Going to Russia to win

    07/15/07

    2007 Brunswick Team England #9

    Lakeside Superbowl Nuneaton in Nuneaton, England (July 14-15, 2007)

    Lakeside Nuneaton hosted this year's QubicaAMF World Cup qualifying tournament for English players in mid-July and produced one very surprised winner and one that could only be described as a favorite.

    In total 88 bowlers filled the two squads in the early exchanges, 20 of them ladies. And it certainly appeared that it was going to be quite high scoring. Finny Banks, runner-up in Slovenia in 2005, was out to win another chance and led ladies over eight games with a 221 average 24 pins ahead of Jo Allsebrook, with Hayley Beavis lying third. The pack behind was full of experienced internationals in Kirsten Penny, Jo Harries and last year's runner-up in Caracas Lisa John.

    The men scored even higher in their first 8 games – Rob Thurlby bagged a 300 on the way to a 278 over score of 1878. He was followed by European Championships silver and bronze medallist Darren Cundy 54 pins back. Just two behind Darren came another Euro team member Dom Barrett; he also bagged a perfect, enough to lead London International champion Rob Kendall by another two pins. Also averaging over 220 were George Patel and Damian Gray, with the ETBF ranking leader for the past 3 years Paul Moor lurking in the wings in 7th.


    Bonus Round


    There is an extra round for men – an additional 6 games for the top 40 – the cut falling on Jon Zadel allowing him a chance to improve on a 195 average. Scores now were becoming harder for many at the top, and Phil Scammell took the lead with a block worth 155 over. Next best was Steve Thornton's plus 84, while Barrett, Kendall and Thurlby's averages all fell to sub 220, and Cundy shot 50 under to drop to 9th.


    Semi Finals


    The last round before the round robin finals for ladies was a four game block that would see Lisa John fall out of the places and the other five mentioned above shuffled places allowing the dangerous Zara Glover to move into fifth only 69 pins off the lead having shot 88 over. Banks still led but only by 2 pins from Penny and only 70 pins separated first from sixth. A 270 first game shot Barrett back to the top of the leaderboard, 36 ahead of Moor, with the other eight finalists being Gray, Thornton, Scammell, Thurlby, Kendall, Patel and two young Matts in Miller and Hann tied for the cut 188 off the lead.


    Men's Final


    Scam began well with a 255 win, but apart from a 244 in game five faded from contention. A late surge, from the man famous for them, Thornton could only move him up to third above Kendall.

    That left the two leaders Moor and Barrett to dice for the win. After 5 games they were dead level – then it got topsy-turvy Barrett shot 248, Moor 193 (his only sub-200 in the final) with win bonus gave him a 95 pin lead. Game 7 and a 74 pin swing back to Moor as he bagged 237, Barrett 193.

    The wheels fell off for Barrett in game 8 against Patel, though he won the match against Essex colleague 148-142, Moor blasted 256 to take an 87 pin lead into the last game. 210 from Paul Moor with another win bonus was enough and he gets his chance to beat them all at the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.


    Ladies Final


    A more dominating performance in the face of stiff opposition is rarely seen as Jo Allsebrook blasted five game match winning scores of 205, 248, 223, 278, 223 a total of 1177 and a 235 average. This left Kirsten, Finny, Jo H, Zara and Hayley trailing in her wake at least 264 pins adrift.

    Without a doubt this is Jo's best bowling result ever and she earned her chance to take on the rest of the world in St Petersburg. Hopefully she can go one better against USA opposition – two successive final defeats against two great bowlers, but…. Go JoJo.


    Afterword


    2007BTE09WCQAllsebrookMoor.jpg This is Paul's fifth World Cup qualifying win, though he's only played three previously and not performed up to his usual standard so far. Paul commented, "I'm pleased to get back to form after a poor EC in Vienna. I'm delighted with the win and look forward to at least reaching the knockout stages in Russia… and then who knows?"

    Jo Allsebrook's first Team England ranking win doesn't come much better than earning a trip to Russia and comes on top of two runners-up spots in the ranking events at the Scott Banks and Euro 5s, JoJo bubbled, "It hasn't quite sunk in yet. It's something I've watched on TV for years and now I'm going to be there – it's fantastic. Fifteen weeks - I'm on a countdown already."