Quintin van Jaarsveld
Commonwealth Games competitors and a new title sponsor made for a magnificent Dis-Chem Margate Week Bowls Tournament last week.
A total of 66 teams from across South Africa and even Zimbabwe contested the 52nd edition of the popular annual five-day tournament, which culminated at Margate Bowling Club on Friday.
Matches were also played at Riverside and Hibiscus Retirement Village and R50 000 in prize money was up for grabs, split evenly between the men and the ladies.
The men’s tournament was one of the most enthralling and tightly contested in history.
The Port Shepstone Country Club team of multi-time South African champion Eddie Fann, Roy Anderson, Kevin Lancaster and Howard Frizelle eked out the win due to a superior shot aggregate after winning seven of their eight games.
“After finishing third last year, it’s great that we managed to get the win this time. The competition was very stiff and it was a fantastic week all-round,” Anderson told eHowzit.
The quartet – along with Dave Price – have been on a major roll recently, winning both the midweek and A leagues. Anderson and Lancaster also impressed at the South African Country Districts in George, where they won six of their nine games.
“We’ve got very strong bowlers at Sheppie. As a fours, we’re very experienced and we complement each other well. We look forward to next year’s Margate Week and hopefully we can do it again,” said Anderson.
It was déjà vu in the ladies tournament as Margate bowlers Ellen Cawker and South African coach and selector Jessica Henderson and Bedford View members Colleen Piketh – who won silver and bronze at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast – and Brenda Webb won for the second year in a row.
“It’s quite a thrill to win again,” Cawker, a former national team player and manager, told eHowzit.
“It’s the most amazing tournament. It’s always lovely to see Colleen and Brenda and to play with them. Colleen had a great Commonwealth Games and to have people of her calibre play and interact with the other teams lends more prestige to the tournament.”
The quartet form the most dominant ladies team in recent history, having won three of the four tournaments they’ve contested as a unit. They finished as the runners-up the other year.
It’s not all about winning for Cawker and company though.
“You always want to do well, but the main thing is playing with people you enjoy playing with. Winning is just a bonus,” she said.
Entertainment was provided at Margate Bowling Club throughout the week with evening music by local musician Brian Smalberger and Durban-based Kate Vink. It was clear that a good time was had by all bowlers both on and off the greens.
Margate Bowling Club is involved in the local community, especially with Hospice and Rotary, and donated a wheelchair to Hospice on the last day of the tournament.
Johnny Louch, a member of the organising committee, told eHowzit, “The event is one of the richest tournaments in the province and keeps going from strength to strength.
“It was another excellent week; the weather was kind to us and the bowls and entertainment were great. Dis-Chem was also absolutely outstanding and have certainly added value to the South Coast. A big thanks to them and all the other sponsors.”
Main photo: George Henderson from RE/MAX by the Sea congratulates men’s winners Roy Anderson, Eddie Fann, Howard Frizelle and Kevin Lancaster along with Hibiscus Retirement Village CEO Andrew Crooks.