairns (Rossendale) Nick Hughes (Wrexham) v Chris Brown (Woodlands) David O’Brien (Stalybridge) v Carl Fielding (Birmingham) Roger Crowther (Huddersfield) v Paul Heap (Chadderton) Duncan Reeves (Pudsey) v Peter Consterdine (Bolton) Harry Chapman (Atherstone) v Andy Mailor (Sheffield) Wayne Ditchfield (Eccleston) v Phil Lee (Liverpool) Gary Ellis (Whitefield) v Chris Ball (Telford) Peter Fielding (Rochdale) v John Rothwell (Hadfield) John Foulds (Blackpool) v Mark Prosser (Whitefield) David Walker (Swinton) v James Seville (W and W) Gary Smith (Leeds) v Matt Kelly Walley (Burton) Jamie Wyer (Dudley Dell) v James Grimston (St Annes) Richard Alvis Matthews (Leeds) v Andy Fergus (Rochdale) Ian Nicholson (Kendal) v Craig Saville (Liverpool) Mark Saul (Accrington) v Paul Garswood (Stockport) Dave McDermott (Wirral) v Dean Ferris (Stoke) Carl Armitage (Warrington) v Ryan Prosser (W and W) Kevin Shaw (Bolton) v Ben Scott (Stockport) John Bailey (North Wales) v Steve Copeland (Chadderton) Barry Booth (Stoke) v Ian Pendlebury (Bolton) Glyn Shuttleworth (Barrowford) v Dave Fisher (Wakefield) Peter Grimston (Chester) v Jim Derby (Radcliffe) Danny Nixon (Winsford) v Mel Byron (Blackpool) Albert Prescott (Atherton) v Ivan Smout (Redditch) Stuart Goodwin (Warrington) v Tom Parker (W and W) M Fielder (Wem) v Roy Nicholson (Halifax)

Monday: Bill Burlinson (Warrington) v Andy Hayes (St Helens) Richard Lawrence (Leeds) v Steve Pratt (Coventry) Richard Lawrence (Leeds) v Steve Pratt (Coventry) James Hanson (Leeds) v Andrew Nutall (Birmingham) Steve Freer (Birmingham) v Ray Goodhand (Warrington) Alan Hill (Atherton) v Phil King (Shropshire) Paul Bailey (Sheffield) v Anthony Harper (Sunny Rhyl) Stuart Mort (Standish) v Graham Jones (Barrow) Simon Trentham (Birmingham) v Michale Opie (Haslingden) Andy Thornton (Barrow) v Tommy Johnstone (Poynton) Bob Clark (Isle Of Man) v David Bradwell (Chapel en Le Frith) Andrew Owen (Stoke) v Alan Thompson (Mirfield) Liam McEgan (St Helens) v Mark Hughes (Leeds) Mike Geraghty (Stretford) v Tony Gatley (Warrington) Chris Morrison (Bury) v Kevin Kearns (St Helens) Danny Mayers (Atherton) v Jason Jones (Sunny Rhyl) Gareth Gwilliam (Hyde) v Tommy King (Blackpool) Ian Rutter (Wigan) v Stewart Kenyon (Whittle le Woods) Gareth Foster (Sunny Rhyl) v Darren Mountford (Oldham) Jason Groom (Penn) v Lee Heaton (Chorley) Ricky Cochrane (Kirkham) v Glynn Cookson (Winsford) Steve Barber (Chapel En Le Frith) v John Kennish (Isle Of Man) Andy Buckley (Chadderton) v Ashley Daykin (Huddersfield) Matt Gillies (Bolton) v John Hignett Junior (Liverpool) Callum Wraight (Shrewsbury) v Shaun Morrey (Crewe) Phil Boydell (Leigh) v Glyn Picknell (Shropshire) Mark Britton (Wigan) v Nick Brooks (Rochdale) Ryan Clark (Sheffield) v Steve Edwards (Chorley) Neil Whittaker (Stoke) v Michael Holden (Rochdale) George Chadwick (Westhoughton) v Paul Dudley (Radcliffe) John Rawlinson (Frodsham) v Ian Booth (Halifax) Charlie Bebbington (Warrington) v David Jackson (Macclesfield) v Craig Gant (Huddersfield)

Ladies’ Waterloo: Claire Pugh (Dudley) v Sonia Robson (Bedworth) Jill Gibson (Bedworth) v Karen Galvin (Warrington) Pat Roscoe (Wigan) v Cath Wall (Flixton) Dilys Jackson (Salford) v Sharon King (Blackpool) Maureeen Perkins (Wigan) Lynsey Gorman (Wirral) Kelly Round (Birmingham) v Anne Leonard (Wigan) Debbie Farmer (Sheffield) v Anne O’Loughin (Birmingham) Faye Montgomery (Birmingham) v Kath Watkinson (Preston) Julie Alderman (Stafford) v Rachel Bennett (West Bromwich) Veronica Lyons (Whiston) v Lorraine Kirby (Birmingham) Lynn Bennett (Wigan) v Alison Young (Salford) Lillian Hall (Wigan) Amanda Ridley (Stretford) Kath Tunstall (Liverpool) v Les Smith (Warrington) Jean Ralphs (Warrington) v Maliza Herbert (Birmingham) Alyson Evans (Nuneaton) v Mandy Pagett (Dudley) Kate Fall (Birmingham) v Katrina Earl (Sheffield)

Waterloo Plate: Martin Gilpin (Kendal) v Kevin Truby (Preston) Paul Dennison (Carnforth) v William Rigby (Leigh) Carl Bettersbridge (Sutton Coldfield) v Wayne Usher (Heywood) Darren Woodend (Barrow) v Nick Howells (Woodfield) Phil Clapham (Buxton) v Alan France (Stoke) Darren Chambers (Blackpool) v Paul Clegg (Wigan) Stephen Morrey (Crewe) v Father Geoffrey Hilton (Bolton) Mel Evans (Chadsmoor) v Aaron Harrison (Burnley).