'Long Les' remembered at Pembroke Dock Bowling Club

A delighted Les Davies cradles both top trophies, the Alfred Phillips Cup and Sudbury BowlThis week would have been Pembroke Dock Bowling Club’s 74th annual open week tournament. But due to the pandemic the tournament had to be cancelled along with the closure of the club for the first time since the end of the Second World War.
So Ken Edwards, who is one of the club's trustees, has delved into the club’s archives to recall a great day for one of the best known and well-liked bowlers in our county, whom I got to count as a friend after writing about his bowling career, and nick-naming him ‘Long Les’ because of his great height!
Going back in time to 1979, Mr Leslie Davies not only became County bowling association president and Pembroke Dock Club secretary but won both trophies at PDBC’s open week to make it a momentous day for the ever-popular Les.

President Les hits the jackpot

At the conclusion of the Pembroke Dock open bowls week on Saturday, unassuming, six foot plus Les Davies said:

“This has been a kind to Les week”.
He was being too modest.
True the burly, dark-haired power station worker had dropped a fruit machine jackpot in a local club the previous evening. He may also have been slightly fortuitous in winning a snooker match the same day.
But there was no fluke when he won both prestigious bowls trophies, the Alfred Phillips Cup and the Sudbury Bowl.

Would you believe he used borrowed woods?

Les, this year’s County bowling association president and Pembroke Dock club secretary, finally underlined his true ability.
His potential flowed to the surface with the predictability of an incoming tide and the double win was no more than he deserved after a week of devastating consistency.
And all this – would you believe it?  With borrowed woods!
Dazzling Davies has bowled for several seasons with moderate success with a set of lignum-vitae woods
At the start of this season he borrowed hensolite bowls belonging to club vice chairman Oliver Davies and the change was like a topical brew – it worked wonders.

Deadly determined and accurate too

And during the tournament week the consistency of Les had never been more apparent.
His accuracy was deadly, his length and line near perfection.

In the Alfred Phillips final he beat experienced campaigner and former cup holder Jim Thain 21–15 and then accounted for below-par clubmate Tony Cummings 21-12 to complete the enviable double.

Both trophies were presented by Pembroke’s mayor-elect Cllr. Ernie Morgan.
The event was organised by Mr Oliver Davies who smiled: “After this success the woods have increased in valuation – but they are still not for sale!”

The same woods, incidentally, “served with distinction” before. They were effectively propelled by Oliver Davies in 1971 to reach the Welsh Championships pairs final!

 Les stands tall between  defeated finalists Jimmy Thain and Tony Cummings