Tom Sullivan, Boston, with two last-shot wins, takes North American Region Novice 2 championship
The steely nerves of Tom Sullivan carried him through two final–shot wins before Sunday’s come-from-behind victory over two-time All Ireland Champion Con O’Callaghan, Boston, in the Novice 2 final at Wampatuck State Park, Hingham, Massachusetts. Earlier in the week, Sullivan edged another two-time All Ireland Champion, Brendan Fleming, by a few yards on the final shot, both men throwing a very low score of 17.
In Saturday’s semi-finals, Travis Craig from Ireland, West Virginia, took a lead with long, mistake-free bowling until Sullivan finally caught him, with Sullivan’s next to last shot, a brilliant twister around a 90 degree curve, through the pine needles, then jumping into the road uphill toward the finish line. Craig made a final throw far past the line in pursuit, but not far enough, as Sullivan then passed it, again by just a few yards, for the win over Craig and Mick Moloney, New York.
In the other semi-final O’Callaghan threw four long opening shots to stay within striking distance of the great speed shown by West Virginia’s Travis McClintic, in Travis’ first score through the leafy green tunnel that is Wampatuck road. Then when McClintic dropped a short shot, O’Callaghan was able to catch him and take the lead, using his accuracy and knowledge of the road to go on to the win over McClintic and Kevin O’Keefe of New York.
As storm clouds gathered over Sunday’s final, the veteran O’ Callaghan blasted out to a quick lead from the start to the first corner in four throws. Through that corner in driving rain, after O’Callaghan dropped off two short shots, Sullivan was able to even the score and then go ahead with razor-keen accuracy down the straight. Into the S-curve, O’Callaghan’s fast downhill throw, usually likely to run through and make sight, was instead trapped in wet grass at the bottom. Without sight Con dropped back yet another shot. One short throw by Sullivan raised a slight chance for O’Callaghan, but it was not to be as Tom threw sharp and accurate into the final straightaway for the victory.
All participating clubs wish Tom Sullivan All the Best as he represents the North American Region in the All Ireland Finals, County Mayo, Westport, September 10 & 11. His hard-fought battles were exciting to see.
In the Novice 1 finals, Decky O’ Shea defeated two-time All Ireland Champion Roger O’Riordan in an earlier five- match series, 3 to 1, three of the four scores contested to the final shot. All the Best to Decky in the All Irelands.
In 2011, for the first time, the North American Region added contests in Novice 3 and Novice 4, on shortened roads. The All Irelands do not yet include Novice 3 & 4, so these matches were for North American region titles only.
In Saturday’s Novice 3 semifinal, Wayne Marrs of West Virginia, in his first Boston experience, nevertheless brought his “A-game” to Wampatuck, and led New York’s Brendan O’ Keefe all the way to near the finish. O’ Keefe reached back and made a huge third-from-final shot to draw close to Marrs. Then on his final shot, across the finish line, O’Keefe finally caught Marrs, slowly rolling uphill past Wayne’s tip by a mere five feet for the victory.
In the other Novice 3 semifinal, Cian O’Callaghan displayed both speed and control, defeating Nick Mick of West Virginia.
In the Novice 3 final, a hard-fought match gave Boston’s Cian O’ Callaghan the win over New York’ s Brendan O’Keefe, on the last shot by only six feet, after nearly one mile of bowling.
In the Novice 4 semi-final, Scott Koon of West Virginia quickly fell behind New York’s Alan O’Connor by two shots, but mid way Koon began to find his rhythm with long shots, and his huge bowl nearing the finish closed to less than one bowl of odds. O’Connor still held the lead and across the finish passed Scott’s tip for the last shot win by a few feet, both players taking the same number of throws.
In the other Novice 4 semi-final, Clifton Colebank from West Virginia was steady and accurate with throws down the centerline to defeat Boston’s Trevor Kelly.
In the Novice 4 final, semi-final winner Alan O’ Connor from New York could not appear to compete. After some confusion, it was decided that Clifton Colebank would bowl Trevor Kelly again to provide a score for Sunday. Neither player threw their best but Kelly was able to take the win over Colebank. With hindsight, another solution could have been O’Connor forfeit to Colebank, with Scot Koon and Trevor Kelly throwing for runner-up, but as the new grades of Novice 3 and 4 added more scores and a tighter schedule to manage as well as excitement to the weekend, it is hoped that they will become a permanent part of the North American Region finals every year. It gives more new bowlers a chance to compete.
In an exhibition New York’s Adrian Lappin, rated Junior B, threw Boston’s Novice 1 Decky O’Shea, six shots from mid-point back to start line. On the first two shots, O’Shea held a slight lead, but then Lappin’s speed and accuracy took over. Some of the best players of the weekend had nearly made the first corner in four shots, but bowling back from that corner to the start line, Lappin’s fourth crossed the line, ran around the curve, made the ladies and children at the food table jump to safety, and rolled on to rest at the crossroads among the parked cars. Thanks to both Adrian and Decky for giving all in attendance that exhibition.
Good to see two fine young under 14 years bowlers at Wampatuck, where Johnny O’ Connor (NY) defeated Sean O’ Mahoney (Boston) by one bowl.
In the Ladies Longshot, Marsha Jordan of West Virginia defended her 2010 win against a large group of ladies, and became a two-time champion with the long shot at Wampatuck in 2011. Marsha then matched a score against Boston’s Eileen McGrath, and although Marsha had several good shots, Eileen consistently threw long bowls for the win.
