Malone battles to title

Bowls - Elland Association Norman Nicholl mixed pairs at Halifax BC. Brendan Malone.
Bowls - Elland Association Norman Nicholl mixed pairs at Halifax BC. Brendan Malone.

Brendan Malone won the Halifax Association’s Men’s Merit at Hill Crest on Sunday.

He defeated Neil Slattery by 21-15 in the final of the Grosvenors Butchers sponsored event.

From a field of 32, Malone’s long day began well. He raced into an early 16-6 lead against Steve Lowther and resisted a late recovery by his opponent to win by 21-16.

His second game, against Alan Forrest, was closely contested with the scores level at nine. Malone looked to be well in control as he pulled away to lead by 20-14 but Forrest fought back to level before Malone scraped home with a single at the final end.

After a comfortable 21-5 victory in his quarter-final against Paul Birkhead, Malone faced a tough semi-final against Phillip Holroyd. Holroyd enjoyed an early 6-1 lead before Malone drew level with a break of five. Holroyd led again by 18-16 but Malone recovered to reach all-but. Two singles by Holroyd levelled the scores but again Malone was able to snatch victory by 21-20.

Slattery also made a good start, converting a 15-5 lead into a 21-15 result again Paul Everts.

After trailing 4-6 in is second game against Tony Bannister, Slattery took control with a break of 12 and went on to win by 21-15.

Breaks of six and eight helped him into a 19-10 lead in his quarter-final against John Hamer. Hamer rallied to reach 17 before Slattery clinched a 21-17 victory.

Slattery reached the final with a 21-11 victory over Keith Hatzer.

In the final. Malone opened with a break of six and, after single to Slattery, extended his lead with a break of eight.

Slattery fought back with a break of six and after a single to Malone, produced a further break of seven to reduce the gap to one point at 14-15.

Malone reasserted control to lead again by 18-14 and, after a further single by Slattery, went on to claim the title by 21-15.

Quarter-final scores: N.Slattery 21 J.Hamer 17, L.Harris 19 K.Hatzer 21, C.Austin 20 P.Holroyd 21, P.Birkhead 5 B.Malone 21.