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Shocks galore as Autumn Waterloo builds to a big finish in Blackpool

Women's Waterloo winner Hannah McDonald with her daughter
Women's Waterloo winner Hannah McDonald with her daughter

Big names have gone out in the last 64 and last 32 stages of the Autumn Waterloo Handicap in Blackpool as the excitement builds ahead of Wednesday’s finals day.

Martin Gilpin went down 13-21 to Congleton bowler Dave Lunn, while his travel partner also from Kendal Ian Nicholson lost out to last year’s winner Wayne Ditchfield 21-19 in the last 64.

Former winner Lee Heaton was sent packing by another ex-champion Chris Mordue 11-21.

Other notable victims at the South Shore bowls arena were Liverpool’s Mike Tunstall and Doncaster’s Danny Sillitoe.

In yesterday’s last 32 stage, Barrow’s Andy Thornton was expected to see off Liverpool bowler Mike Davies, who upset the odds 21-20.

Garstang bowler Tim Houghton, the 2016 winner, went safely through to today’s last 16 by beating Simon Memmott of Sheffield.

Spring Waterloo winner Kevan Shaw of Westhoughton is still in with a great chance of completing the double after beating Stalybridge’s Barry Vinden 21-16.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the round saw bookies’ favourite Graeme Wilson crash out 21-20 to James Martin of Huddersfield.

Two giants of the game and former winners were up next, with Preston bowler Simon Coupe beating Wales’ John Bailey 21-15.

David Higginbottom won a 21-19 thriller against Chris Mordue, then holder Ditchfield crashed out 21-17 to Yorkshire’s Shawn Freewin.

Last 16 ties: Mike Davies (Liverpool) v Stuart Mort (Blackpool), Tim Houghton (Garstang) v Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton), James Martin (Huddersfield) v Jon Palmer (Shrewsbury), Simon Coupe (Preston) v Ian France (Cumbria), Phil Lee (Liverpool) v Ed Furniss (Derby), Paul Evans (Staffordshire) v David Higginbottom (Leigh), Shawn Frewin v Matty Worden (Wrexham), Kevin Boon (Congleton) v Danny Mayers (Wigan).

First-time competitor Hannah McDonald of Derby won the Manning Global Ladies’ Waterloo, beating Lynsey Gorman from the Wirral 21-17 in the final.

The Marton Institute Open 64 competition reaches its conclusion on Tuesday

Those winning through the first three qualifying events were GI Wilson, Simon Coupe, Tommy Kitchen, Duncan Reeves, Billy Speed and Graham Hickey, with the final two places decided last night.

Top players Simon Coupe, Greg Smith, Graeme Wilson and Callum Wraight have been invited to face off in Friday’s winner-takes-all £1,000 challenge at Marton Institute from 7.30pm. Admission is £2.