The 2023 National Singles took place recently at Panteg House, Griffithstown, near Pontypool, with sixteen players playing for the title,
The qualifying round comprised three rounds, with the matches decided based on the number drawn by the player at registration.
Each game lasted 45 minutes with two additional ends if no team reached thirteen points.
At the end of the three rounds, the players were ranked one to sixteen based on their performance.
Last year’s Champion, Kon Tomczyk, could not finish in the top eight and, therefore, could not retain his title, so there would be a new champion for 2023.
National Single Championship.
The top eight players remaining to contest the title, apart from three players, Sean Smith (Monkstone PC), Alvaro Saget and Didier Mack (both Unaffiliated Members), the remaining players are all members of SWBRC – PS. The quarter-final saw two SWBRC – PS and the unaffiliated members knocked out, leaving Sean Smith the only non-SWBRC – PS player to play for the title.
The first semi-final, between Jean-Yves Robic and Jake Caston, finished with Jake winning 13/3 after a good display of length, line and some luck to win a place in the final. The second semi-final was more tense, with Sean Smith taking an early lead over Len Field. However, Len pulled back, taking the lead on 12/11. The last end saw Len’s boule holding and Sean’s boule second. Sean was holding the only boule remaining with a difficult decision to make, either to shoot Len’s boule, hoping his boule would stay and earn the two points to win the game and a place in the final or to point his last boule, either to promote his second-placed boule into first place and his pointed boule fishing second again to take the game.
Unfortunately, his boule fell short after deciding to point, and Len took the game 13/11, winning his place in the final.
After the tension of the previous game and the display of pointing from the first semi-final, the final was a one-sided affair as Jake could not rediscover the great length, line or luck needed to take the title and fell to a 13/1 defeat against Len Field.
2023 National Singles Champion Len Field and Runner-up Jake Caston
The reaming eight players represent the following clubs Caerleon RFC PC, Monkstone PC and Pontyclun PC, together with three unaffiliated WPA members. They played to win the Plate Competition. The quarter-final saw Gillian Greenwell (the only women WPA member to register) and two experienced players, Kon Tomczyk and Stewart Spencer, fall by the wayside together with Joe Williams.
The first semi-final saw Richard Harris (Caerleon RFC PC) and Roger Green (Monkstone PC) play for a place in the final, both experienced players, but on this occasion, Richard took the game 13/4. The second semi-final was between two players who regularly play in the same team; it was a hard-fought match, with Alex Lacey taking the game 13/12 after a serious mistake by his teammate Darren Hardwicke who had the opportunity of winning the game.
Richards’s experience showed in the final, with Richard winning 13/2 and taking the prize.
Plate Runner-up Alex Lacey and Plate Winner Richard Harris
The WPA Executive would like to thank the Panteg Employees Club management for supporting the National Singles Championship and especially Derek Jones for getting the lanes ready quickly.