Steele shows his mettle

Sowerby Bridge Champion of Champions. Jason Leeming and Martin Steele.

Sowerby Bridge Champion of Champions. Jason Leeming and Martin Steele.

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Martin Steele won the Sowerby Bridge Associations Champion of Champions bowls event at Luddenden Foot BC on Sunday.

He defeated Gareth Swain in the final of the Peter Jackson & Sons sponsored event, claiming the David Telford Memorial Trophy with a 21-20 victory in a tense and fluctuating contest.

Steele was behind by 4-9 in his opening game against Alan Broad but took control with a break of 11 and went on to win by 21-11.

In a see-saw second game, against Jason Leeming, Steele led by 11-6 before falling behind to a break of eight to his opponent.

He recovered to draw level at 16 and, after a pair by Leeming, ran out to win by 21-18.

His semi-final opponent was Phillip Holroyd, who led by 10-7 and 12 9 before Steele drew level at 12. Holroyd pulled away again to lead by 17-12 and 19-16 but Steele recovered once more to finish with two pairs and win by 21-19.

Swain opened with a comfortable 21-9 victory over Gary Timewell and was equally impressive in his second game against Jim Eaton, winning by 21-10.

In his semi-final, against Scott Haynes, he opened with a break of seven, then followed that with a break of eight to score another comfortable 21-8 victory,

The final looked like being another one sided game, with Steele dominant for the first half of the game.

He led by 8-3, 14-6 and 16-8 before Swain managed to win consecutive ends to narrow the gap at 11-17.

After a single to Steele, Swain finally found some form to put together a break of seven to take the lead for the first time by 18-17.

A single to Steele levelled the scores and, after Swain had reached all but with a pair the next end, Steele held his nerve and ran out with three singles to snatch victory.

Quarter-final scores: J.Leeming 18 M.Steele 21; C.Austin 2 P.Holroyd 21; G.Swain 21 J.Eaton 10; T.Robertshaw 17 S.Haynes 21.