The quarter finals of the Men’s Pairs Championship were held last Saturday 27th and they were all close games.
First up on rink 8 we had current Champions Tim Walton and Peter Larcombe (Tim also won this event in 2015 with Basil “where are you now” Melnick, Bas please come back to bowls we miss you) playing Nigel Streatfield and our Vice President “Slamming” Sam Johnson. No games are easy at this stage of the Championship and it is even harder to go back to back in this discipline. Fred did so in 16 and 17 with different leads and the archives show serval others but there is one notable mention. The good Doctor Ron Cable and former St Ives President and Board member of The Royal Tom Giles won this event three years on the trot. Can anyone do this again?
The game was very even with 5 all on the 8th but then over the next 7 ends Nigel and Sam put on 10 shots to 2 to lead 15-7. Was an upset brewing? Not yet, a 6 (a big score in any discipline) follow by a 2 saw the Champs level at 15 all. Nigel and Sam came back with a single only to drop a 4 on the 19th, 19-16 Champs. Another single to the challengers and its 19-17 with one end to play. But the Champs scored a single and closed the game out 20-17. 11 ends to Tim and Peter, 10 to Nigel and Same with the 6 count being the difference. A great effort from Nigel and Sam, 6ers vs our top grade, who said there’s no point entering!
Rink 9 hosted David Gill and George Rosettenstein with Super Sub Steven Goddard, filling in for Geoff Rose, and Chris “Dead Eye” Bergman against them. This was one of those games, close and strongly contested with the losers wining 12 ends against 9 ends for the winners. How does that happen? Multiples. Gilly and Georgie scored 3 multiple ends from 12 ends with Super Sub and Dead Eye winning 6 multiples from 9 ends. It was a close game, 16-17 to Chris on the 19th end but a 2 and a single closed it out for Steve and Chris. Well done guys.
Rink 10 saw previous President Bob Talbot subbing for Ross Yates and accompanying John Swann against Graham Hancock and the crowd favourite Uncle Joe Shofer. The Uncle’s demise in the semi of the Singles Championship brought tears to our eyes, well Joe’s anyway. Again, what a close game.
11 ends to the victor and 10 to the vanquished. Multiples played their part again but in a different way. Gra and Uncle shot out to 12-4 lead by the 7th but then… a 3 and a 2 and a 1, 12-10. Uncle Joe pushes out to 15-10 lead, then a 4 from Swanny and 15-14 to Joe. Uncle Joe get a 3 and a single to be 19-14 up. Swanny gets a single and then 4 down trails the jack for a 3, wins the next two ends (four ends on the trot) to lead 21-19. Joe gets a single 21-20. Last end joe holds game Swanny draws and its all over 22-20. Well done Bob and John, commiserations to Graham and Uncle.
Finally, on rink 11 we had what some were saying could have been a final and boy was it played like one. Paul the octopus had again drawn two top teams on the same side of the draw and they met early. Fred Alexander 7 times winner and Wilson Cheng also a winner against Rod “Rid” Silber, 3 times runner up and Chris Carey one-time runner up. The “Wilsonator” got out to a good start 6-1 up by the 4th. Then Chris converted the next 3 ends to be 6-4 down. On the ninth, Wilson is holding shot only for CC to trail the jack for a 3, adding with a dead draw for a 4, 8-7 CC. From then on Roddy and CC kept the pressure on winning 5 of the next 6 ends to be 14-8 up on the 15th. On the 16th end Rid drew two beautiful bowls to hold two for the side and Wilson with his last played an on shot to convert to 2 up, a big bowl 4 shot turn around. 14-10 CC. 1 each on the next two, then a converted 2 to CC and Rid. 17-11 CC. 20th saw a 2 from Wilson to make it 17-13 on the last. Roddy draws two close ones and Fred kills it. Wilson and Fred need a 4 to go to an extra end and they are not backing off. Fred draws 2 and Wilson adds for 3, just missing Rod’s 4th shot. Seeing big danger CC trails the jack and it lands on Wilson’s back bowl. Wilson runs and just misses, 1 shot to Wilson. 17-14 to Rod and Chris. If you anything about bowls when the combined scores are 31 over 21 ends that is a close game and 12 ends to 9 again confirms this. Commiserations to Fred and Wilson.
Next we have the Semi Finals. Game 1 sees Tim Walton and Peter Larcombe against Geoff Rose and Chris Bergman, Game two Ross Yates and John Swann against Rod Silber and Chris Carey. I can’t wait, both games will be crackers.
Report kindly provided by specialist bowler and sometime journalist Christopher Carey