World Pairs' title comes to Pembrokeshire's Andrew and Jon

Andrew and John with their World Championship success


 

Short Mat Bowls:

 

 
The doubles’ pairing of Jonathan Gladstone and Andrew Hudson, who both play short mat bowls at The Hook Sports and Social Club, can now rightly be proud of the fact that they are world champions of their sport after coming home from Belgium with the coveted silverware.
 
Their success also completed an amazing quartet of titles because prior to that feat they had previously been champions of Pembrokeshire, Wales and Great Britain, so with the world title it was something that had never been achieved before.
 

Busy time with so many matches over the weekend

 
The competition for singles, pairs, triples and fours took place at Herentals, a town some 30kms from Antwerp and there were ten representatives from Pembrokeshire as part of the Welsh team that did so well that they also won the triples via Mark Thorpe, Andrew and Alan Evans (more of them later in the week) and bronze medals for James John-Davies, Jamie Styles and Mikey John in a rink, to help earn Wales win The Nations Cup as the most successful country!
 
Countries could enter two teams in each of the four categories and Jonathan and Andrew were in a group with opponents from Ireland, India, England, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway and Belgium as they played on a round-robin basis.
 

Very competitive but things worked out well

 
“It was very competitive over ten ends,” Jonathan told us, “and although we lost to England (7-6) and Belgium (8-5) we did well enough to qualify for the semi-finals at the top of our section – and played the second England pair over 15 ends and played really well to win 11-6, which meant we didn’t have to play the final end.
 
“It meant we were drawn in the final against the other Welsh pair, who hail from Carmarthenshire, and we found it quite difficult to take them on from our own country, but we focussed well and came out on top by 12-10.
 
“We were thrilled of course and it was an honour to take the silverware back to Pembrokeshire.”


Winning the British pairs
 

Incredible records

 
Whilst it was the first time that Jonathan had won at this level for Andrew it meant a third world crown, although it was just as big a thrill because his other successes had been achieved as long ago as 2002 and 2004.
 
“I won my first World title in the triples,” said Andrew, “when I was a teenager and played lead alongside my father Paul (2nd) and Martin Davies (skip), who has been out of the game for a couple of years but we hope will be back soon.
 
“That was in Ireland and two years later I was back in the pairs with another outstanding bowler in Sean Hughes as the event was held in Carmarthenshire – so it was a long wait to complete a hat-trick, but well worth it.”
 
Andrew also has thee British titles tucked neatly under his short mat belt after winning the triples with Paul and Martin in 2001 and the singles in 2005, followed by the victory this year which qualified he and Jonathan for a trip to Belgium.
 
“I’ve also won ten Welsh titles; the singles in 2005, the pairs (three times), the
triples (five times) and the rinks (once).


Andrew and John after winning their Welsh title
 

Family matters . . .

 
If you wanted proof that short mat bowls is a family game then Messrs Gladstone and Hudson certainly provide it because as well as Andrew’s dad Paul, his mother Julie and sister Kate also play at Hook, whilst Jon’s grandad Gerry Laugharne was one of the founders of the Hook club and his dad Gary and brother James have also played – and his wife Lisa has been a marvellous support, whilst mum Yvonne has spent many an hour as a very good and inexpensive taxi driver!
 

And finally . . .

 
With regard to their trip to Belgium both agreed, “It proved to be a very worthwhile trip but we laugh when we think we must be the only world champions who have claimed a world crown over a Saturday and Sunday, flown home overnight and been the only ones expected to be in work on Monday morning!”
 
 

Confirming their presence in Belgium