Malone and Atkinson retain trophy

Actions from Sowerby Bridge Mixed Pairs Bowls, at Hillcrest BC. Pictured is Cathy Ness
Actions from Sowerby Bridge Mixed Pairs Bowls, at Hillcrest BC. Pictured is Cathy Ness

Brendan Malone and Tracie Atkinson retained the Sowerby Bridge Association’s Alan and Betty Brown Open Pairs title at Hill Crest on Sunday.

They had a 15-5 victory over Phillip Holroyd and Darren Hickey in the final of the event which was sponsored by Phillip Brown and Susan Harrison.

The holders made a shaky start to their title defence, trailing by 4-9 and 7-11 in their opening game against Alan Fleming and Sue Rawnsley before recovering to win by 15-12.

They carried that form into their second game against David Greenwood and Mark Jeffries, racing to a 13-0 lead before winning by 15-3.

Their quarter-final opponents, Julian Dawson and Mick Uttley, led by 7 -2 and 10-9 before Malone and Atkinson recovered to take the lead by 13-10. The scores were level at 13 but the defending champions came through 15-13.

Their chances of holding on to the trophy looked remote when they trailed by 6-11 in their semi-final against Charlie Holt-Conway and Simon Robinson. However, a four and two pairs from consecutive ends took them to 14 and, although their opponents reduced the gap to a single chalk a 13-14,they scraped home by 15-13.

Holroyd and Hickey trailed by 7-11 in their first game against Paul Evetts and June Gaukroger but finished strongly to win by 15-13.

They led by 10-4 and 14-9 in their second game, against Jason Watters and Matthew Pearson, then held their nerve as Watters and Pearson fought back to level the scores a 14 before clinching victory by 15-14.

After a 15-6 quarter-final victory over Martin Steele and Cathie Ness, they found themselves behind by 9-12 in their semi-final against Gareth Swain and Jamie Lund before running out to win by 15-12.

In the final, Holroyd and Hickey won the first two ends to lead by 3-0 but Malone and Atkinson’s three at the next end was the start of a break of 12. Holroyd and Hickey won back the jack with a pair but were unable to take full advantage and Malone and Atkinson went on to win by 15-5.

Quarter-final scores: G.Swain/J.Lund 15 B.Hildred/J.Marsden 6; M.Steele/C.Ness 6 P.Holroyd/D.Hickey 25; B.Malone/T.Atkinson 15 J.Dawson/M.Uttley 13; C.Holt-Conway/S.Robinson 15 P.Brown/S.Bridges 12.