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Everything seemed to be falling into place for the top ranked player of the season Matt Bower at the Millhouses Park winter bowling season play-offs.

He comfortably reached the final and looked favourite to collect the £300 at 19-17 only for Andy Whitaker to finish the stronger and take home the substantial pot 21-19.

Quarter finals: Peter Worfolk 21 Harry Slack 17, Matt Beever 21 Debbie Farmer 13, Andy Whitaker 21 James Higgins 7, Mick Swift 21 Paul Bailey 19. Semi-finals: Peter Worfolk 11 Mat Beever 21, Andy Whitaker 21 Mick Swift 18.

Ernie Wearing was disappointed not to finish in the top 16 over the winter but gained £100 compensation by beating Ian Wassell 21-12 in the final of the consolation event for players ranked 17 to 32.

Quarter-finals: Peter Maddison 21 Steve Pickering 19, Dean Missere 16 Ernie Wearing 21, Shirley Darnill 21 Andy Mailer 12, Ian Wassell 21 Crag Shore 15. Semi-finals: Peter Maddison 9 Ernie Wearing 21, Shirley Darnill 15 Ian Wassell 21

* Armthorpe triumphed in the second challenge match between the winter leagues of Armthorpe, Hemsworth, Dorothy Hymans and Bolsover which was switched to Hemsworth MW in Fitzwilliam from Bolsover Colliery. Results -

Armthorpe 136 Hemsworth 120: N Fletcher 21 C Woodhead 9, C Bamford 21 N Newton 9, T Hill 21 C Cullen 16, M Axe 12 D Cullen 21, S Shannon 7 N McDermott 21, P Stones 21 K Watson 8, M Tonge 21 L Grieve 15, R Lysons 12 J Lomas 21.

Dearne 168 Bolsover 102: S Goldthorpe 21 N Broom 16, K Reilly 21 V Taylor 19, I Chappell 21 K Parkes 6, S Oliver 21 J Evans 12, M Kay 21 B White 14, D Rogers 21 J Colebourne 12, J Hopkinson 21 C Bytheway 13, J Hardwick 21 A Wragg 10.

Final - Armthorpe 147 Dearne 141: N Fletcher 16 M Kay 21, C Bamford 21 S Goldthorpe 13, M Axe 21 I Chappell 13, S Shannon 19 K Reilly 21, M Tonge 11 S Oliver 21, P Stones 21 D Rogers 13, T Hill 18 J Hopkinson 21, R Lysons 21 J Hardwick 18.

Less than ideal Bowling weather did not deter 16 hardy annuals participating in the 17th successive winter competition at Hollinsend Park.

With the green running well given the soaking it had received days earlier, it was homester Graham Bland who took first spot with Jack Clarke (Meersbrook BC) and Dave Gamban (Hollinsend) taking second and third places.

The following week produced ideal bowling weather and 32 players turned out with Jack Clarke taking first place once again, followed by Crookesmoor’s Barry Ward and Walter Heffren of the host club.

* Final winter results from Dorothy Hymans: Dearne 71 Bawtry 72, Dorothy Hymans 70 Royston 68, Shaw Lane 84 Nomads 48, Alzmob 71 Phoenix 56, Armthorpe 70 Roundwood 71. Final league table: Shaw Lane 1381, Dorothy Hymans 1334, Armthorpe 1332, Roundwood 1295, Dearne 1292, Alzmob 1240, Nomads 1144, Bawtry 1133, Royston 1094, Phoenix 1051.

Congratulations to Shaw Lane for winning the league again, and to Armthorpe’s John Richardson who won the averages.

Top ten: John Richardson 1.58, Alan Stone 1.51, Ady Taylor 1.46, Brian Cooper 1.46, Craig Beck 1.36, J Lomas 1.35, Joe Farrimond 1.34, D Mirfin 1.29, G Barnes 1.27, C Upton 1.22.

*Dearne Sports are hosting another knockout doubles tomorrow from 11 am with partners drawn at random before the start of play.

* Hemsworth staged the last Tuesday night of the winter league season.

Results: Phoenix 55 Shafton 78, Royston 55 Hemsworth 75, Frickley 68 Dorothy Hymans 78, Scandal 84 Norton Flyers 48.