Women take centre stage at Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival

The final of the Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival's Over-60s singles event was contested by two women for the very first time yesterday.

The competition, sponsored by the Great Yarmouth Tourist Authority, saw Sheila Hardingham of Dilham Bowls Club miss out on the title as she lost 21-11 to Josie Tyers from the Church Warsop Club in Nottinghamshire.

The early stages of the final were a one-sided contest, with Josie leading 7-0 after five ends and 15-1 at nine ends.

Sheila then staged a fightback with two scores of two before Josie gained one shot on the next end.

By scoring two ones and a full house of four shots it looked as if Sheila was right back in the game but Josie had other ideas and scored a three and a one to take the 2012 title 21-11.

The first woman to be asked to join the tournament committee, Geraldine Reeve, became the first woman to mark a final at the festival.

In her semi-final Josie played John Poulter from the Chesterton Bowls Club, Cambridge.

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In this game Josie again raced into an 8-3 lead and was 15-6 ahead after 13 ends. John then began a fightback and scored on the next five ends to reduce the deficit to just three after 17 ends before Josie held her nerve to cross the finishing line 21-12 after 21 ends.

In the other semi-final Sheila played former winner Timmy Cox of North Walsham Bowls Club. Sheila gained the upper hand early on and was 6-3 up after five ends and 10-5 after 10.

She maintained the momentum and after 15 ends led 17-5, Timmy managed a slight fightback but Sheila scored the shots required for a place in the final, winning 21-10 after 21 ends.

The losing quarter-finalists were, Brian Taylor, Ken Hadleigh, R Duff and D Cowie.

Today the Pub on the Prom sponsored over 60 open pairs, played in a group format, starts at 9am.

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