Lynne loses out to old pal in nationals

Lynne Bowen, who was born and bred in Norwich and learnt her bowls skills at the Norfolk club, came close to winning another national title at Royal Leamington Spa at the weekend.

The 38-year-old daughter of Keith and Brenda Whitehead, who now plays out of the Broadway club in Worcestershire, was foiled by her life-long friend, Amy Gowshall, with whom she won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in 2002.

Playing brilliantly alongside England team-mate Sue Davies, Bowen powered into the semi-finals of the national pairs championship at the expense of pairs from Leicestershire, Durham, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire.

But their run was halted when high-flying Cleethorpes mother-and-daughter duo Christine and Amy Gowshall got on top in the second half of a thrilling semi-final, and returned a 23-11 card.

'It was weird playing against such a close friend,' said Bowen.

'Amy and I go back a long way, having come through the England juniors together, but I have to say they deserved to win, and I was really pleased when they went on to win the title.'

Earlier last week, prospects that Bowen might meet her mum, Brenda, who was skipping a Norfolk bowls club quartet, in the final of the fours were dashed when Lynne's Broadway team were eliminated in the second round.

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Brenda Whitehead steered Anne Read, Jean Edwards and Joyce Webster into the quarter-finals, where the Norfolk outfit lost narrowly, 19-15, to Desborough Town, skipped by Sharon Hall, who went on to reach the final.

Norfolk's junior bowlers, who had their sights set on lifting the Amy Rose Bowl, showed their skills as they defeated Sussex, 38-30, and Huntingdonshire, 47-20, but were outplayed by Surrey, 49-21, in the quarter- finals. The Norfolk youngsters, who show great promise, were Rebecca Body, Jessica Ward, Anna Chalk, Bex Field, Alicia Segasby, Sophie Blanche, Rebecca Carter and Harriet Segasby.