Second Annual BUTBA/BTBA Airport Doubles – May 2017
In 2016, the first ever joint BUTBA/BTBA ranking event was held at the Airport Bowl with 22 teams entering. Glen Richardson and Dan Bonfield took first place scratch, winning all of their 5 round robin matches (but we all know Basher doesn’t like to talk about it). Meanwhile a BUTBA team made up of Tim Hughes and James Horwood won 1st place handicap, also having won all 5 of their round robin matches.
In 2017, we received entries from an outstanding 37 teams so the event was run over 2 qualifying squads. The defending champions got off to a flying start with a 491 scratch (242/247). ‘We Are Shoddy’ (Jon Langridge and Craig Barrett) also started well with 459, which the followed up with a solid 415 in game 2. In game 3 Laura Marcham threw a massive 278 scratch, putting her in the lead for the High Handicap Qualifying Game with 322 handicap. Game four saw an impressive team scratch score of 483 from father/son combo ‘If Only’, with games of 247 from Charlie Woollard and 236 from dad Tony, which would win them high handicap team game with 586. Game 6 saw a big finish from Airport league bowler Adam Lewis with a 244 for a team scratch game of 459. Meanwhile ‘We Are Shoddy’ were still cruising along, not putting in a single team game below 415, however at the end of qualifying the defending champs were leading the pack by 47 pins. ‘On The Ball Proshop’ (Neil Highgate and Michael Rich) were sat in top spot for the handicap finals with 3052, Neil having put in a massive average of 224.2 for 6 and Michael Rich coming in 23 pins above his entering average.
The second squad started on time and it was ‘Yellow Sweets’ (Frankie Plewis and Adam Cairns) who took the lead thanks to Frankie’s 253 giving them a team scratch game of 462. Game 2 saw ‘Team BPC’ (Sam Hannan and Glen Bailey) roll a 453 scratch while ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 1’ (Craig Ellis and Kieron Patel) also made a charge for the top with a 469 scratch team game. Game 3 saw Dylan Maciuk’s thunder stolen after shooting an impressive 258, as the first and only perfect game of the day went in from Glen Bailey, giving ‘Team BPC’ an impressive 515 scratch game. Sam Hannan, clearly not wanting to be outdone followed up with a 247, while Callum Westwood put a 259 game in. ‘Ballistic Bowling’ started putting up a fight as Gavin Greaves hit 280 for a 499 team scratch game, but ‘Yellow Sweets’ were still challenging with team scratch games of 480 and 491 in the 4th and 5th games. All teams finished strongly in the 6th with ‘Team BPC’ on 468, ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 1’ shooting 443, ‘Yellow Sweets’ hitting 409 and ‘Ballistic Bowling’ closing off a 451 with a 246 from Gareth this time. Unfortunately for Laura, the final game of squad 2 also saw University of Birmingham Ex-Student Kian Mistry shoot a scratch game of 244. This gave him 323 to take the High Handicap Qualifying Game by just 1 pin!
Once all the scores were in Bonfield and Richardson had dropped to third scratch behind ‘Team BPC’ and ‘Yellow Sweets’, along with ‘Ballistic Bowling’ and ‘We Are Shoddy’. Coming in sixth place were ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 1’ making the cut by only 27 pins. In the handicap final, ‘On The Ball Proshop’ were still leading the pack and would be joined by ‘Double D’ (David Yeates and Danny Lalley), ‘Grip It and Rip It’ (James Winter and Mark Roberts), 2 Plus 1 (junior bowlers Cara Pleasance and Jade Connor), and ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 2’ (Scott Gilbert and Dylan Maciuk) with ‘Wang It’ (Laura Marcham and Dean Keeble) just creeping in at 6th by 28 pins. All qualifying pinfall was wiped as the qualifiers moved on to a 5 game round robin final, with 50 bonus pins awarded for a win, and 25 for a draw.
