Anglesey’s Geraint Booth is crowned Welsh Senior Merit bowls champion

Geraint Booth of Anglesey is the 2019 Welsh crown green bowls champion.

Llanfairpwll’s Booth landed the WCGBA Senior Men’s Individual Merit title, also known as the Gwyn Morris Trophy, at Benllech last Sunday.

The islander beat Lewis Scott of St Asaph 21-12 in the final.

WCGBA president Dave Mathias hosted the event.

Benllech is not an easy green with its prominent crown and dips and hollows in unexpected places and gave the 32 players plenty to focus on.

In the first four, no one player stormed away with a strong lead. The four blocks seemed to be evenly matched and it was Scott Parry (St Asaph) who reached double figures first in his game with Craig Jones (Cunliffe).

Jones, down at the start, stayed with it to win 21-15. Bryn Hughes (Craig Y Don), Ryan Short (Bangor) and Daniel Jones (Llanrwst) also made it to round two.

In the middle section, Gary Roberts (Craig Y Don) had a nail-biting game with Michael Pritchard (Llanrwst) and won 21-19.

Dave (Rocky) Jones (Esclusham) had a comfortable win over Mark Lamb (New Brighton) 21-11. Four-time champion John Bailey (Llanrwst) sailed into round two, but past title winner John Bonatti (Coed Talon) lost 21-11 to Booth.

Down to the last 16. Craig Jones produced a stunning performance to beat Bryn Hughes 21-6. Lewis Scott also got away well to record a 21-9.

Nick Jones (Chirk AAA), Gary Roberts, John Short (Beaumaris) and Booth also earned their place in the last eight. Paul Hallett (Llay) quietly got on with his first and second round matches to join the others in the quarter-finals.

The last eight saw Craig Jones beaten 21-13 by Daniel Jones, Scott defeated Nick Jones 21-15 and Gary Roberts dominated John Short 21-4. Booth and Hallett had a tight game in the early stages before the rain came. Booth pushed on to finish 21-16.

In the semis, Booth met Gary Roberts, with the Llanfairpwll man moving 10-4 in front. Roberts, a former winner of the Merit in 1969, then chalked up a few ends to bring the game 10 across. Roberts took the lead 11-10, but Booth pulled away confidently, first to 14-11, then to 17-11. The Anglesey man sealed his place in the final 21-14.

Daniel Jones started off with a 11-7 lead against Scott, but some spirited bowling from the St Asaph man put him 17-12 up and he was to triumph 21-14.

Into the final and Booth appeared very cool, some of his precision bowling making Scott work hard to stay with him. In the end, Booth really began to pull away and won a comfortable 21-12 verdict.

Senior Merit champion Booth will now represent Wales at the BCGBA Merit in Derby next month. This also enters him for the Champion of Champions at Blackpool later in the calendar.

Also to qualify for the Derby day are Lewis Scott, Gary Roberts, Daniel Jones and Paul Hallett.

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