Thriller on Spen Lane as Bowls final goes all the way

Thriller on Spen Lane as Bowls final goes all the way

Great conditions for bowling welcomed the regulars to Spen Victoria for week 10 of the Winter Sweep.

Some great games in the early rounds saw Ben Gloag defeat Danny Teale 21-20 and Chris Mordue 21-19, before succumbing to a red-hot Gareth Coates in the quarter finals.

Ernie Wareing’s return was met with an early exit at the hands of one of the Boxing Day pairs winners, Daz Goodhall, and Tony Riley rolled back the years beating Chris Ellis and Suzi Ladbrooke.

After bowling superbly all day Chris Bly bowed out at the semi-final stage to Coates, and Josh Mordue took some notable scalps on the way to the final including Mort, Walder and former Sweep winner Rice.

The last two finals had both finished 21-20, and this had the hallmarks of another tight game.

After a cagey start by both players, the score was 3-3.

Coates then scored three consecutive pairs to jump into a big lead and whilst Mordue tried to fight back, every time he clawed a couple of points back Coates came back with a point of his own. 

With the score at 16-10 to Gareth, Josh needed to make a move quickly. 

A brace by Josh brought him within four, but Gareth scored a pair of his own to take the score to 18-12 and what looked like a commanding position.

Time after time in these finals though, the green alters pace and starts to slow down and it is usually the bowler with the jack in hand that benefits. 

Josh did just that and took the next seven points on the trot to take an unlikely 19-18 lead. 

With the finishing line in sight, Josh bowled a poor lead in the corner and his second was only slightly better.

Gareth had two yards all round to get a pair and managed to do that with millimetres to spare. 

At 20-19 it was Gareth’s turn to lead an uncharacteristically poor bowl and Josh took advantage with his first.

And when Coates was through with his second, Josh had a bowl in hand and a yard of space to claim his first Spen title this year. 

Unbelievably he didn’t make it – meaning for the third week in a row the final was going to be separated by a single chalk. 

Josh was two yards through with his lead and Gareth was two yards short. 

Josh then bowled an excellent second laying right next to the jack. 

Gareth backed his judgement in the fading light that it was only a single and struck Josh’s bowl off, leaving him to win the final on a measure.

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