Bowls Association

Web Portal - 2022


Reports on qualification games

by Team Manager Graham Phillips

Following an extensive trials process involving 38 of the best bowlers in the County, a 28 man squad was Selected to represent Gloucestershire in the Middleton Cup.

18th of June saw the first match v Herefordshire, 3 Glos players were making their first appearance in the M/Cup, Redlands Green’s Andy GADD, Glos City’s Steve ALLSOPP, & Matt ARKLE from Cam. 2 bowlers were also called back into the team after several years out, Nick HOLLIDAY from Suffolk Square & Chris ROACH of Barnwood.

After 5 ends Gloucestershire trailed by 11 shots, at 10 ends Glos had a 22 shot lead, brought about by a run of 20 shots over 7 ends by the rink of Andy GADD, Josh PHILLIPS, Pete STINCHCOMBE & skip Ian GAULD.  

Gloucestershire went on to win the match by 28 shots 134 - 106 progressing to the second round where their opponents would be Wiltshire, who had defeated the Mighty Devon, the most successful County in recent years winning 10 of the last 20 Middleton Cups.

9th of July saw the team travel to Weston-super-mare, Donkeys & Icecream were the last things on our mind, Wiltshire were the focus, several positional changes saw Pete STINCHCOMBE making his debut at ‘skip’   Gloucestershire led by 8 at 5 ends, Wiltshire turned on the pressure during the middle of the match to lead by 20 shots at 10 ends & 14 shots at 15 ends. BUT, the last 6 ends saw the fight in the Gloucestershire team, the rink of Joe HARDWICK Keith HINDER Paul BRYANT & skip Lee WILLIAMSON picked up 16 shots over the last 6 ends to lead the charge. The Noise from the players & supporters was only bettered by the ‘shed’ at Kingsholm.

Gloucestershire won 124 - 115, moving into the ¼ final match v Cornwall.

23rd of July, saw a confident Gloucestershire step onto the Green at North Petherton to face Cornwall, winners of the M/Cup in 2009 & 10.  A strong Gloucestershire squad meant that Several changes could be made to the team.

A close fought match saw the lead change several times over the first 10 ends with Glos down by 6. The team needed a catalyst, up stepped the rink of Finley WILLIAMSON Jack GROVER James ‘Jimmy’ FITZGERALD & skip Stu HODGES, playing on rink 1, the show rink, in front of the club house they picked up a staggering 24 shots over the next 10 ends, the sight of Stu bounding down the Green, punching the air & ‘high fiving’ everyone within the post code (including several Cornwall supporters ) was the boost the team needed. At 18 ends we now led by 13 shots.

A strong Cornwall finish left the match tied with just 3 ends to play across 2 rinks. On their 21st end Lee WILLIAMSON’S rink picked up 5 shots.  The rink of Anthony COTTON Adam SMITH Chris DAVIES & skip Nigel CANSDALE dropped a  1 on their 20th end, going into the last end we lead by 4. With both sets of players stood around rink 3 the pressure was on. 4 fantastic bowls by Ant & Adam forced the Cornwall back end to try to kill the end, MISS, MISS, BANG ! deadend. Back we go to play in the same direction.

Manager Graham PHILLIPS was pacing around the Green like an expectant father at the maternity ward. Good opening bowls from Ant Adam & Chris again forced Cornwall to drive, MISS, MISS. 2 shots to Glos & a win by 6 shots, 118 - 112


Gloucestershire head for LEAMINGTON on 10th September for the Middleton Cup semi final, where they face Hertfordshire .   Their last appearance was in 2007.



Report by Team Manager Graham Phillips

In the inimitable words of Graham Phillips himself :

“ Saturday 10th September at a sunny Leamington Spa, saw Gloucestershire compete in their first Middleton Cup semi final for 15years, 6 players survived from that 2007 team.   Gloucestershire have only won once, in 1936, also appearing in the final in 1948.

The success of Peter Stinchcombe in the Men’s 4-Wood Singles event in reaching the semi final, forced last minute changes to the team.

