Canewdon Bowls Riot - the latest image from the scene as local police try to restore control.
The future of the annual Southend Borough Bowls Confederation Cup has been thrown into serious doubt after this year’s gathering ended in fifteen arrests and more than £200,000 of damage to surrounding homes and businesses.

While the final of the tournament was in progress yesterday at the Canewdon Esplanade Bowls Club, an eyewitness has told Southend News Network that a ‘jack’ (the little white ball that doesn’t roll all over the place at will) spontaneously combusted out of sheer desperation while two participants were engaged in a heated discussion over who was wearing the nicest hat.

Both players, who we are not allowed to name while the forensic investigation is in progress, quickly blamed each other for the resulting fireball and inferno, and the situation escalated quickly into a mass brawl.

Concerned spectator Kevin Nibble, 45, from Upper Rawreth, told us that he feared for the safety of his wife and children.

He added, ‘Within the space of around 30 seconds, there must have been at least 25 people on the pitch, or the grass, or whatever they call the green bit in the middle.’

‘While some were trying to restore some calm to the incident, it was soon obvious that a number of members from local fascist groups were involved.

Surely they had only decided to attend the tournament with the intent of causing trouble.’

Although local police arrived quickly to shut down the event, the rioting simply spilled out onto the surrounding streets in Canewdon, and local insurance officials have estimated that the damage could take five years to be repaired.

A statement from the UK Bowls Authority has confirmed EXCLUSIVELY to Southend News Network that all of the members involved must attend three months of anger management therapy, and the organising venue has been hit with a £3m fine – £4.50 of which is suspended for one year pending further incidents.

As a precaution, November’s Southend Over-95s Bowls Playoff will be played behind closed doors.