UNFAVOURABLE weather forecasts resulted in a low entry - just 24 braving the elements - for North Cliff Bowling Club’s singles merit competition, on Sunday, when former Champion of Champions David Lowe got back onto the winning trail.
Early on the conditions were not too bad, with the well maintained green contributing to the standard of play, but as the competition progressed torrential rain and a touch of sleet - together with a fall in temperature - detracted from the enjoyment and all were happy to see an early conclusion.
In the quarter-finals North Cliff’s Pat Germaine beat Joe Hobson (Dukes Park) 21-18, David Lowe (Dukes Park) beat Hunmanby’s Phil Todd 21-11, and Whitby’s Geoff Watson beat clubmate Ray Leeman 21-6 while Jo Leeman (Whitby) beat Danny Cooper (North Cliff) 21-18.
In the semi-finals Lowe beat Germaine 21-13 and Watson beat Jo Leeman 21-11.
With two former champions clashing in the final it was expected to be a closely fought affair, but Watson never settled and Lowe ran out a comfortable 21-8 winner.
Of the early losers in the main competition just nine hardy souls opted for the tea-and-biscuits consolation event.
Surprisingly among these was Whitby’s Alan Landers, the current champion and winner of three of the last four singles merit competitions, who had been beaten 21-20 by fellow Whitby club member Ray Leeman in his first game in the main competition.
And in a preliminary round of the consolation event he was beaten 21-19 by Whitby’s Kenny Wale.
It was definitely not Alan’s day.
In the quarter-finals Wale then beat Colin Rodda (Borough) 21-12, while Tim Coyne North Cliff) beat clubmate Dave Moment 21-18, John Cooper (North Cliff) beat Lee Tankard (Robin Hood’s Bay) 21-12 and Lee Deighton (Dukes Park) beat Steve Dover (Whitby) 21-11.
At the semi-final stage Coyne beat Wale 21-19 while teenage star Deighton continued his run and scored a deserved success against veteran John Cooper 21-17.
Deighton was also looking good in the final against Coyne, being level at 7-7 after six ends and leading 15-10 after 15 ends before the more experienced Coyne found a favourable mark and won the next seven ends for a 21-15 victory.
Merits organiser Geoff Watson presented the awards and thanked the North Cliff members for staging the competition - the final Champion of Champions qualifier of the winter season.
On Sunday there will be a drawn pairs competition at Eastfield BC, 9am start, and on Sunday March 18 the winter Champions play-offs will be held at Borough BC’s Manor Road green, 9.30am start.