AFTER three defeats in the final since 1999, Yorkshire Main shook off their bridesmaids tag with a win in their fourth Eric Warren Trophy final appearance, defeating Pilkingtons Recreation C at Elmfield Park.
With Yorkshire Main having a two-point advantage on the player handicaps, and Pilkingtons carrying a four-point penalty due to their runners-up status from last year, the Edlington team started six points in front, and when George Boothman won 21-2 in just 17 ends, running out from 10-2 up, things were looking good.
Pilkingtons had other ideas, however, and although Bob Jackson led 4-0 for Yorkshire Main, John Armstrong rattled off three pairs to lead 6-4, and soon led 14-6. Jackson won four of the next five ends to close to 11-16, but could only manage one more as Armstrong won 21-12 to close the gap to 16.
Pilkingtons’ Tony Blanchard used his experience against Michelle Bowley, going from 5-3 up to 10-3, and then 14-4. Bowley matched Blanchard point for point in the second half of the game, but she was unable to close any further, leaving Blanchard a 21-11 winner and Pilkingtons back to only 16 behind.
In game four, Shirley Thornton led 5-0 for Pilkingtons before Henry Hall began to claw his way back, trailing just 11-12 after 17 ends, and after 22 ends he led 16-15. Thornton came back, however, and won four of the last five ends to win 21-17.
The score at halfway was 114-112 to Yorkshire Main.
Pilkingtons had the momentum and, in the battle of the junior bowlers, Thomas Shillito of Pilkingtons scored doubles at the first two ends against Natasha Jackson before his opponent scored three singles to trail 4-3. Shillito won eight ends in a row to lead 16-3, and soon it was 20-4. Jackson managed to double her score in the next three ends, but another single from Shillito saw him win 21-8 and Pilkingtons were in front for the first time, leading by 11.
Veteran Joe Dixon won the first three ends for Yorkshire Main, before Wayne Barker scored five ones in a row to go 5-3 up. Dixon scored four singles himself before recording the first double of the game at the 13th end to lead 9-5. Barker levelled at 9-9, Dixon went 13-9 up but back came Barker at 13-all, and then 15-all. Dixon kept his cool though, winning four of the last five ends for a 21-17 win to give Main hope.
John Richards’ game against Ross Taylor was another tight affair. Richards led 6-5 after nine ends only to trail 9-7 after 13. Richards finally recorded his first pair in the middle of a run of seven ends without reply to go 16-9 up, and although Taylor scored five points in three ends Richards held on to win 21-15. Pilkingtons now led by onr point with one game left.
That game saw Yorkshire Main’s other junior player, Adam Dawson, lead 6-3 against Marie Reilly before Reilly went 9-6 up. The jack changed hands several times as Dawson levelled at 12-12 and then went ahead at 15-14. Reilly won two ends to lead 16-15. Dawson scored two more singles, then one to Reilly to make it 17-all, before Dawson won the last three ends for a 21-17 win which gave his side victory by three points.
Pilkingtons could take consolation in the fact that they were only beaten courtesy of their team penalty, but it was Yorkshire Main who were celebrating after winning 185-182.