The cream of this year’s crop gathered at the Co-op Bowling Club to battle it out to be crowned Grand Masters champion 2019 and it was Billy Thornton who took the title after he defeated Barry Lowden in the final.

All the competitors had qualified by either winning at least one qualifying competition throughout the year or for the first time being invited back as a previous champion.

After 31 games, the final was battled out by Thornton of the Police and Lowden of King Alfred, who was going for the unprecedented Grand Slam of ‘Majors;' Furness League Merit, Play-off, 500 Handicap and Masters in one season.

Lowden started the stronger, bowling the longer lengths immaculately and racing to an early 11-7 lead, which he extended out to 14-8 and 17-13.

At this point, it was looking like the quadruple was his, but Thornton forced his way back in and changed the game, bowling a short round peg almost perfectly and with an unanswered eight break emulated his dad Andrew in becoming a Grand Master, taking the game 21-17.

To get to the final, Thornton had disposed of Gareth Knowles, Steve Holmes and Ryan Smith in the quarter finals before a victory over Simon Perry in the semis.

Lowden’s route saw him defeat Nigel Burns, Rod Lewis, Mike Askew in the quarter finals and young Callum Sharples in the semis, although it was another great performance from Sharples, who has gone from strength to strength this year.

At the close of play, chairman Joe Wardman invited league sponsor John Sharples to present the trophies and prize money to the winners.

Quarter finals

Simon Perry beat Helen Clark, Billy Thornton beat Ryan Smith, Barry Lowden beat Mike Askew, Callum Sharples beat Roy Moxham.


Billy Thornton beat Simon Perry, Barry Lowden beat Callum Sharples.


Billy Thornton 21 Barry Lowden 17.