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Bowls: Walker’s winning way
Ladies pairs league play-off winners and runners-up from left, Sheila Turpin and Joan Jackson, club president Barry Potter, Carol Banks and Dot Kennelly
York Indoor Bowls Club wrapped up their season with several close finals, headed by the women’s knockout fours where there was a repeat of last season’s duel between Helen Wood’s team and Helen Walker’s side.
Holders Wood’s rink got off to a good start leading 4-0 after three ends. But Walker’s side hit back, winning eight of the following nine ends to take a 13-8 lead.
Wood’s women drew level with a five then took the lead with a single only to drop a five themselves. At the last end, the scores were 18-18 only for Walker’s team to take the title with a single.
Dave Attwood had to put his emotions aside to beat partner Emily Clarke as he won 21-4 in the final of the under-25s singles.
He also had success with Laura Clarke in the mixed pairs final. They beat Helen Wood and Alan Vowles thanks to a good start putting them 9-3 up after only four ends en route to a 20-9 victory.
York’s national over-55s finalists Paul Mooring, Graham Brooke and Dave Stroughair ousted Attwood, John Walker and Alan Vowles in the club’s men’s knockout triples.
Getting off to a good start Brooke’s team led 6-0 after five ends before Attwood’s team rallied. But it was only a brief respite as Brooke, Mooring and Stroughair triumphed 16-6.
Stroughair won the men’s singles title for a record ninth time in a final of unbelievable bowling against Attwood. The game lasted 25 ends and more than a single was scored on only six of them.
Even though he had a 14-4 advantage Stroughair could not relax. Attwood came back to 15-9 before Stroughair edged to 18-9 with a single, then a two.
The next four ends were shared with singles before Stroughair struck for a 21-11 success.
John Stroughair’s team came from 2-1 down to beat Brian Gray’s side 16-4 in the men’s triples league play-off final, which was tighter than the final score reflected.
Mick Parker’s team beat Phil Parsons’ side in the men’s fours.
At 11-9 to Parker the game was finely poised, but his side initiated a run of five wins out of six ends to prevail 20-10.
The mixed triples final was evenly matched – Jean Williams’ side had won 29 out of 30 games this season while rivals Mark Clarke’s team won 22 out of 23 matches.
With nine ends gone Williams’ team led 7-5 only to drop a five on the next end. They responded with seven shots over the next five ends to go into the last with a 14-11 lead. They hung on to win 14-12 and end a remarkable campaign.
There wasn’t much to separate Eric Hodgson’s side and that of Don Moss in the mixed fours final. The score stood at 10-7 in favour of Hodgson’s team, before a five, followed by three singles, gave them a big advantage. The response was twos on the last two ends, but it was not enough to stop Hodgson’s team taking the title 18-11.
The women’s pairs also proved to be a closer game than the final 14-8 scoreline suggested as singles were scored on all but four ends.
Carol Instone’s team retained the title having made the most of the first half of their game which saw them lead Pat Bracken’s team 10-3 after eight ends.
Graham Brooke and Phil Parsons made light work of their men’s pairs final, winning all but three ends. They led 13-0 after eight ends en route to winning 21-4.
York’s climax to the finals came with another twist.
The women’s pairs was between Maureen Walker’s side and Dot Kennelly’s saw the latter controlling the first 11 ends to lead 15-5.
Walker’s team slowly came back before a two on the 15th looked to have sealed victory for Kennelly’s team, 17-10 up with three ends left.
However, a three, then a single, brought Walker’s team respectability before a four on the last gave them an 18-17 win to take the title.