THE Birkenhead and District’s Parks Merit was played at the Lever Club on Sunday and at the end of an excellent series of games it was Gladstone’s James Whalley who came through a close final with his team mate Jamie Smith to take the first prize, writes Bill Atkinson.

To reach the final Whalley had a good win over Ray Lynch, also of Gladstone, in the quarter-finals and then he beat Heswall’s Mike Brook in the semis.

Smith was too good for Steve Greenfield in his quarter-final and then he got the better of Tixall’s Brian Somerville in the semi-final.

Smith made a great start and was generally in the lead throughout the final but Whalley came through at the end from 19-16 down to clinch his win.

Results: Quarter-finals: B Somerville 21, N Burridge 13; J Smith 21, S Greenfield 10; J Whalley 21, R Lynch 09; M Brook 21, J Edwards 18.

Semi-finals: Smith 21, Somerville 14; Whalley 21, Brook 12.

Final: Whalley 21, Smith 19.

All four semi-finalists will go through to represent Birkenhead in the British Parks Merit tournament in Wem, North Staffs on August 13.

On Friday the eight players who had qualified for the final stages of this year’s veterans Ben Webster tournament met at the Albany Club.

Despite the heavy rain which fell for much of the afternoon it could not deter Manor Road’s Keith Wharton from becoming the first player to win this title on three occasions beating Neston’s John Henshall in the final.

Wharton had a real struggle in his quarter-final match coming from 15-06 down to beat Upton Victory Hall’s Rob Smedley and then he just got through in the semi-final against another previous winner of this tournament, your correspondent Heswall’s Bill Atkinson.

Henshall had a great run to the final; he beat Upton Victory hall’s Tony Cavanagh, another previous winner, in the quarter-final and then he just pipped Harrison Park’s Bill Jones in the semi-final.

The rain was at its heaviest in the final but it did not stop the players from continuing to produce a high standard of bowling and Henshall pushed Wharton all the way before the Manor Road player was able to take a close victory.

Results: W. Atkinson 21, G. Riley 14; K. Wharton 21, R. Smedley 18; W. Jones w/o P. Norbury; J. Henshall 21, T. Cavanagh 19. Semi Finals: Wharton 21, Atkinson 19; Henshall 21, Jones 20. Final: Wharton 21, Henshall 18.

Last Wednesday Pensby became this year’s winners of the Wirral Association’s Stott Cup when they beat the Lever Club in the final played on the New Brighton Quarry Vikings green. Pensby took a slight lead early on and steadily increased this lead as the match progressed winning 231-202.

For Pensby their biggest win was by Dave Smart who had a decisive 21-06 victory while Robin Probing top scored for Levers winning his match 21-15.