Barry’s too hot for Cooke to handle

-6_Bowls'National Pairs match at Victory Bowls.'Barry Starks gets ready to bowl.'Pic Mick Young
-6_Bowls'National Pairs match at Victory Bowls.'Barry Starks gets ready to bowl.'Pic Mick Young

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BARRY STARKS has landed the champion of champions crown.

The Waverley member bagged the title with a four-shot triumph over Alexandra’s Jamie Cooke in the final at Milton Park.

And with it Starks ensured the Southsea club claimed all three Portsmouth singles titles.

His win adds to the Portsmouth & District Championship win of Rob Moran – and the Southsea Open success of Matthew Marchant.

It was not plain sailing for the triumphant Starks, though.

Cooke led by eight shots at one stage of the final before his rival finished strongly and turned the tables to snatch the trophy.

Starks had earlier got the better of Martin Eggleton (Prior), Steve Fielder of College Park and Star & Crescent’s Russell Durham.

Meanwhile, Cooke was made to play 22 ends in each of his wins – which came over Water Company champion Mike Leeson, Co-op’s Nick Carter and Ray Porter of the Vospers club.

With Stark’s taking the last major singles honour, the outdoor season is drawing to a close.

Cowplain last week retained the Midweek District Cup after a 24-shot win in a two-legged final against Fareham.

In the triples’ championship’s opening game at the Padnel Road green, Cowplain built up a sizeable lead thanks to the trio of David Plowright, Peter Crowley and skip Bryan Franklin.

After trailing by five shots at the halfway mark, they won eight of the last nine ends – including a count of seven – to defeat Mike Rogers by 14.

Also aiding the success were the Graham King-skipped trio.

They defeated Dave Stevenson by 11 shots, while Peter Parry & Co claimed a six-shot success over Vic Bennett’s team.

Less than 48 hours later and the two clubs resumed battle at the Park Lane green in Fareham.

Cowplain went into the second leg with 31 shots in hand and were not to be denied the trophy.

Fareham put up a brave fight, though. They won the leg 50-43 but, in the end, the deficit was simply too much to claw back.

The leading rink of the second match was Fareham’s trio of Bob Algar, Charles Livingston and skip Stevenson.

In league action, Vospers Red made sure of winning the afternoon triples town section.

They booked their place in the play-offs – where they will face club-mates Vospers Blue – with a 13-shot win over Star & Crescent.

On the Northern Parade green, the trio of Harry Bowbrick, Ray Porter and Mike Goldring enjoyed an 18-shot win over John Bell.

And Frank Middleton’s three were four-shot winners over Peter Willis & Co.

The only consolation for Star was the nine-shot win for Robbie Dennison’s rink against the Tom Suthers threesome.

College Park did their shot-difference the power of good with a 54-shot victory over Pembroke Gardens.

The Graham Wilson rink were winners by 19, while Dave Smith won by the same margin. John Newton won by 16.

n All that is left on the summer circuit now are the ‘closing of the green’ ceremonies.

And with funding being withdrawn, it could be that some will not open again.

Lakeside, formed in 1948, have indicated they will disband.

While Co-op, founded 14 years earlier, are set to call it a day, too.

At Cosham Park, where it is anticipated one of the greens will close, there will be a reunion game between former Highbury players and Cosham on Saturday, September 22.