ASHLEY DAYKIN can claim top bragging rights after proving he is best of the best after winning the Huddersfield Champion of Champions end of season finale.
But Daykin (pictured below) was made to work hard for his £200 first prize and trophy in the Armitage Leisure Services-sponsored event by Yorkshire Handicap winner Roger Crowther.
Daykin, winner of the Huddersfield Merit, won 21-14 to claim his second Champion of Champions title after previously winning the event in 1997 (he was runner-up in 2001).
En-route to the final Daykin beat Adam Douglas (Dearne and Don Merit) 21-14 and edged past Halifax Champion of Champions winner Graham Hickey 21-17 before ending Netherton Con clubmate Paul Sigsworth’s ambitions of achieving a fifth consecutive appearance in the final of the competition when Daykin ran out a 21-14 winner.
There was some excellent bowling throughout the Marsh United-staged final which was befitting of the Champions’ clash.
The quarter-final tie between Robert Mudd and Wayne Dews, many spectators’ dark horse for the title, was one of several high-quality games, with Mudd unlucky in the final two ends with knocks going in Dews’ favour to hand him a 21-17 victory.
Crowther, meanwhile, was also in delightful form and it made for a cracking semi-final against Summer Handicap winner Dews.
Slaithwaite bowler Dews led 7-2 but then was playing catch-up as Crowther led 15-10. With the scorecard showing 19-16 to Crowther, Dews had two counting woods on, but Crowther bowled a belter to take the end en-route to his 21-17 win.
In the final, played under floodlights, there was nothing to separate the quality players.
At 9-9 left-hander Crowther played the jack short of a length, but off Daykin’s lead, Crowther recovered to plant his wood next to the jack and win the end.
Then, at 12-11 to Daykin, the Netherton player ran up his second wood into the corner as it nestled next to the jack but back came Crowther with a fantastically-weighted wood to nudge out Daykin’s and leave his own counting.
But at 14-14 Daykin strung together a series of three twos to pull away from his opponent before winning the title 21-14.
First round: R Mudd (Spring Handicap) 21 B Starkey (Veterans Rosebowl) 13, S Phelan (Huddersfield Junior Merit) 18 W Dews (Summer Handicap) 21, R Bray (Over 70s Merit) 18 J Hanson (Yorkshire Junior Merit) 21, R Crowther (Yorkshire Handicap) 21 S Fisher (Mirfield Merit) 14, A Beaumont (Jack Burgin Trophy) 10 P Sigsworth (Conservative Merit) 21, A Crowther (Colne Valley Merit) 16 R Spencer (Works Handicap) 21, A Daykin (Huddersfield Merit) 21 A Douglas (Dearne and Don Merit) 14, G Hickey (Halifax Champion of Champions) 21 A Tattersley (Liberal Merit) 14.
Quarter-final: Mudd 17 Dews 21, Hanson 11 Crowther 21, Sigsworth 21 Spencer 4, Daykin 21 Hickey 17.
Semi-finals: Dews 17 Crowther 21, Sigsworth 14 Daykin 21.
Final: Crowther 14 Daykin 21.