THONGSBRIDGE are the Yorkshire Cup champions after winning a thrilling final against rivals Netherton Con.
A big crowd at rain-soaked sponsors Almondbury Liberal Club were splendidly entertained as Thongsbridge ran out winners 208-202.
It went right down to the last pair on the green – Wayne Dews for Netherton and skipper Richard Jackson for Thongsbridge, who needed to top eight points to secure the team victory.
It was neck and neck at the beginning, but then Dews went into the lead at 13-6.
They were now the only pair left. Dews led out and his first wood was a good yard through, allowing Jackson to bowl in.
Dews’ next wood was a yard short and Jackson bowled in for two, leaving the team scores tied.
Jackson then won the next end to give Thongsbridge the win, although he lost his game to Dews 21-14.
In the opener, Netherton’s Steven Haigh went from five apiece to 11-5 down against Andy Sorsby; then he was 17-6 down before scoring a good brace, only to have Sorsby turn over at the next end to go 19-8 up.
An indifferent lead at the next end let Haigh back in but Sorsby finished with a 21-13 win.
Jack Dyson took a 7-0 lead for Netherton before Nicky White bowled inside a foot wood to score his first point. White immediately cut the green in half to try to make some headway but it was to no avail as Dyson got back in at the next end. At 20-13 up, Dyson liked his wood but White asked for a measure before conceding to leave the scores level after two games.
Craig Gant bowled well against Phil Hallas across the middle of the green from bottom to top. Once Hallas got in he took Gant down the green edge, but Gant ran out a 21-10 winner.
Andy Farmer made an excellent start and was 9-3 up for Thongsbridge against Gareth McMahon, who then bowled a perfect wood to prop Farmer out to leave himself two – and it looked like a fightback was on the cards.
But Farmer stretched his lead to 16 -9 before McMahon once again collected two. Farmer had the upper hand, however, and went on to win 21-12.
This meant Netherton were two points in front after the first four.
Steve Hirst and Chris Kelly had a ding-dong battle before the latter won 21-19.
Ian Ross built up a good lead against Netherton’s Rob Wiltshire before Wiltshire started to pull back to 13-15 down, but a short lead let Ross back in.
It was then 19-16 to Wiltshire, but again a poor lead let his opponent in for two. At the next end Ross sent his first wood off and Wiltshire sneaked in with his second wood for one, making it 20-18. Wiltshire then led out a back-toucher down the green edge and Ross had no answer to it, Wiltshire winning 21-18.
Andy Spragg, well known for his corner bowling, had a tough battle with Mark Bramall, finally winning through 21-18.
Thongsbridge’ Ian Chappell took a 6-0 lead before knocking Graham Howe’s short wood in for one. But with some very tidy bowling Chappell won 21-9.
After eight games the team scores were Netherton 134, Thongsbridge 146.
Ashley Daykin took on Jack Clarke and led 11-0 on the bunny run before a short first wood let Clarke in. Daykin’s second wood was inch perfect, Clarke struck that wood out to put a first chalk on the board.
He immediately changed the mark, bowling from the corner to three quarters across the green, but both his woods were a yard off, letting Daykin in for one.
At 13-3 down Clarke had a good lead which Daykin tried to strike off but still went one down. Daykin eventually ran out on the green edge a 21-6 winner.
This result put the Netherton Con team in with a good chance once again, but Thongsbridge had more in the tank. Nigel Midwood fought back well for Netherton against Mark Farmer at 8-10 before a measure put Farmer back in the driving seat. The lead then went back and forth before Farmer took it 21-19.
Graham Brook came up against a man on a mission in Mark Booth, who was never more than a couple of feet away each end, no matter where they played on the green. Brook was 7-0 down before he managed to score and Booth went on to win 21-9.
That all added up to Dews needing to take Jackson out for seven for his team to win and, of course, he couldn’t quite manage it.
Yorkshire President Joan Wrigley presented the Cup to Richard Jackson, who thanked all the officials, Almondbury Lib for a good playing surface (even with the deluge of rain!) and for their excellent hospitality.
Scores – (Netherton Con names first): S Haigh 13 A Sorsby 21, J Dyson 21 N White 13, C Gant 21 P Hallas 10, G McMahon 12 A Farmer 21, S Hirst (C) 19 C Kelly 21, R Wiltshire 21 I Ross 18, M Bramall 18 A Spragg 21, G Howe 9 I Chappell 21, N Midwood 17 M Farmer 21, A Daykin 21 J Clarke 6, G Brook 9 M Booth 21, W Dews 21 R Jackson 14. Team score 202-208.