John Monks will resume is long standing battle with close bowling friend, Stan Peck, when the two play in the final of the Major Singles Championship next week. Monks won his way into the final after a closely fought battle with Michael Kennedy in their semi-final.
Monks had the best of starts leading 8 – 0 after three ends. However, once Kennedy lost the early nerves he made a great match of the clash.
While Monks held the advantage the gap gradually narrowed. By the 16th end the score was 13 all. Kennedy was able to take the lead at 20 – 17 after 20 ends. Monks struck back to once again lead. Four shots on the 25th end allowed him edge ahead 26 – 21. Kennedy was not yet finished and he fought back to be down just one shot at 27 – 28. Monks’ experience then came to the fore and he was able to grab a shot on each of the next 3 ends to close out the match 31 – 27.
The game was played in very difficult windy and cold conditions and both players were able to manage the conditions very well. In fact, the quality of the bowls was a credit to both players given the conditions. In the end the result could have gone either way but Monks played the big bowl when it was most needed.
Peck played a key role in a very high quality game in the first round of the Major Pairs. He teamed with Jim Howden in a thrilling game against Noel Downie and Joel Hilliard. This was a very tight game with the margin between the sides never being more than four shots,
Downie and Hilliard managed to have a narrow lead for much of the game. However, Howden and Peck picked up 5 shots on the 17th end to move to a 18 – 15 lead. Downie and Hilliard struck back straight away to level at 18 all.
Going into the last end the score was locked at 19 all. In a fluctuating end Downie and Hilliard were able to pick up four shots to win the game 23 – 19. The margin did not reflect the closeness of the game.
Col Fletcher starred in his game with Alan McLeod against Des Jackson and Peter Wood. He handled the difficult conditions extremely well and played several critical bowls. Jackson and Wood held an early advantage leading 10 – 5 before they dropped 6 shots on the 7th end. Fletcher and McLeod consolidated their position and moved to a 24 – 12 lead. Despite a good fightback, Jackson and Wood could not close the gap. Fletcher and McLeod won 25 – 18.
In another pairs match Alan Skelton and Patrick Sager proved too good for Ian Wratten and Ray Downey. Sager had an excellent match. On several occasions he was able to play a key bowl to win an end for his side. Skelton and Sager set up an early 10 – 0 advantage and were able to control the game. They ran out convincing winners 22 – 10.