Malone and Atkinson retain trophy
Brendan Malone and Tracie Atkinson retained the Sowerby Bridge Association's Alan and Betty Brown Open Pairs title at Hill Crest on Sunday.
They had a 15-5 victory over Phillip Holroyd and Darren Hickey in the final of the event which was sponsored by Phillip Brown and Susan Harrison.
The holders made a shaky start to their title defence, trailing by 4-9 and 7-11 in their opening game against Alan Fleming and Sue Rawnsley before recovering to win by 15-12.
They carried that form into their second game against David Greenwood and Mark Jeffries, racing to a 13-0 lead before winning by 15-3.
Their quarter-final opponents, Julian Dawson and Mick Uttley, led by 7 -2 and 10-9 before Malone and Atkinson recovered to take the lead by 13-10. The scores were level at 13 but the defending champions came through 15-13.
Their chances of holding on to the trophy looked remote when they trailed by 6-11 in their semi-final against Charlie Holt-Conway and Simon Robinson. However, a four and two pairs from consecutive ends took them to 14 and, although their opponents reduced the gap to a single chalk a 13-14,they scraped home by 15-13.
Holroyd and Hickey trailed by 7-11 in their first game against Paul Evetts and June Gaukroger but finished strongly to win by 15-13.
They led by 10-4 and 14-9 in their second game, against Jason Watters and Matthew Pearson, then held their nerve as Watters and Pearson fought back to level the scores a 14 before clinching victory by 15-14.
After a 15-6 quarter-final victory over Martin Steele and Cathie Ness, they found themselves behind by 9-12 in their semi-final against Gareth Swain and Jamie Lund before running out to win by 15-12.
In the final, Holroyd and Hickey won the first two ends to lead by 3-0 but Malone and Atkinson’s three at the next end was the start of a break of 12. Holroyd and Hickey won back the jack with a pair but were unable to take full advantage and Malone and Atkinson went on to win by 15-5.
Quarter-final scores: G.Swain/J.Lund 15 B.Hildred/J.Marsden 6; M.Steele/C.Ness 6 P.Holroyd/D.Hickey 25; B.Malone/T.Atkinson 15 J.Dawson/M.Uttley 13; C.Holt-Conway/S.Robinson 15 P.Brown/S.Bridges 12.