LUDLOW Castle’s Mal Bowen carved through the field to claim the Flowfit Ludlow and District Bowls League Veterans title for the first time last weekend.

Bowen stormed past Dave Howell 21-1 in the quarter-finals and beat namesake and clubmate Mal Griffiths 21-11 in the semis before edging out Burway’s Len Lewis 21-17 in a thrilling final.

With the competition being held at Ludlow Castle Bowling Club, Bowen began the final on -2 to negate his home advantage and he trailed 5-1 and 8-6 after Lewis made a fast start.

However, Bowen then scored nine unanswered points to go 15-8 up before Lewis rallied to close back to within one at 18-17 and keep the result in the balance.

The next end proved key as Bowen scored a two to go 20-17 ahead and this time Lewis was unable to respond.

Bowen’s semi-final had earlier followed a similar pattern as fellow Castle member Griffiths kept it nip and tuck early, with the score locked at 6-6 after eight ends.

Five straight points put Bowen 11-6 ahead and after a brief Griffiths response, he stretched that to 18-9 with a crucial run of seven unanswered points to ultimately run out a comfortable winner.

In the other semi-final, Lewis edged out previous winner Graham Lane – another Castle bowler – who had beaten another former champion, Roy Crowther, 21-16, in the previous round.

Lane, as the home bowler, started on -2, but with all of the scoring being done in ones neither played could pull away in the early stages.

That changed later on as Lewis established a 19-13 lead and although Lane fought back to 19-18, the Burway bowler clung on to win 21-19 in a classic tussle that lasted 37 ends.