Mick Jessop Cup delight for North Cliff ace Alan Landers

The final Sunday of the 2023 East Coast Crown Green Bowling Association summer season saw North Cliff’s Alan Landers claim top spot in the Mick Jessop Cup at Hunmanby.
Alan Landers, left, won the Mick Jessop CupAlan Landers, left, won the Mick Jessop Cup
Alan Landers, left, won the Mick Jessop Cup

This is in many ways the true East Coast Champion of Champions as entry is limited to bowlers who have won singles merits in the previous year, writes David Muir.

The competition is named in memory of Mick Jessop, a very fine bowler who moved to the Scarborough area in about 1970 from Huddersfield but who died of cancer sadly young, aged 61, in 2009.

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During his time in Scarborough he played for both Eastfield and Whitby.

Alan Landers won the Mick Jessop Cup at Hunmanby.Alan Landers won the Mick Jessop Cup at Hunmanby.
Alan Landers won the Mick Jessop Cup at Hunmanby.

As with the Champion of Champions played the previous Sunday the limited entry means that a consolation, Tea & Biscuits, competition can be run for bowlers who have not qualified for the main event but who want to come and support their clubmates.

In this case only 16 entered the Tea & Biscuits but this was an ideal number as it meant no preliminary round games or byes.

It also meant that all games could be played off scratch as there were unlikely to be any time constraints.

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The relatively small numbers in both competitions also meant that it was possible to keep play flowing smoothly with minimal overlap between the two and with a maximum of only 4 jacks on the green at any one time.

As is often the case there were some “interesting” pairings such as husband and wife Dave and Pam Moment (both North Cliff) playing against each other. Dave won 21-11 and then beat Gary Thornton (Eastfield) 21-15 to reach the semi-finals.

Here he came up against Sue Emmerson (Whitby) who had beaten clubmates Joyce Harland 21-8 and then Tim Purcell 21-17.

In the other half of the draw home player Glynn Goodyear beat David Muir (Eastfield) 21-11 and then his clubmate Tony Allen 21-8 to reach the semi-finals.

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Here he played Denise Dobson (Dukes Park) who had beaten Sue Green (Whitby) 21-15 and Linda Armstrong (Castleford) 21-18.

The two semi-finals were close affairs with Moment taking an initial 4-0 lead over Emmerson only for her to come back to lead 11-5. Moment then chipped away at this with Emmerson picking up the odd point until after 33 ends the scores were level at 19-19.

Moment then picked up a single only for Emmerson to score 2 on the 35th end to claim the game 21-20.

The other semi-final swung one way and then the other for the first 19 ends when the score was 12-12.

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Dobson then scored three 2s to lead 18-12 only for Goodyear to peg things back to 18-16. Dobson did score a single then but Goodyear finished things off by scoring 1, 2, 2 to win 21-19.

The final was a game of three phases. Emmerson started well to lead 6-0 after three ends only for Goodyear to start a run that took him into a 15-8 lead after 14 ends.

Unfortunately for him he was only able to score 2 more as Emmerson scored 13 in the next 11 ends to win 21-17.

Sadly, although a total of 21 bowlers were eligible for the Mick Jessop Cup circumstances meant that only 14 of these were able to make it to the competition and so two bowlers, Robert Child (North Cliff) and Kenny Wale (Whitby) received byes in the first round.

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In the rest of the top half of the draw Andy Webb (Alverthorpe) just beat Tony Bland (Borough) 21-17 after Bland came back from being down 18-7 to nearly level matters at 18-17 and Stuart Thompson (Castleford) beat Billy Holdsworth (Hunmanby) 21-12.

In the bottom half of the draw Chris Dobson (Dukes Park) beat Jennie Allen (Hunmanby) 21-13, Geoff Oldham (Hunmanby) beat Ian Richardson (North Cliff) 21-16, Phil Todd (Hunmanby) beat Alan Lee (North Cliff) 21-3 and Alan Landers (North Cliff) defeated Barrie Watson (Borough) 21-13.

In the quarter finals Child beat Wale 21-16, Webb beat Thompson 21-14 Oldham beat Dobson 21-8 and Landers edged Todd by 21-18 having been up 10-4 after 11 ends.

The Child-Webb semi-final swung both ways. After 11 ends the scores were level at 8-8 but then Webb scored 10 to Child’s 1 to lead 18-9 only for Child to score 10 to 2 to trail by a single point 20-19. Webb finally gave the coup-de-grace to win 21-19.

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The other semi-final was a more one-sided affair with Landers establishing an early 9-1 lead. Although Oldham did come back to 11-8 Landers kept scoring steadily to win 21-11.

The final was another game where fortunes swung one way and another. Webb opened the scoring only for Landers to pull things back and after 14 ends things were level at 8-8.

Landers then scored 7 unanswered points to lead 15-8 but Webb then scored 8 to 1 to level matters at 16-16 after 26 ends. Unfortunately for Webb that was all he could do as Landers settled his nerves and scored the 5 necessary points to win 21-16.

In spite of the relatively low numbers the atmosphere was very good throughout day and all games were played in a competitive but very sporting way.

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The weather helped as, after a chilly start, the sun came out and conditions were very pleasant for bowling.

This Sunday was the end of the summer season but there is no break as the first Winter Merit, a Singles at Westgate, will be held next Sunday with a 9am start.

Anyone wishing to enter should be there by 8:55am at the latest to enable the draw to be made in good time.

There will also be a Drawn pairs Tea & Biscuits for first game losers and foe late arrivals.

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Entry is £5 for the main competition and £2 for the Tea & Biscuits only.

The main competition also carries points for the Winter Champion of Champions and the winner qualifies for the 2024 Mick Jessop Cup.

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