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Joe Stockdale beats dad Richard in historic West Riding Merit final
West Riding Merit finalists Richard Stockdale (runner-up, left) and son Joe (winner, right) with Norris Briggs (president) and David Arnold (secretary)
Joe Stockdale beat his dad Richard 21-17 in an all-Eccleshill final to win the West Riding Merit.
It was the first time a father and son had competed against one another in the history of the competition, which dates back to 1941.
With the scores tied at 16-16, Joe scored two pairs to lead 20-16 and although Richard responded with a single, it was not enough as Stockdale junior clinched the title.
A field of 16 bowlers had qualified for the finals competition, which was played in dismal weather conditions.
Tony Throup (Spen Victoria) had been hoping to continue his winning streak, following on from his recent success in the Ben Ramsden Merit.
But he was to lose out in the quarter-finals to Jon Edmondson (Pudsey), who was playing in the finals for a fifth time having won in 2005, 2009 and 2010 and been runner-up last year.
Edmondson progressed to the semi-finals before losing to Stockdale senior – who, having won his earlier games 21-3 and 21-17, was to bowl his best game in beating Edmondson 21-7 to secure a place in the final.
Son Joe progressed with wins over Eccleshill clubmate Paul Hillam 21-19, Craig Oddy (Hunslet Moor) 21-18 and Joel Abdy (Rastrick) 21-19.
Last 16: Tony Throup (Spen Victoria) 21, Ira Jeffers (Crossgates) 19; Jon Edmondson (Pudsey) 21, Vinnie Smith (Hightown) 4; Richard Stockdale (Eccleshill) 21, Mark Goodall (Hightown) 3; Mick Potter (Spen Victoria) 16, Ian Shaw (Pudsey) 21; Joel Abdy (Rastrick) 21, John Blackburn (Spen Victoria) 19; Brian Bentley (Hightown) 12, Richard Brook (Mirfield Old Bank) 21; Joe Stockdale (Eccleshill) 21, Paul Hillam (Eccleshill) 19; David Billington (Drighlington) 6, Craig Oddy (Hunslet Moor) 21. Quarter-finals: Throup 14, Edmondson 21; R Stockdale 21, Shaw 17; Abdy 21, Brook 14; J Stockdale 21, Oddy 18. Semi-finals: Edmondson 7, R Stockdale 21; Abdy 19, J Stockdale 21. Final: R Stockdale 17, J Stockdale 21.
* Marc Armitage (Pudsey Littlemoor) won the 14th Junior Pudsey Classic after defeating Finlay Hickey (Lower Hopton) 21-12 in the final.
Green knowledge proved beneficial to Armitage, who started his bowling at Pudsey, as he recaptured the title he last won in 2009.
The two finalists traded points on the shorter marks but Armitage gradually started to build up a lead and although Hickey made a fight of it, he was eventually cut adrift.
Players who looked good in the early rounds included Ben Falkingham (Pudsey), playing in his first competition and beating Yorkshire junior captain Neil Wood.
Aaron Brine, a nine-year-old also taking part in his first tournament, won a game and looks to have a bright future.
Jordan Wike (Pudsey) gave Jack Bowes (Pudsey) a fright, while Ollie Mordue (Brighouse Sports) was just edged out 21-20 by county player David Ryding (Hipperholme).
Sophie Olivant (East End Park) and Chloe Lay (Kirkheaton) shared the prize for last girl standing and both gave their quarter-final opponents, Danny Towning (Pudsey Littlemoor) and Armitage, a run for their money.
In the bottom half of the draw, Dale Hardcastle (East End Park) had 2010 and 2011 champion Joe Cranston (Crossgates) on the ropes at 19-13, only for his opponent to grind his way back to 19-19.
But a slack lead by Cranston then gave Hardcastle a bit of room to pinch the pair needed to secure a last-four berth.
The remaining quarter-final saw Hickey’s extra experience enable him to edge past Bowes 21-16.
British junior champion Towning came up short 21-12 against Littlemoor clubmate Armitage in the semi-finals, while Hardcastle moved 12-9 up before Hickey upped a gear to win 21-16.
Jon Edmondson (Pudsey), Danny Carter (Shipley Club), Tony Throup (Wyke), Paul Gill (Clayton), Paul Hillam (Eccleshill), Stuart King (Pudsey Littlemoor), Phil Hill (Whitkirk), Ian Matthews (Eccleshill), Josh Mordue (Brighouse Sports), Mally Fowler (Ladyhill), Phillip Walker (Harold Park), Carole Sharp (Drighlington).
* Next Thursday (October 11) is the deadline for rule changes and nominations for Bradford bowler of the year. Clubs should send their rule changes and nominations to general secretary Diane Johnson (see details in handbook).