DESPITE all the recent heavy rain the green in Birkenhead Park was in very good condition for the final meeting of this series of the Winter Flyers.

The top sixteen players in the points table qualified to compete in this last tournament and though it was cold even the sun put in a rare appearance.

In an excellent morning of bowls with a lot of close games, all played in great spirit, one player, Liverpool's John Hignett Jnr, performed consistently well in each game he played and when he won the final against West Kirby Victoria's Bill Atkinson he had thoroughly deserved to take the top prize.

Potentially Hignett had a very difficult run to get to the final and this started with his first match against the Welsh player Paul Roberts; though this was always close Hignett managed to hold on to a slender lead and ran out a deserved winner.

He then had a convincing win over another player who now plays his bowls in Wales, Roger Griffiths.

In the semi-final he came up against another previous winner, Jamie Fitzpatrick but Hignett was yet again able to outplay a dangerous opponent.

Atkinson, meanwhile, had had two fairly comfortable wins over Fred Arnell and Dougie Briscoe before just scraping through by the tightest of margins against Hoylake Central's Tommy Walker in the semi final.

In the final Hignett, playing extremely accurate bowls, quickly established a big lead and despite Atkinson's best efforts he held on to this and took a deserved victory at 21-14.


Top Sixteen: M. Andrews 21, A. Buchanan 20; T. Walker 21, E. Dutton 19; D. Briscoe 21, A. O'Neill 19; W. Atkinson 21, F. Arnell 15; J. Harrison 21, N. Hughes 16; J. Fitzpatrick 21, C. Portis 13; R. Griffiths 21, N. Woodward 17; J. Hignett Jnr 21, P. Roberts 17.

Quarter Finals: Walker 21, Andrews 15; Atkinson 21, Briscoe 12; Fitzpatrick 21, Harrison 16; Hignett 21, Griffiths 08.

Semi Finals: Atkinson 21, Walker 20; Hignett 21, Fitzpatrick 12.

Final: Hignett 21, Atkinson 14.

On behalf of all the players who take part in these tournaments on a Sunday I would like to thank Colin Saville for making it all possible.

He organises everything and efficiently runs each Sunday event.

I would also like to thank Sue Griffiths who comes over from North Wales each week to supply us all with hot drinks and toast, and occasionally cakes.

A great thanks to both of them we really are very grateful.

The next series of the Winter Flyers starts on Sunday January 8, as usual in Birkenhead Park at 10am.