Gary Ellis retains title at Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal

The Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal 2010 began at the Amendoeira Golf Resort, near the town of Silves, with the warm-up Taylor Bowls Trophy.  Bowling in heavy rain on the first day didn’t stop these northern English bowlers who say they are used to the whims of English weather and when the sun came out on the following day, the competition heated up along with the weather.  

The winner of this preliminary tournament was Andy Murray from Cheshire who was delighted with his prize which included an Oceânico holiday for two people.

The main Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal 2010 started with 65 non-qualifying bowlers, who had mainly flown in from the UK, competing for a place in the final 64.  The qualifying bowlers, who had won selected tournaments in the UK and Portugal had automatic entry to the last 64.  Several busy days of bowling ensued with some surprises: Graeme Wilson, runner up of the Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal 2009 was knocked out by Scott Fisher in the last 16, and Simon Coupe, the number three player in the game was prevented from reaching the semi finals by Richie Goddard, a non-qualifying outsider.

The most nerve wracking match for Gary Ellis was against Wayne Ditchfield from the North Lancashire & Flyde county team; the bowling was exemplary and the tension ran high but ultimately Gary won 21-19.  In the final, Gary met Jonathan Copeland, the youngest qualifier at 18 years old, but Gary showed his experience with a win of 21-8, netting him the title and a 2,000 Euro cash prize.

The finals day was filmed for Sky Sports and prizes were presented by John Aldridge, ex-Ireland and ex-Liverpool striker, and the day finished with the gala dinner at the Amendoeira Golf Resort clubhouse where thanks were given to all the sponsors, The Resident Group, The Association of Tourism of the Algarve (Associação Turismo do Algarve), Taylor Bowls and Auto Rent.