PHOTO GALLERY: Rain fails to dampen spirits at Hunstanton and District Open Bowls Tournament

More than 200 players braved the rain as bowls took centre stage in Hunstanton during the town's annual week-long tournament.

Bowlers took to Cliff Parade Bowls Club's greens as they competed for a host of trophies during the Hunstanton and District Open Bowls Tournament.

Rinks were packed with players of all ages as singles, pairs and triples action thrilled crowds that watched competitors from all over the country take part.

And in a first for the iconic event, youngsters also took to the greens to try to bowl their way to the junior title.

Skilful and entertaining matches took place throughout the week from the competition's start date last Saturday.

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And after six days of exciting action, the event – organised by West Norfolk Council in conjunction with Hunstanton Cliff Parade Bowls Club – culminated in Friday's finals day.

At that night's presentation ceremony a special award was handed out to competition stalwart Basil Johnson.

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Johnson first organised the competition in 1981 and has been the tournament's backbone as organiser/adviser for most of its 31 years.

Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, the council's portfolio holder for sports, shared services and external relations, passed on thanks to Johnson while making the special presentation.

Lynne Playford, the council's sport development unit administrative officer, said: 'Despite the weather, the bowlers fought on and bowled through it.

'It was another fantastic week and it's always nice that people say the atmosphere – in a competition – is so friendly.'

Johnson, Sue Clare, Cliff Parade Bowls Club and Jeff Tucker, who officiated his first tournament as an umpire, were thanked for making the week run smoothly.

Sponsors Legge's of Hunstanton and James Johnson & Co (Accountancy) were also praised for their involvement in the annual festival of bowls.

For anyone interested in finding out more about the competition, or to enter next year's event, please contact Playford on 01553 818015. Entries can be made up until April 1, 2013.

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