Twenty-four of the district’s champions came together this week for the inaugural Champion of Champions event.
As the 24 worked their way down to the quarterfinals stage, Bilton WMC’s Alan Rothery had a real battle with Richard Hughes from Black Swan which he clinched 21-20.
Pateley’s Tony Derrick and Black Swan’s Bobby Coker had an equally tight battle with the Pateley youngster just edging the match 21-20.
Wayside’s Stephen Walker showed some fine form and composure to beat Black Swan’s Dave Rowson 21-19. Almscliffe’s Dave Spilsbury built a good lead against Wayside player Barrie Sugden but Sugden put up a late fightback eventually just missing out 21-19. The first semi-final saw the experienced Rothery take on newcomer Derrick. Derrick has exploded into the top flight this year coming from nowhere to dominate the First Division by winning 17 out of 18 league games. Rothery was clearly in determined form rolling back the years as he ran in bowl after bowl. Derrick help strong however to take the match 21-17.
Walker met Spilsbury in the second semi-final with Spilsbury taking a strong 10-2 lead. Walker fought well but it was a lead that proved too big. Spilbsury ran out an eventual 21-11 winner.
In the final first blood went to Derrick but Spilsbury was soon battling back. From there it was nip and tuck with both bowlers in exceptional form and putting on a real top class demonstration for the crowd. With the score at 5-5 this increased to 10-10 before Derrick finally managed to open a bit of daylight over six ends to take a 17-12 lead. Spilsbury wasn’t finished yet however and with the Jack back in hand he pushed on to turn the game around 18-18.
With an excellent lead Spilsbury put his next bowl six inches from the Jack. Showing great skill Derrick beat his lead which allowed him to go on an excellent three-end run to clinch the game 21-18.
It was a fantastic victory and one that allowed Tony Derrick to clinch the Champion of Champions title, the most prestigious event in the Crown Green calendar.
Presenting the trophy, league Vice-President Mr. Chris Sunter congratulated all bowlers for making it such a terrific event, and thanks Dacre Banks Bowling Club for proving excellent hosts.