THE first veterans' tournament of 2018 took place over the weekend and the Southern Masters at Redbridge Leisure Centre proved to be hugely successful for Bradford duo Helen Shields and Phil Cawser.

On the first day, Shields qualified for the knockout stages of the ladies' 60 singles with three group wins.

The ladies' doubles followed and, partnered by Marjorie Dawson from Essex, they finished runners-up to Sussex pair Carol Eckersley and Sheila King.

The singles continued on Sunday and Shields reached the semi-finals after beating Sue Felstead.

Her opponent in the last four was fourth seed Christine Williams and Shields came through 11-2 in the fifth game.

In the final, she faced Gillian Locke from Essex, who had knocked out top seed Teresa Devanney from Ireland, but Shields triumphed 3-1 to take the title.

Cawser also had a successful weekend at the Essex venue.

Partnered by Bill Brant from South Yorkshire, they won the men's 60 doubles – beating Phil Bowen and Paul Stead from Lancashire in four games – while in the singles on Sunday, they both reached the final.

Cawser had wins over No 6 seed Geoff Salter from Northumberland and second seed Bowen, while Grant overcame top seed Brian Johns from Cheshire.

The Bradford player had to settle for the runners-up spot, however, as Grant triumphed 3-1.

Bradford League halfway positions – Division One: Dewsbury Tog B played 10, 89 points; Embassy Police A 9, 72; Dewsbury Tog A 9, 68. Division Two: Highdale B 12, 109; Hermits C 11, 89; Unity A 9, 78. Division Three: Hermits E 10, 93; Hermits G 11, 79; Baildon C 11, 62. Division Four: Baildon E 10, 84; Hermits H 10, 84; Thornbury A 8, 83.

Bradford League halfway averages – Division One: J Chew (Police A) played 24, won 22, 91.67 per cent; T Dyson (Police A) 24, 21, 87.50; F Osenton Brown (Tog B) 24, 19, 79.17. Division Two: M Stead (Unity A) 21, 21, 100; G Foster (Highdale B) 18, 18, 100; I Warner (Baildon A) 33, 27, 81.82. Division Three: S Beaumont (Hermits E) 18, 17, 94.44; S Rider (Pudsey C) 18, 17, 94.44; M Murtaza (Hermits E) 30, 25, 83.33. Division Four: K Afzal (Thornbury A) 24, 23, 95.83; J Kinsella (Baildon E) 27, 23, 85.19; M Humzar (Thornbury A) 24, 20, 83.33.