Ellis beats Hitchen in Crest final

Gary Ellis at the Hill Crest Classic final, which he won
Gary Ellis at the Hill Crest Classic final, which he won

Gary Ellis won the Complete Packaging Services Hill Crest Classic for a record equalling fourth time with a 31-20 victory over Robert Hitchen.

Ellis picked up the £1,200 first prize, with Halifax’s Hitchen collecting £600.

Ellis also won the £50 highest break prize sponsored by Grosvenors Butchers, at the start of a lucrative 24 hours.

On Sunday afternoon he won a competition at the Navigation in Stockport worth £1500, before heading back over the Pennines to Sandal near Wakefield where he picked up the £1000 winner’s cheque.

In the Hill Crest final, and with the scores at 11-12, Ellis hit his opponent with a 10 break.

Hitchen responded with a pair but with both players only being able to keep hold of the jack for a couple of ends at a time Ellis had his hands on the trophy after 34 ends.

Ellis will represent the Sowerby Bridge club in the BCGBA Champion of Champions at Blackpool in September.

Ellis had started the night against his Tonge team-mate and double Classic winner Jim Derby.

Derby led 20-11 after 18 ends and at 24-20 scored a single and a pair to re-open a commanding lead. However, Ellis showed why he is so successful, an eight break giving him the lead for the first time.

Both players then scored a single before Derby got two to lead 30-29, only for Ellis to score a double.

Martin Gilpin, having beaten David Scott 31-23 in his first game, was never in contention against Ellis. The match only lasted 31 ends and finished 31-13, Ellis including a 10 break

Hitchen started against his Elland WMC & Yorkshire colleague and four times Classic winner Graeme Wilson.

At 10-14, Hitchen started to outscore Wilson with several pairs. At 14-27, Wilson put together a five break but Hitchen held firm to win 31-21.

His semi-final against Glyn Cookson was close with Hitchen always in front and winning 31-27.

Prizes were presented by Mark Barnett from the sponsors and competition organiser Terry Goulden announced that Complete Packaging Services would back the event again next year’s event.

Grosvenors have also agreed to sponsor the high break prizes.

First round: Thomas Hanson 25 Glyn Cookson 31, Robert Hitchen 31 Graeme Wilson 21, Gary Ellis 31 Jim Derby 30, Dave Scott 23 Martin Gilpin 31. Semi-finals: Cookson 27 Hitchen 31, Ellis 31 Gilpin 13.

Two pages of bowls in Friday’s Courier