Gloucestershire got off to a strong start against Hertfordshire and at 10 ends the lead was 17 shots, but Herts fought back during ends 11-15, which saw them take the lead, so we now trailed by 2.

At 18 ends we trailed by 6 shots, momentum was now with Herts.  Gloucestershire lost 114 - 125.  Hertfordshire would go on to lose the final to Berkshire 95 - 133.

Sunday 11th September gave Gloucestershire a second opportunity for inter-County success in the Balcomb Trophy, last minute changes to both  Gloucestershire rinks, saw James Fitzgerald come into the team, & Peter Stinchcombe move across to skip.

Our opponents, Essex, built up a strong lead and were ahead by 15 shots on 5 ends, and they maintained a double-digit lead for most of the match, until a spirited fight back by Gloucestershire, such that at 18 ends we were only down by 7.

The rink of HARDWICK-FITZGERALD-CANSDALE & Lee WILLIAMSON finished 22-16 up.  The rink of Finley WILLIAMSON-COLDRICK-GAULD & STINCHCOMBE, had 2 ends to play and needed 4 shots to tie, but it was not to be.

Gloucestershire lost 39 - 45.   Essex went on to beat Yorkshire in the final by 15 shots.

A valiant effort across the board by the Gloucestershire team, over the weekend, just coming up short in both competitions, BUT the team spirit is there, and I’m sure as a County we will again appear at Leamington Spa in the not too distant future.

I was extremely proud of the entire squad for their efforts during the season, it was a great achievement to qualify for Leamington Spa in both team events, I’m sure a Trophy will soon come back to Gloucestershire.

Throughout the 2022 campaign, the support from other Gloucestershire bowlers and their families was fantastic, they travelled at their own expense to ‘support their team’.  They went to Weston-s-Mare, Somerset.  They went to North Petherton, Somerset.  They turned out in massive numbers at Leamington Spa, and for myself and the squad that meant a lot.  Thank you. “





Report on National Men’s Top Club Finals at Leamington Spa

17th/18th September 2022


In the dramatic words of Lee Williamson

Nothing could be better than the simply-stated, but gripping account of the two days of effort by the Cheltenham lads to secure one of the most demanding of all English National Inter-Club titles, produced by one of the key players, Lee Williamson !   Along with some emotional images, showing just how much it meant to the members of the team to win against such esteemed opponents !

“  The team

2-wood:   Finley Williamson

4-wood:   Lee Williamson

Pairs:   Nick Holliday, Nathan Kitchen

Triples:   Adam Smith, Jack Williams, Matt Cuthbert.

Fours:   Nick Charlwood, Alex White, James Fitzgerald, Stuart Hodges.

Quarter Final - Romford (3-2)

Lost both singles so were 2-0 down, pairs were all square playing the last end and got shot. Fours fought back from 8-behind to go into the last end 3-behind then picked up a 5 to win. Triples 1-behind playing their last end, picked up shot when Matt Cuthbert drew shot with his last bowl on the extra end to win the game. 

Semi Final v Boscombe Cliff (4-1)

2-wood won 13-8

4-wood won 21-20 (after being 14-2 down)!

Triples won 18-8

Fours won 21-16

Pairs lost 23-12

Final v Culm Vale (3-2)

Went 2-0 up after Finley beat Simon Broom 17-10 and I beat Jamie Chestney 21-18 to win both singles. 

Pairs lost 16-10

Triples lost 17-9

Fours again fought back from 8-behind to go into the last end 3-behind, James Fitzgerald sprang the jack with his last bowl to hold 1-shot, Stuart Hodges then drew his 2-bowls in to make a 3 and force the game into an extra end to decide the title. Nick Charlwood put 2-bowls within 6-inches, they remained in place until the Culm Vale skip Matt Bass turned one of them away with his first bowl and stayed but close for shot, our boys fancied we were still shot so Stuart stayed away, Bass failed with his last bowl, umpire was called and we got shot on the measure. The celebrations began!  “

Please also see the Bowls England report on the Top Club Finals, at their Website (click) :