SUE Cooke missed out on adding to her impressive list of three national indoor championship title successes despite a brave challenge last weekend.
The North Wilts bowler, competing at the Warner Lakeside Coastal Village, Hayling Island, Hampshire, in the final stages of the Champion of Champions singles competition won her last 16 match 21-13 against area 23/24 champion Sharon Todd (Folkstone).
Section 29/30 inter-area champion Cooke led throughout going 8-5 up at ten ends and 15-7 at 15 but was pulled back to 16-13 at 18. However, a single and four on the next two ends sealed a highly satisfactory 21-13 victory.
In the quarter finals Cooke faced England international Julie Leake (Bournemouth) and was locked in a tight contest over 23 ends.
The North Wilts star led 5-3 at five ends but Leake had edged ahead 10-9 at ten. Back came Cooke to nudge in front 15-14 at 15 and was then tied 16-16 at 18 before singles were exchanged.
A three on the 21st end put Cooke 20-17 up and on the brink of victory but then she got agonisingly stuck on the dreaded number 20.
Leake scored a single on the 22nd end to cut the gap to 20-18 and then grabbed a match winning three on the next to deny Cooke and claim a hard-fought last gasp 21-20 success.
Leake went on to defeat teenager Katherine Rednall (Ipswich), who a fortnight earlier had won the World Ladies Indoor crown in Great Yarmouth, 21-13, then cruised past Pat Kirk (Herga, Wealdstone) 21-10 to take the title.
Cooke now turns her attention to three other national events as she is through to the inter-area finals in the women’s pairs, fours and two wood triples, with national finals at Northampton in late March or Melton & District at the beginning of April.
Meanwhile, North Wilts men were beaten by Thornbury by two shots in their Wessex League central region bottom-of-the-table clash.
Despite winning on two of the four rinks they were edged out 83-81 on Sunday and slip back into seventh and last spot in the table.
North Wilts led 26-22 across the board at five ends, however, were then always just adrift trailing 43-42 at ten, 66-57 at 15 and 75-70 at 18.
And in a final flurry managed to close the gap but still went down 83-81.
At home at Westcroft there was an excellent win for Justin Davis’ rink who only led 17-12 up at 16 ends but won 30-12, this advantage was wiped out though as Chris Brown’s home quartet went down 30-13 despite only trailing 17-13 after 13 ends.
Away in Thornbury a late run saw Geoff Hembrey’s rink come from 14-12 down at 14 ends to win 19-16, however, Maurice Byron’s quartet were 20-13 down at 15 ends and finally lost 25-19.
North Wilts have two Wessex League matches left this season against Bristol this Sunday and Nailsea the following Sunday to haul themselves off the bottom of the table.
Home - Rink 2: Richard Jennings, Dave Williams, Wayne Snook & Justin Davis beat A Tregoning 30-12. Rink 3: Bob McComb, Alan Small, John Buckland & Chris Brown lost to Terry Winter-Alsop 13-30.
Away - Rink 3: A Ponting, Dave Edmonds, Trevor Cooke & Maurice Byron lost to Colin Loton 19-25. Rink 4: Derek Clark, Bob Hayes, Peter Jacobs & Geoff Membrey beat J Lowden 19-16.
Score: North Wilts 81 (4pts) Thornbury 83 (12pts).
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