Preston crown green bowler Simon Coupe may have missed out a hat-trick of wins in the Waterloo tournament, going out in the quarter-final, but he did not leave Blackpool empty-handed.
Coupe won the traditional Waterloo curtain-raiser, the annual Marton Instiute tournament, beating Winsford’s Glyn Cookson in the final.
Quarter-final: Gary Ellis 21, Paul Dudley 18; ; Cookson 21, Lee Dale 8; Coupe 21, Dave Watters 9; Darren Edmondson 21, Richie Goddard 18.
Semi-final: Cookson 21, Ellis 13; Couple 21, Edmondson 17.
Final: Couple 21, Cookson 10.
Greg Smith made history with an outstanding performance to win the 2015 Co-Operative Funeral Care Waterloo crown green bowling tournament at Blackpool.
In beating fellow Midlander Ross Dunkley 21-19 in the final, at just 22 he becomes the joint youngest ever winner of event that is over a century old.
Left-hander Smith, from Alvechurch, who took up the sport at the age of five, said: “I am totally ecstatic to do it in front of such a huge crowd and on live tv,
“It was a really tense final, - I am in the Champion Of Champions now (on Saturday week) and that is the next on my list.”
The feelgood factor certainly returned to the Waterloo this year, with the biggest finals day crowd for some time, and wall-to-wall coverage on ITV-4.
Waterloo bowls manager Mark Audin hopes the return of tv will not be a one-off.
He said: “It has been fantastic – I could not have asked for it to go any better.
“The crowds have come out – the best in years and years.
“Everybody has supported it all the way along.
“We are hoping to get some feedback from ITV in the next few days – we hope that the sponsors, the Co-op, have bitten the cherry and they will back the coverage for years to come.
“The crowd made it a sport that people really like to see - it has shown that the sport is not dour, but exciting.”
Quarter-finals: Ross Dunkley (Birmingham) 21, Jamie Bradley (Stockport) 11; Ian Nicholson (Kendal) 21, Simon Coupe (Preston) 16; Greg Smith (Birmingham) 21, Ant Bracken (Birmingham 18; Lee Fletcher (Lloydss) 21, Roy Moxham (Barrow) 17
Semi-finals: Dunkley 21, Nicholson 16; Smith 21, Fletcher 14
Final: Smith 21, Dunkley 19.
Welsh bowler Linda Williams won the first-ever live televised Waterloo women’s final,
She defeated Lisz Cox (Burton) 21-19 in the decider.
There will be a major change to the Waterloo programme next year. Finals day will take place on September 21, with Champion Of Champions day at the South Shore venue the following Saturday.
Before the 2016 Champion Of Champions, the Talbot tournament at the Raikes Hall Hotel will take place on the 22nd.