Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Club stalwart Franklin presented with certificate

WATLINGTON Bowls Club held its annual presentation evening on Friday of last week at a hotel

WATLINGTON Bowls Club held its annual presentation evening on Friday of last week at a hotel in Stokenchurch where trophies were presented for all the various internal competitions.

The club also celebrated its other successes over the summer. In the Preston Cup and Summertown Trophy, Watlington were finalists, winning the Skerry Cup and cheques for the club funds.

Watlington came third in the Hawker Cup and did well in the national two fours and top club competitions.

Sam Watts was runner-up in the Oxfordshire County champion of champion and the county singles competitions while Gordon Hooker and Bob Gilkes reached the semi-final of the county pairs.

In the county U25s competitions, Watts won the singles for a record third time while Chris Gilkes with Dan Swanson won the pairs.

In the national U25s ladies, Emma Gilkes and Claire Soden playing for Oxfordshire, reached the quarter-finals of the Amy Rose Cup. In the men’s equivalent, Chris Gilkes, Watts and Shane Cooper reached the semi-finals of the White Rose Cup.

Meanwhile Henry Franklin has been awarded the certificate of merit by Bowls England for services to the game.

Franklin started bowling for Watlington in 1961 and in the 54 years since has held almost every official position, including being match secretary for the last 53 years. He is also the green-keeper and has been for 42 years. The green is now one of the best in the county.

Franklin played his first outdoor game for Oxfordshire in 1963 and has played 322 county outdoor matches, so far. He has also bowled indoors for 42 years and has now played indoors for Oxfordshire 430 times. He has been chairman and president of several bowling associations and is a life member of Watlington and Oxfordshire. He is living proof that you can still be at the very top level in bowls when you reach the age of 87.

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