Results - WVIRBA state championship -
Many thanks to the Boston Club for hosting a wonderful and successful sporting weekend, with last-shot thrilling scores at all grades. Kevin and Eileen McGrath’s The Half Door Pub and Restaurant in the heart of Quincy Center (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) provided great food all weekend and a merry awards Ceili, with Brendan Fleming on the accordion, Sean O’Mahoney the best song, and Florrie O’ Mahoney’s lovely daughter giving a graceful Irish dance. See www.wvirishroadbowling for news about this ancient sport in West Virginia and the North American Region.
Craig and McClintic Battle to Last Shot, Novice 2
On Wildcat Road in Ireland, WV, Travis Craig and Travis McClintic thrilled the crowd, matching shot for shot until McClintic edged Craig by 10 feet on the final throw. Both bowlers covered the 1.3 mile Wildcat road in 17 throws.
Craig opened the score with a huge bowl, to about 180 yards from the start line, but McClintic’s first throw answered back almost as far, about 160 yards. Each bowler had four long shots past the white picket fence nearly to Shenanigan Hill, then both men dropped off short bowls to still remain even. Rolling into the sharp curve at the red barn, McClintic held a slight lead, but a big bowl through and coming out of the curve by Craig put him in the lead once more, both men with 15 shots.
In the home-stretch straightaway, facing the finish from about 200 yards, McClintic threw to about 40 yards short of the line. From about 175 yards, with one long throw to make the line for the win, Craig overthrew the bowl short, as can happen to the best of bowlers, leaving about 65 yards to the line. Craig made a strong 17th throw, at least 50 yards past the finish. McClintic threw his 17th for the win, not his best shot, but with enough speed through the grass and the weeds to pass Craig by 10 feet for the victory.
It was a fine display of speed, skill and sportsmanship, and congratulations to both men. All the Best! as they travel to Boston August 5-7, the Pride of West Virginia, representing The Old Game from the Mountain State, bringing some WV Mountain Justice to the fearsome Northmen, our ancient foes from New York and Boston.
Ladies Finals: In the ladies finals Aleacha Wallington once again used her accuracy, skill and athleticism, to roll to a runaway victory past the field, covering the road (bowling back finish to start), in 21 throws. Marsha Jordan had fine shots to hold second place.
Semifinals: 1) Aleacha Wallington 22 v. Marsha Jordan 29 v. Sam Mann 31 v. Haleigh Felton ; 2) Judy Mize 28 (won by distance) v. Becky Felton 28 v. Kim Colebank 29 v. Pat Schumann
Finals: Aleacha Wallington 21 v. Marsha Jordan v. Judy Mize 29 (distance) v. Kim Colebank 29
Novice 3: Bowling out, Nick Mick had three huge shots off the start line to go past the white picket fence and take a big lead over Wayne Marrs, who had thrown an amazing-to-watch score of 16 bowling back in the semi-finals. Nick Mick held the lead, finishing with another long throw down the homestretch, tying the course record bowling out with 15 shots for the win.
Novice 4: Jack Jones, new to roadbowling, threw consistent scores and won Novice 4 with 19 shots, over Clifton Colebank.
Novice 2: Semifinals: 1) Stephen Wallington 17 v. Ken McClintic 18; 2) Travis McClintic BYE; 3) Travis Craig 16 (course record bowling back) v. Mark Whitt 17; 4) Rich Meece BYE;
2 Finals: Travis McClintic 17 (win by distance) v. Travis Craig 17 v. Stephen Wallington 18 v. Rich Meece 22
Novice 3: Semifinals: 1) Wayne Marrs 16 (course record bowling back) v. Bryan Wimer 20 v. David Powell 23; 2) Nick Mick 19 v. Mark Wilt 22 v. Eric George 23;
3 Finals: Nick Mick 15 (tied course record, bowling out) v. Wayne Marrs 21
Novice 4: Semifinals: 1) Jack Jones 21 v. Kevin Smith ; 2) Clifton Colebank v. Tom Ditty ; 3) Scott Koon v. John Nelson
4 Finals: Jack Jones 19 v. Clifton Colebank 21 v. Scott Koon 23
Pipestem Resort State Park - April 17, 2011
On the one mile Pipestem Road, many new players made this an exciting and memorable event. Our congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Wallington for a tremendous score of 15 shots to win easily on the one mile road, and also to her husband Stephen for his fine winning score of 13 shots.
Stephen Wallington 13
Rich Meece 14 25 ft
Nick Mick 14 20 ft
Wayne Marrs 14 2 ft
Mark Whitt 15
Mark Wilt 16 25 ft
Clifton Colebank 16 20 ft
Brian Wimmer 16 15ft
Dave Powell 16 10ft
Chris Felton 18
Kevin Smith 20 20ft
John Nelson 20 15 ft
Aleacha Wallington 15 (!!!)
Becky Felton 21 20ft
Kim Colebank 21 15 ft
Samantha Mann 23
Haleigh Felton 33
Strawberry Festival, Buckhannon, WV - May 22, 2011
On the one-mile Turkey Run Road, several of WV's best bowlers threw hard on a hot day to fill out the second qualifier for the WV state finals, to be held July 16, 17 in Ireland, WV. Travis Craig ably defended his status as multi- WV state champion, by a thrilling come-from-behind win, from two shots behind, to edge out Travis McClintic by 17 feet on the final shot, after 1.2 miles of bowling. Newcomer Brian Wimer qualified third, with veteran Ken McClintic the fourth qualifier at Strawberry.
1)Travis Craig 2) Travis MsClintic 3) Brian Wimer 4) Ken McClintic
Veteran players Judy Mize and Marsha Jordan had a shot for shot battle through 8 shots until Marsha, 2010 North American Ladies Long Shot Champion, pulled away for a three shot victory. Pat Shumann and Haleigh Felton followed with several long shots.
1) Marsha Jordan 2) Judy Mize 3) Pat Schumann 4) Haleigh Felton
West Virginians drop three matches on final shots