PAUL SIGSWORTH (inset) continued a remarkable record at the Griffin with yet another victory in the opening Sixteen competition of the winter bowling season.
He has now won the first Sixteen for five consecutive years and was even money at start of play.
But he was given a severe test in the final of the Mick Pollard-sponsored event by Mark Bramall, before beating him 21-20, in what many spectators agreed was one of the best finals seen at the club for some time.
Sigsworth said: “I’m delighted to win the first Sixteen as it’s always the toughest to win.
“It’s nice to keep my 100% record against Bram and I had some tough games against experienced Griffin players Peter Ramsden and Brian Morley.”
During the superb final both players were bowling at the top of their game.
Sigsworth took a 5-1 lead but Bramall fought back to level at 10 across.
The Meltham player then produced four singles on a short mark across the middle of the green before Sigsworth hit back, only for Bramall to get back on his mark and score a pair and two ones to go 18-12 up.
At this point, it looked like Bramall would finally beat his nemesis – he’s never beaten Sigsworth in several attempts – but a short lead let his opponent in for a pair and he pulled the score back to 17-18.
Bramall took the next end with a single and was lying game with two woods within inches only for Sigsworth to bowl a toucher.
The advantage then swung in the Netherton Con and Yorkshire county player’s favour when he took a 20-19 lead but Bramall hit back to set up a grandstand finish at 20-20.
Bramall’s lead was a yard through but Sigsworth’s reply was 18 inches wide.
With his second wood Bramall was flying but he connected with the jack and finished a bowl’s width at the side,
Then, with the crowd expecting Sigsworth to play through and try to knock it off, he surprised everyone by playing a brilliantly weighted wood which slid in off Bramall’s bowl to rest against the jack.
First round: D Scott 18 P Ramsden 21, R Whitwam 16 P Sigsworth 21, B Morley 21 K O’Prey 8, H Ellis 15 A Hirst 21, M Richardson 15 M J Sykes 21, M Higgins 21 T Holmes 19, M Bramall 21 W Higgins 12, G Sykes 21 S Parkin 14.
Quarter-finals: Ramsden 10 Sigsworth 21, Morley 21 Hirst 7, Sykes 19 Higgins 21, Bramall 21 Sykes 11.
Semi-finals: Sigsworth 21 Morley 14, Higgins 18 Bramall 21.
Final: Sigsworth 21 Bramall 20.
Sunday’s Sixteen is sponsored by a Griffin supporter (11.30).
First round: (odds in brackets) S McMahon (20) v M Pollard (14), R Sutton (10) v R Brook (6), R Wormald (3) v G Woodruff (33), P Hopkinson (10) v D Woodruff (20), A Daykin (11/4) v J Abbott (20), D Walkden (12) v P Kain (5), M Richardson (14) v G McMahon (8), M McCluskey (16) v C Davies (12).
Anthony Harper and Simon Howard won the £100 first prize in the Clarke’s Brewery-sponsored member and guest competition at Lockwood Con.
Harper and Howard beat Dougie Duck and Frank Griffin 21-19 in the final.
Entries are now being taken for next year’s £5,890 Clifford Crawshaw Memorial Classic, at Sowerby Bridge Hillcrest.
This year’s event was won by Jim Derby, who retained the title after a 31-30 victory against Andy Spragg.
There is a £400 increase in prizemoney which will enable third round losers to receive £75.
The winner will still receive £1,400 and the runner-up £700.
Qualification dates are: Rounds one and two – 16 players down to four – Saturdays April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7 and 14.
Entry is £25 (cheques made payable to Hillcrest BC) with SAE to: John Lodge, 28 Friendly Avenue, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX6 2TY, or call 01422 833181 or 07974 009203.
Almondbury Liberal Club A made a successful defence of last year’s Mallinson Cup Liberal League title by becoming convincing winners of Section A with an undefeated record.
Their only blip was a 5-5 draw with Crosland Moor A in August.
Lindley Liberal A took the runners-up spot and Almondbury Lib B couldn’t match their first team’s exploits and were relegated with Primrose Hill.
In Section B, Linthwaite were rampant and didn’t lose a game all season, and were promoted to the top flight along with a revitalised Kirkheaton A, whose fortunes now seem to be back on the up.
The League’s presentation evening will take place on Wednesday, October 31, at Kirkheaton Cricket and Bowling Club with a sop supper will be provided (8.00).
Mallinson Cup: Winners, Almondbury Liberal A captained by Neil Jones; Runners-up: Lindley Liberal A captained by Peter Hopkinson; Average winners (joint): Michael Martin (Almondbury Lib A) Pld 16 Won 12 For 309 Ag 215 Ave: +5.88; Steve Stoney (Cowcliffe Lib A) Pld 16 Won 12 For 313 Ag 219 Ave: +5.88.
Section B: Winners Linthwaite Cricket and Bowling Club, captained by Trevor Balderson; Runners-up: Kirkheaton CBC, captained by Eddie Hepworth; Average Winner: Mick Hinchliffe (Linthwaite CBC) Pld 14 Won 13 For 291 Ag 162 Ave: +9.22.
Liberal Merit champions: Ashley Tattersley (Almondbury Lib) won the Golcar Liberal Club-sponsored event.
Mixed Pairs champions: Neil Jones and Hazel Lunn (Almondbury Lib) won the Kirkheaton CBC-sponsored event.