Alan Landers battles back to win Champion of Champions trophy at Robin Hood’s Bay

The East Coast of Yorkshire Summer Champion of Champions, the penultimate competition of the summer season, was played at Robin Hood’s Bay on Sunday.
Alan Landers with the Champions of Champions trophy.Alan Landers with the Champions of Champions trophy.
Alan Landers with the Champions of Champions trophy.

This was preceded by a “Tea & Biscuits” singles competition for bowlers who had not qualified for the main competition.

Bowlers currently qualify for the Champion of Champions by reaching the quarter finals, or better, in the Sunday singles merits and the Boyes and Hospital Cups, 1 point being awarded to the quarter finalists, 2 to the semi-finalists, 4 to the runners-up and 6 to the winners.

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The points are added thorough the season and the top sixteen players, plus any who are equal on points with the sixteenth, are eligible to play in the Champion of Champions.

The top four players in the standings are seeded so that they cannot meet before the semi-finals.

In spite of the less than favourable weather in the morning 28 bowlers entered the Tea & Biscuits which potentially made for difficult timing with the main competition due to start at 11am.

Fortunately the green, although in very good condition, was quite slow which meant that games tended to finish in good time, paradoxical as this may sound.

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There were some longer games though. In the top half of the draw Kevin Garside (Eastfield) drew Sue Emmerson (Whitby) and won 21-19, having been down 19-15.

Garside then had another 21-19 win over Denise Dobson (Dukes Park) with an amazing comeback from 18-7 down and then 19-9 down. He then had another close win, 21-20 this time, against Dave Moment (North Cliff) in a game where both players had the edge at different points with Garside just getting the final points to win.

This was followed by a convincing (21-9) semi-final win over Robin Hood’s Bay’s Andy Braid.

In the other half of the draw Tim Purcell (Whitby) had single figure wins over Kathryn Brown (Robin Hoods Bay) and Whitby clubmate Kenny Rodgers.

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Another Whitby clubmate, Eddie Maxwell provided more of challenge in the quarter final but went down 21-17 to set up a semi-final for Purcell against visitor Thomas Colclough (Doncaster).

This was also a tight game with both players leading at some point but Purcell eventually won 21-18. The final was also a close fought contest with Garside finally sealing it to win 21-19.

Meanwhile the timing of the day as whole had worked out quite well as all the games in the first two rounds of the Tea & Biscuits were on the green by 11am and the main competition was able to start only 15 minutes after the scheduled time of 11am and the first 4 games were all on the green quite quickly.

The “Curse of the Seeds” struck though as three of the four were eliminated in their first games.

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Number 1 seed Paul Morgan (Whitby) lost 21-18 to Gary Thornton (Eastfield) who staged a comeback from 15-8 down.

Third seed Chris Dobson (Dukes Park) went down 21-19 to Hunmanby’s Billy Holdsworth and fourth seeded Kenny Wale (Whitby) lost 21-17 to Ian Richardson (North Cliff).

The only seed to survive was Alan Landers (North Cliff) who gained revenge for his semi-final defeat in the Association Merit last week by beating Glynn Goodyear (Hunmanby) 21-10.

In the other games Josh Emmerson (Whitby) beat Pam Watson (Hunmanby) 21-17, David Lowe (Crossgates, Leeds) beat Geoff Watson (Whitby) 21-5, Robert Child (North Cliff) beat Kevin Gates (Dukes Park) 21-10 and Harry Old (Hunmanby) beat Barrie Watson (Borough) 21-20.

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In the quarter finals Thornton beat Emmerson 21-20, Holdsworth won 21-16 against Lowe, Child beat his clubmate Richardson 21-12 and Landers also went through 21-15 against Old.

In the first semi final Thornton made an encouraging start going 8-4 up after eight ends but then Holdsworth found a favourable mark along the clubhouse edge and scored 14 in the next nine ends without reply to make it 18-8.

Eventually Thornton managed to break this stranglehold and by setting longer marks into the corners began to pull back but it was a case of too little, too late as after three single point ends Holdsworth scored a 2 to make it 20-11.

Thornton did score 1 on the next end but that was it as Holdsworth scored the single point he needed win on the next end.

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The other semi-final was a more protracted affair between the two North Cliff players.

It was also rather more evenly balanced with both players holding the lead at different times but in the end Landers won 21-18.

The final was very similar in some ways to the first semi-final as Holdsworth opened up a small lead, 8-6, after eight ends.

Landers then proceeded to do almost exactly what Holdsworth had done to Thornton by scoring 12 in eight ends to lead 18-8.

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Holdsworth then scored a single only for Landers to register 2 on the next end.

Holdsworth did score on the next end but Landers wrapped things up to win 21-10.

Next Sunday sees the final competition of the summer season with the Mick Jessop Cup, a competition with entry restricted to bowlers who have won singles merits in the previous year, being played for at Hunmanby.

The format for that day will be exactly the same as for the Champion of Champions with the main competition starting at 11am and a “Tea & Biscuits” singles competition for bowlers who have not qualified for the main competition.

This will again start at 9am but to enter people should be there by 8:55am at the very latest to allow the draw to be made for a prompt start.

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