After the playing of some postponed matches the finalists in the 2018 Major Pairs Championship have been decided.
Mick Atkinson and John Monks had a delayed match with Michael Kennedy and Alan Etheredge – Kennedy was a sub for Ron Cox. Atkinson and Monks started well with both players in good touch. They established a handy 10 – 4 lead after 8 ends. Kennedy and Etheredge staged a comeback and narrowed the lead to three shots. However, a big haul of 5 shots to Atkinson and Monks on the 17th end proved to be the game breaker. They were able to control the game to take a comfortable 25 – 11 victory.
With this win Atkinson and Monks advanced to a semi-final against Colin Fletcher and Alan McLeod. Atkinson and Monks could not find their form of the previous game with Fletcher and McLeod dominating the first 9 ends to set up a massive 18 – 3 lead.
The momentum then changed. Atkinson and Monks picked up 10 shots over 5 ends to narrow the score to 19 – 13. In this period they found their form. Some excellent bowls from McLeod salvaged the situation on several ends when it looked like they would be overwhelmed.
With two ends to play Fletcher and McLeod seemed safe at 23 – 16 but the game had another turn when Monks moved the jack to pick up four shots to see the sides go into the last end only three shots apart. Steady bowls from both Fletcher and McLeod held Atkinson and Monks to just one shot on the last end and ensured they progressed to the final with a 23 -21 win.
Their opponents in the final will be Noel Downie and Joel Hilliard who survived a fright in the semi-final with Alan Skelton and Patrick Sager. Skelton and Sager had the better of the early play and had an advantage of 11 – 5 after 10 ends.
The game was then turned on its head. On the 11th end Downie and Hilliard picked up six shots to draw level and then consolidated this with 9 unanswered shots on the next four ends to grab a big 20 – 11 lead. Skelton and Sager steadied but they could not grab the multiple scores they needed to close the gap. Downie and Hilliard moved into the decider with a hard fought 24 – 15 win.
The final between Downie and Hilliard and Fletcher and Mcleod will be a good match. The next event in the calendar is the Minor Singles with nominations closing on Friday June 22.