AN INVESTIGATION is taking place after a game of bowls ended in a bust-up during a county club championship final.

The match, which took place at Atherley Bowls Club in Southampton on Sunday, was suspended after a Boscombe Cliff player allegedly headbutted one of his opponents from Southsea-Waverley, Portsmouth.

The player reportedly fell to the ground, breaking a finger in the process.

Words had been exchanged between the two rivals prior to the altercation, the Echo understands.

Officials stepped in and, after a consultation, Boscombe Cliff agreed to concede the game.

Another scuffle allegedly broke out in the club’s car park following the match.

Spencer Kerley, secretary of Bowls Hampshire, said an investigation was being carried out to establish “exactly what happened”.

“I can confirm that there was an incident. Our officers stepped in and the game was called off. As a result of the incident, Boscombe Cliff conceded the game a third of the way through, after seven ends,” he said. “The county’s position is that we’re trying to establish exactly what happened.”

He added: “These kinds of incidents bring the game into disrepute. It’s pretty unusual but this type of thing has happened at bowls clubs before. However, this incident sounds more serious.”

Peter Aldridge, secretary of Southsea Waverley Bowls Club, said the club would be holding their own investigation into the incident.

“We will be speaking with the county bowls association about it.

“Boscombe Cliff have told us there is great regret about what happened, and they are totally embarrassed.

“Our club doesn’t want to be associated with any violence, and these types of incidents are a rare thing.

“We have no malice against Boscombe Cliffs at all – it was just one individual’s behaviour which spoiled the game,” he added.

The incident has not been reported to the police, a spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary confirmed.

Boscombe Cliff Bowls Club did not wish to comment.