The last of this year’s winners became the first of next year’s champions, as through winning the Pudsey Classic at the start of the month, Ashley Daykin becomes, we think, the first qualifier for next season’s BCGBA Champion of Champions.
Coincidentally it was Daykin who became the last qualifier this time around, as the Carlsberg Moorside Classic winner in 2012 was pulled from the reserve list after Callum Wraight, last year’s Pudsey Classic champion, quadrupled up with his win in the Brighouse Classic.
Daykin saw off Danny Sillitoe of Dearne Sports, 21-16 in the first round of the night. Also in the first round and fighting for his eighth Champion of Champion qualifying title in 2012 was Gary Ellis. Ellis has dominated the game this season, and that night looked to be no different as he started off beating Tonge team-mate Matt Gillies; 21-16.
The first round produced the sort of results you hope to see on a final’s night of a competition. One pair went to 21-19, with Brian Hill (Old Whittington) beating David Walker (Scholes). There were two 21-18 wins for Scott Fisher (Denby Grange) and Gareth Gwilliam; and two 21-17 wins for Joe Bray (Cleckheaton Sports) and Darren Holt (Syke).
Clay Flattley was the other round one winner, winning to 13 to secure his place in the second round.
If the first round produced a fantastic set of results, the quarter-finals threw up its own mixed bag – with Ellis romping to a 21-4 win (including the highest break of 14) against Flattley.
Daykin also enjoyed safe passage with a 21-10 win over Hill. Fisher won his second consecutive 21-18 match as he beat Gwilliam; while Bray was taken further into the zone of doubt as he beat Holt 21-19.
Having taken their quarter-finals in a fairly comfortable manner, the pair of Daykin and Ellis came through their semi-finals in a similarly successful way.
Daykin beat Bray 21-13. At the same time, Ellis saw off the challenge of Fisher with a 21-11 win.
So, to the final, to see if Daykin could thwart the steam-roller like dominance of Ellis – and he did, beating the Greater Manchester bowler 21-14. Daykin can play every open competition next season, safe in the knowledge that he will be going back to Blackpool once more.
Massive congratulations to Andy Hodgson and the Pudsey club and members who really have grown this event from nothing to a prestigious open in its own right; and qualifying event for the big prize each year. No doubt we’ll be covering information on entries for next year, as and when all the details are available.
Leeds and District Indoor Bowls Club get their season underway properly this Saturday as the men’s team face New Earswick in a split green, Denny Cup encounter from 10am (time correct at time of print).
The Denny Cup is, to many, the blue riband event indoors. Split across four rinks, it is the test of the quality of a club to find the very best and most consistent 16, anywhere in the country.
The esteem in which the event is held, at clubs such as Durham, Cumbria and Egham – three of the best Indoor clubs around – is testament to how much it would mean to a Yorkshire side to even make it through to the latter stages.
York narrowly missed out on a finals weekend spot a few years back; disrupted as much by the weather when in form, as they were by their eventual betters.
Leeds and District IBC (we are still tempted to write “nee” or “the artists formally known as” South Leeds for clarity) sat out the indoor national campaign last year, as the club worked with the local council to take control of their own arrangements.
Now they are back, running the club and managing the teams with an eye on securing a spot in the second round of the Denny Cup.
For those of you unfamiliar with the practicing of the indoor dark arts, the Denny Cup is a national event split in to regional areas before it widens out as the competition reaches the quarter-final stage.
It is a home and away fixture with eight bowlers per club at each venue. The winner is the side with the highest overall score across the two venues. Leeds face New Earswick, a familiar Yorkshire County League Division Two side in the first round.
The pace of the green is true and the lines forgiving at the club situated on the northerly ring road around York.
Leeds have struggled to break free of the first round of this national competition in the past.
A loss would put them in to the supplementary Denny Plate, where if the players are honest, there is a better chance of progressing further into November.
A win would set up a possible series of clashes with York (who play Ryedale) and Featherstone (who face Huddersfield) over the next two rounds.
On Sunday the club is in mixed action as the team return to the Egham Trophy once more.
There is no supplementary event so a win is a must if the men and ladies are to continue on in the nationals this winter. They face Huddersfield, a trip no-one will really be looking forward to, given the difficulties faced on that green most seasons.
Just time for a quick reminder that the Winter Pairs gets underway at Potternewton Park this Sunday, from 9.30am.
The competition runs for most of the winter, breaking maybe twice in December or whenever the weather really forces the bowlers off the green (usually only for snow) – all the way through to March.
Gordon Monk is in charge of organizing the draw each Sunday. There is a £5 winter club membership and it is £4 per pair to play on the day. You do not have to play every week.
A ladder system is in operation, with the top 16 qualifying through to a play off, just before the start of the outdoor season next spring (March 24).