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Bowls: Crowning glory for York’s Adam Liddell and Zoe Eagles
THAT was the week that was for York Indoor Bowls Club aces Adam Liddell and Zoe Eagles.
Following their success in the England Under-25s British Isles series, they celebrated their respective 22nd birthdays within 24 hours of each other, and then capped an astonishing seven days by overcoming a strong field of international players and world champions to become the England mixed pairs champions.
The York duo started the national finals by pulling away from a Glebelands IBC team when the score stood at 4-3 after five ends to win 19-6.
Next in line were Croydon, who had just beaten a strong South Forest team in the first round, but could not foresee what would happen next.
The game was all up after ten ends when Eagles and Liddell had powered into a winning 25-0 margin.
The quarter-final looked to be a tough encounter as the York team faced Norfolk, who included two current international players in Wayne Willgress and 2013 world ladies champion Rebecca Field.
But again Eagles and Liddell got off to a good start, leading 7-2 after five ends. The next five were shared making, the score 11-6, before York pulled away again to win easily, 24-8.
Chawton Park were their semi-final opponents, who had comfortable wins in their previous games.
There was nothing much between the two teams when the score stood at 14-12 after 15 ends before the York axis pulled away to win all the remaining ends and move into the final with a 24-12 victory.
Bristol were represented by Welsh international Chris Keating and Ros Constant, wife of ex-cricket Test umpire David Constant.
They had toppled City of Ely 18-17 in the semi-finals, and also led 3-0 in the final, but York turned the game round to lead 5-4 before dropping a single to level.
A super run then saw Eagles and Liddell notch ten unanswered shots to lead 15-5 and, although Bristol countered to 15-14, the York pair picked up two singles for a three-shot cushion after the 18th end.
They then managed to restrict the Bristol side to singles over the last two ends to become the first York IBC team in the competition’s 23-year history to win the title.