In the scratch final the first round couldn’t have been much closer. ‘Ballistic Bowling’ defeated Bonfield and Richardson by only 1 pin 409 v 408, while ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 1’ beat ‘We are Shoddy’ 379 v 377. The third pairing was to be a fluke of the grandest scale which you wouldn’t expect to ever see again in your bowling life time. Samantha and Frankie played lead off and both finished with respectable 192, while their partners, Glen and Adam both finished on 237. Not only had the team’s drawn overall 429 v 429, but they’d done so with the exact same scores! With all the scratch matches being decided by a handful of pins, the handicap matches were not nearly as close. ‘On The Ball Proshop’, ‘Grip It and Rip It’ and ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 2’ all won their first bonus points with at least 78 pins to spare. The second round saw ‘Ballistic Bowling’ and ‘On The Ball Proshop’ bag another 50 bonus pins against ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 1’ and ‘Grip It and Rip It’ respectively, putting them both in pole position after 2 games.
After two losses the scratch defending champions decided to start fighting back as Glen Richardson scored 286 to take the team’s first win from ‘We are Shoddy’, jumping from 5th to 2nd in the process. However ‘Ballistic Bowling’ chalked up another win against ‘Team BPC’, 423 v 394. In the handicap ‘On The Ball Proshop’ weren’t as lucky and suffered their first defeat at the hands of juniors ‘2 plus 1’ losing 491 v 513, while ‘Wang It’ secured their first win against ‘Double D’, 520 v 480. However positions remained unchanged with ‘On The Ball Proshop’ first and ‘2 plus 1’ in second.
In the penultimate matches Bonfield and Richardson continued their fight back taking another 50 bonus points from ‘Let’s Bowl Pro Shop 1’, while ‘Team BPC’ and ‘Ballistic Bowling’ also won their matches leaving all three to fight it out for the top three final places. In the handicap finals both ‘On The Ball Proshop’ and ‘2 plus 1’ won their matches to stay in the top two, while ‘Double D’ and ‘Grip It and Rip It’ were left fighting it out for third.
In the last set of matches Bonfield and Richardson gave it everything they had for a 504 with 50 bonus pins. However it wasn’t to be enough as Gareth shot 251 and Gavin 246 for a 497 scratch total and a clean sweep of wins. In the handicap ‘Double D’ and ‘Grip It and Rip It’ were not only fighting for third but playing each other at the same time. It was a close match but ‘Double D’ took 50 bonus pins winning 463 v 444 handicap taking third place in the process. ‘On The Ball Proshop’ and ‘2 plus 1’ both won their matches again, but having won 4 out 5 matches each ‘On The Ball Proshop’ were ahead on pinfall and managed to take first place by 46 pins.
At the end of the event prizes were awarded as follows:
- 1st Place (Scratch) – Ballistic Bowling (Gareth and Gavin Greaves) – 2470
- 2nd Place (Scratch) – Dan Bonfield and Glen Richardson – 2424
- 3rd Place (Scratch) – Team BPC (Glen Bailey and Sam Hannan) – 2319
- 1st Place (Handicap) – On The Ball Proshop (Neil Highgate and Michael Rich) – 2590
- 2nd Place (Handicap) – 2 Plus 1 (Cara Pleasance and Jade Connor) – 2544
- 3rd Place (Handicap) – Double D (Danny Lalley and David Yeates) – 2435
- High Team Game (Scratch) – Team BPC (Glen Bailey and Sam Hannan) – 515
- High Team Game (Handicap) – IF ONLY (Charlie and Tony Woollard)
- High Average (Male) – Glen Richardson – 232.2
- High Average (Female) – Sam Hannan – 222.0
- Most Improved – Callum Westwood – 31.2
- High Handicap Game (Qualifying) – Kian Mistry – 323
Photos from the day can be viewed here.
Yet again our thanks go to the tournament sponsors, B&P Fabrications and Striking Shirts who sponsored additional prizes for the scratch and handicap first place teams. In addition B&P are sponsoring the whole BTBA Adult Tour in 2017, bolstering the pot for the end of season tour standing awards. (A minimum of 6 events are required for qualification for the cash Tour prize and the top positions will be based on points awarded at each player’s best 6 events.)