by Alan Bennett, BTBA Senior Tour Coordinator
The closing of the 2017 Senior Tenpin calendar saw the top 16 men and 3 ladies get together at Superbowl Mansfield on Sunday 10th December. Whilst the number of male qualifiers wasn’t a problem, the low number of ladies was due to these 3 being the only ones to satisfy the qualifying criteria. As usual the best laid plans went awry due to the wintry weather and a car breakdown which resulted in one lady and one man missing the event.
The chosen lane condition was the 39-foot Brunswick Inferno.
The first round was an 8 game qualifying block for all bowlers but with the ladies scores counting separately with Angie Brown leading the ladies section from Diane Johnson.
In the men’s section several bowlers shared the lead but it was Gary Barlow (1709) who finished up leading the field from Kim Johnson (1670), Gordon Humphries (1658), Mike Sykes (1593), Alan Keddie (1583), Gary Baker (1582), Les Grant (1540) and Mike Halliwell (1518). These would be the 8 men to contest the round robin final.
There were prizes for high game in qualifying in both divisions with Angie Brown taking all the ladies high games. The men’s high games were shared between 6 bowlers with Gary Barlow taking 4, Kim Johnson 2 and Mike Sykes and Gordon Humphries one each. The high game in qualifying went to Kim Johnson with a 278.
As an incentive for the bowlers outside the 8 qualifying places, a consolation prize was on offer for the 9th placed bowler, the one who usually ends up going home feeling disgruntled at not qualifying and only missing out by a few pins. Chris Skudder was the unlucky 9th placed man missing the final by 19 pins and claiming the consolation prize.
The ladies had decided that as there were just the two of them, they would play a best of 5 game contest to decide the ladies champion and it was Angie Brown who ran out the winner, 3-0.
The men’s round robin final proved to be an interesting affair with each of the bowlers who finished in the top 6 places leading at some point. Game 5 was the turning point when Gary Baker (1588) hit the front and despite suffering a loss in the final game, he went on to win by 47 pins from Alan Keddie (1541). Gordon Humphries (1519) was 3rd, Gary Barlow (1504) 4th, Kim Johnson (1482) 5th, Mike Halliwell (1479) 6th, Mike Sykes (1403) 7th and Les Grant 8th.
So the end of another BTBA Senior Tour which saw a total of 190 men and 43 ladies compete in the 10 qualifying tournaments with Angie Brown and Gary Baker as 2017 champions.
It really is a pleasure to be at Superbowl Mansfield. Dan and his staff are extremely accommodating, lane problems are few and far between and the refreshments available are to a very high standard.
We look forward to seeing you back on the lanes this year.