THE PAIRING of John Mills and Joe Loveys have been crowned County Pairs Champions in the final short mat bowls competition of the season.

An entry of 24 teams played in eight round robin groups leading to a main knockout competition and a plate competition.

At the semi-final stage the Larruperz pairing of Sheila Whittingham and Peter Wright, beat 2015 finalists Gill & Tim Rigden of Weston.

Meanwhile Woolhope bowler Mills and Loveys (Gorsley Chapel) beat Ian Roe & Ian Park of Ross, to progress through to the final.

The experience of Mills and Loveys came to the fore in the final where they won comfortably against the Larruperz pair who were both appearing in their first pairs final.

The Plate competition saw a second successive victory for Dean Rudman of Gorsley Chapel, playing this year with Les Barlow, who defeated the Ross pair of Sue Dix and Pam Park in the final.

The county’s qualifying competitions for the National Finals have now been completed and Herefordshire’s entries are dominated by players from the Woolhope and Ross clubs. Mills is again the most successful individual, qualifying in four disciplines, with Shirley & Becci Cox (Woolhope) and Shaun Jones & Ian Roe (Ross) all qualifying in three disciplines.

The national finals take place in March and April and the county will be hoping to emulate its success in 2018 when two different teams reached the semi-final stage in the county’s best ever performance.