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Graham Hirst wins Over-70's KO at first attempt

Veterans League


Graham Hirst is the new Veterans League Over-70's KO Champion after beating Stuart Greaves in yesterday's final. A first entry into the competition for Lowerhouses bowler Graham had a formidable quarter-final opponent in the 2022 Champion and home bowler Eddie Haigh. Fast out of the traps as Eddie raced into a 10-2 lead and was still favourite to go through at 17-11 before Graham took the last 10 points to progress to the semi-finals.


There was a series of close encounters with two of the quarter-finals producing 21-20 scorelines with Tim Poulter and Graham Howe the major beneficiaries of those scores. In fact 3 of the 7 matches on the day ended with the ultimate 21-20 scoreline to readily illustrate how close a competition it was this year.


The eventual title winner progressed through the penultimate round by beating Longwood bowler, Graham Howe, who had earlier had a great fight-back against John Beaumont of Skel Windmill from 8-18 down to run out the 21-20 victor.


In the other half of the draw scratch bowler Tim Poulter looked set for a straight quarter-final passage through when leading Marsh United bowler Ken Roys 17-11 but Ken fought back to take the lead at 18-17 before Tim found another gear to run out 21-20 winner. However, Tim was on the wrong end of the same scoreline in the semi-final when he was beaten by Stuart Greaves when the furthest the two bowlers were apart was before they bowled a wood with the +3 handicap for Stuart creating the gap. A tussle between Tim's long game and Stuart's short straight mark looked to be heading Tim's way until Stuart exceeded himself to edge the tie 21-20.


With so many tight games enjoyed there was a danger that the final would produce something of an anti-climax but that proved not to be the case. The two finalists kept swapping the lead with neither of them able to prise themselves away from their opponent and the furthest they were apart was when Stuart led 11-8 and later when Graham led 17-13. The scoreline progressed to 19-across before Graham managed a final 2 to collect the trophy at the first time of asking.


Full photoshoot to follow including copies of the key scorecards and action shots from on and around the green.


FINALS DAY RESULTS

QUARTER FINALS

Stuart Greaves (3) New Mill

​21-10

Graham Beevers (3) Bradley & Colne

Ken Roys (2) Marsh United

20-21

Tim Poulter (Sc) Clayton West

Graham Hirst (Sc) Lowerhouses

21-17

Eddie Haigh (Sc) Lockwood Con

John Beaumont (6) Skel Windmill

20-21

Graham Howe (2) Longwood

SEMI-FINALS

Stuart Greaves

21-20

Tim Poulter

Graham Hirst

21-11

Graham Howe

FINAL

STUART GREAVES

19-21

GRAHAM HIRST

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