Tattersley the victor on Spen sweep finals day

Tattersley the victor on Spen sweep finals day

ASH TATTERSLEY claimed the Geoff Brough Trophy on finals day at Spen Victoria last Saturday, beating surprise finalist Derek Hewitt.

The top 16 bowlers throughout the winter sweep season had earned their place in the competition, and it was Tattersey who shone brightest as Storm Dennis hurtled through Spen.

Chris Bly topped the table over the course of the season but, having seen off Andrew Gallagher and Michael Sweeney in the opening rounds, was stopped by Hewitt 21-20 in the semi-final.

Hewitt was fully deserving of his place in the final after that performance, which followed wins over Mark Regan and Andy Thornton in the previous two rounds.

Gary Wike did well to reach the semis by beating Mally Fowler and Chris Mordue, both by a nerve-wracking 21-20 scoreline, but he was seen to by Tattersley, who also defeated Garry Walker and Joe Cranston, 21-19.

Tattersley went into the final as the strong favourite but Hewitt set off like a house on fire, taking a 7-0 lead. A huge shock was on the cards. 

Ash finally got hold of the block and made a break of five himself, but when Hewitt got in at the eighth end he was back on one of his favourite marks and, having led well all day, the shock was still on.

A loose lead let Tattersley back in and, to the amazement of the spectator, took Hewitt on 20-metre pegging marks rather than going to his beloved corner marks. 

It was a stroke of genius as Hewitt struggled to cope with the changing conditions and Ash hit a break of 13 to take him into an 18-8 lead.

Hewitt managed to grab a few more chalks but that break seemed to break Derek’s spirit and Ash ran out as 21-13 winner.

Alongside this competition ran the Supplementary Cup for 20 bowlers who missed the cut for the Geoff Brough Trophy, and Neil Simpson edged the final against Thomas Scorah.

Simpson saw off the older Scorah, Colin, in the first round before dispatching Jordan Wike and Danny Teale to make the final, while Scorah progressed thanks to wins over Darren Goodall, Sarah Edmondson and Karen Hill.

The final was a very cagey affair with the score 5-5 after nine ends. Things didn’t change much in the next eight ends either as chalks were exchanged and, after 17 ends, the pair were again locked at 10-10. 

With pairs coming at a premium it always looked like whoever could put together a decent run would end up winning. Unbelievably the pattern continued and after 24 ends the score was tied again at 14-14. 

All 14 of Simpson’s points had been singles. Young Scorah managed to score a vital pair, taking the score to 16-14 in his favour, but all of a sudden Simpson decided to start using both his bowls and scored three pairs in the next four ends. 

With a lead of 20-17 it was looking good for Simpson but, showing maturity far beyond his age, Thomas scored a pair of his own and, at 19-20, bowled two decent woods to leave him lying game with Simpson to bowl his final wood. 

However, showing a steady nerve, Simpson bowled a six-inch wood to claim the game. 

That brought an end to the sweeps for another winter, and the club thanked the tireless work of the Spen grandees including Pete Ellis, supported by his wife Liz, John Blackburn, Kevin Wood, Brenda and Liz in the kitchen, the Brough family, Paul Holt, Alan Forrest, Eddie Mordue, Duncan Reeves and Gary Wike.

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