THE 33rd annual Freeport Fleetwood Bowls Festival sprang into life when over 400 bowlers converged on the bowling greens of Fleetwood in an attempt to win some of the £8,000 prize fund on offer.
The last 32 in both of the singles events takes place on Thursday with the finals of all the Festival competitions including the singles, juniors and mixed pairs being played on Friday in the Marine Gardens.
Seven Fylde area bowlers battled their way into the last 32 stage: Paul Wilson, Darren Chambers, Mike Fleming, Tommy King, Neil Bennett, Darren Edmondson and Fleetwood’s sole survivor Mick Bennett.
Also through to the final stages are six former winners Paul Hillam (Bradford), Mike Leach (Preston), Martin Gilpin (Kendal), Jim Derby (Radcliffe), David Walker (Denton) and last year’s champion Graeme Wilson (Audenshaw) who is bidding to win the title two year’s in succession.
In the ladies singles competition there are no less than four former winners in the last 32 and they are fiercely competing to take the £1,000 first prize and book a place in the ladies’ Champion of Champions at The Waterloo in September.
These include: Gay Cooper (Little Neston), Catherine Lockwood (Preston), Karen Galvin (Paddington) and the Festival Chairman Pat Roscoe (Wigan).
Local hopes rest on the shoulders of seven lady bowlers: Jean Navin (Cleveleys), Julie Holcroft (Blackpool), Pat Conchie (St Annes) and the Fleetwood quartet of June Patmore, Rita Mizon, Lynn Rimmer and Eileen Fullalove. The popular junior competitions sponsored by Mercian Travel, take place on Thursday at 1.30 pm.
Men’s Last 32: L. Buxton (Keighley), D. Lunn (Congleton), P. Wilson (Lytham), D. Chambers (Blackpool), P. Hawker (High Peak), David Walker (Swinton), M. Fleming (Preston), D. Jackson (Macclesfield), C. Massey (Jnr) (Aintree), J. Melvin (Newcastle), M. Britton (Wigan), A. Daykin (Huddersfield), S. Mort (Wigan), B. Booth (Leek), R. Crowther (Huddersfield), M. Bennett (Fleetwood), C. MacDonald (Congleton), M. Wensley (Clitheroe), T. King (Blackpool), M. Gilpin (Kendal), David Walker (Denton), G. Wilson (Audenshaw), R. Foster (Preston), J. Hamer (Halifax), M. Sykes (Huddersfield), P. Hillam (Bradford), N. Bennett (Blackpool), I. Nicholson (Kendal), S. Woodward (Sheffield), J. Derby (Radcliffe), M. Leach (Preston), D. Edmondson (Singleton).
Ladies Last 32: J. Jolly (Preston), P. Conchie (St Annes), J. Navin (Cleveleys), J. Owen (Whitefield), E. Massey (Liverpool), R. Mizon (Fleetwood), M. Perkins (Wigan), D. Walker (Buxton), C. Williams (Shropshire), J. Patmore (Fleetwood), G. Cooper (Little Neston), M. Shaw (Wigan), M. Swift (Rotherham), E. Fullalove (Fleetwood), B. Livesley (Southport), L. Forshaw (Ashton-on-Ribble), B. Jones (Sandbach), C. Lockwood (Preston), L. Bennett (Penwortham), K. Mulvaney (Wigan), J. Gloag (Hyde), K. Earl (Sheffield), K. Galvin ( Paddington), B. Walsh (Burnley), J. Ramsdale (Wigan), J. Holcroft (Blackpool), P. Bennett (Stockport), L. Rimmer (Fleetwood), J. Mallinson (Huddersfield), K. Kelly (St Helens), S. Winterbottom (Hyde), P. Roscoe (Wigan)