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20th Anniversary Dave Bamford Junior Grand Prix 2014

MFA Bowl Ilkeston, June 22nd 2014
20th Anniversary of the Grand Prix & A little Hollywood Magic
Dave Bamford started it, Mike Long kept it going and I’ve carried it on for the last 13 years.
Why? To introduce young bowlers to tournament bowling, making it an enjoyable experience thus giving them the confidence to go on and fulfil their potential.
Our thanks go to Chesterfield, Ilkeston, Huddersfield, Scunthorpe, Uttoxeter and latterly Manchester YBC’s for their loyalty over the years, thus ensuring we have always had a good turnout and also to friends, family and Ilkeston MaFA Bowl for their invaluable support.

Another full house again this year and a great geographical mix of YBC’s, with bowlers of all ages and abilities, it was all set for another emotionally charged day, which culminated in the most exciting step ladder games anyone could remember.

Overview -
Format – Rd 1 - 4 games, cut to 32 based on H/cap score; Rds 2, 3 & 4 – 2 H/cap games ‘head to head’ knockout.  Last 4 - Step Ladder Final 2 H/cap games (5th to 8th positions based on total running H/cap scores).
YBC’s – Barnsley (B), Chesterfield (C), Havant (Ha), Huddersfield (Hu), Ilkeston (I), Lakenheath (L), Manchester (M), Nuneaton (N), Scunthorpe (S), Uttoxeter (U), Wolverhampton (W)

Entry    – 68 Bowlers (6 to 18 years old)
Handicap – (200-Average) x 80%   Maximum 80                        
Prizes   – Grand Prix    
1st to 4th       Position   ~ Trophies & Cash Vouchers
5th to 8th       Position   ~ Trophies & Cash Vouchers
9th to 16th      Position   ~ 3D Tenpin Paperweights
17th to 32nd     Position   ~ Tenpin Medal and Ribbon
32nd to 68th     Position   ~ Tenpin Medal
High Handicap Boys & Girls Games ~ Trophies   
Roll-over Comp –   1st to 4th     Position   ~ Trophies & Cash Vouchers 
Managers – Graham Elliott / Andy Long (Ilkeston MFA Bowl)
Abbreviations - o/a otd – over average on the day; y/o – years old; h/c - handicap; s/c - scratch         
Please view the score summary along with these notes for the detail, as unfortunately, I can’t mention everybody.

Round 1 -
They seem to get younger every year, two 6 year olds, 12 under 10 and 43 under 15, some naturally confident and others a little apprehensive. Once down on the lanes, nerves were soon forgotten and the place was buzzing as they bowled out the first round of 4 games, hoping to make the cut for Rd 2.    
Harry Hodgkinson (I) used his local knowledge to head the field with a huge 968h/c (840s/c), with his 266h/c (234s/c) in game 4 eventually winning him the High Handicap Boy Trophy. In 2nd place 93 pins further back was Luke Timbrell(W).
The cut for the 32 qualifiers for Rd2 was a challenging 775, 7 pins more than last year and the highest since 2008.
Despite some fine performances many of the younger bowlers didn’t make it, but will have gained valuable experience (plus a medal) and should remember our motto ‘If you’ve enjoyed yourself then you are the winner’.
Particularly unfortunate not to go through even though they bowled well over their averages were Jack Kerr (S) +28 pins,   6 y/o Samuel Cummings (Hu) +19, 9 y/o Gabriel Vardy (I) +15, Jem Parkinson-Waters (Hu) +13, 9 y/o Amiee Lycett (I) +13, Charlie Durber (W) +12 and Henry Bedford (B) +12, all budding champions.
Round 2 –
As ever the knock-out format created some fascinating fixtures. Qualifier 1 played 32, 2 v 31, etc. so in theory the top 16 should be favourites; however it doesn’t always work out that way as the handicap system is a great leveller.

Some high profile casualties were Rd1 leader Harry Hodgkinson to 32nd place Cara Pleasance (B), previous winners Chris Dixon (S) and Elliott Spindley (S) plus Nathan Cropper(M) and Courtney Lewer (M), 4th & 7th last year .

Also eliminated despite bowling over their averages for the 6 games and showing plenty of promise for the future, were 9 y/o Jack Pearson (I) (+24 pins), Joseph Rowley (M) +21, Jack Plampin (I) +13 and Billy Torr (I) +10.

Round 3 – (Last 16)
Into games 7 & 8, where stamina and consistency would be crucial factors and so it proved when most of the older bowlers edged out some spirited but tiring youngsters. You don’t get this far without bowling exceptionally well, so both congratulations and commiserations to 9 y/o Harvey Spindley (S) +22 pins o/a over the day, Tommy Robertson (I) +21, Alexander Jeffries (W) +19 and Erin Ford (S) +7, their time will come.

Where ages were similar the games were extremely tight and often only a couple of good or bad frames settled the match. Again all of those eliminated bowled above their averages over the 8 games - Aiden Stoner (B) +14 pins, Josh Stacey-Galley (Hu) +13, Dylan Bird (I) +9 and Lewis Gowing (M) +6. It’s a cruel format generating mixed emotions, delight at getting so far but despair at going out, however each deservedly received an attractive 3D Tenpin glass paperweight for their efforts and a confidence booster for their next tournament.

Round 4 – (Last 8)
Secure in the knowledge they had won one of the fine silver trophies, the 8 bowlers were now focussed on a place in the step ladder and the value of the cash voucher. Finishing positions would be based on their overall handicap score over the tournament so it was also important to rack up the pin count.
That’s exactly what the four winners did, posting 414 + scores, whilst their opponents, try as they might couldn’t respond. Nonetheless, a great days bowling and plenty of optimism for future tournaments - 8th place Cara Houghton (M) had dug deep to fight off some higher handicap bowlers and looked like improving on her 2nd place of last year until Luke Timbrell’s 245s/c (261h/c) game effectively ended her brave challenge. 7th place Kyle Watkinson (C) exceeded all expectations bowling +21pins o/a otd, 6th place Barrie Warren also of Chesterfield showed his continued improvement on his previous 9th place and 2012 winner Thomas Nicholls (L), enjoyed another excellent GP, finishing in 4th place, +14 o/a otd.

Step Ladder Finals – Forget the aches and pains, who’s got the stamina and the bottle?
Match 1 –
Tyler Lewer (Manchester) 415 v Thomas Redman (Chesterfield) 409
Most years a surprise finalist emerges, however this year there were two 13 year olds, Tyler Lewer (M) and Thomas Redman (C) had battled their way to the final and were to meet in Match 1 where they both showed why they deserved to be there. Neither showed any nerves or fatigue with never more than a few pins between them. Tyler was 6 up after Game 1 and in a tense last frame in game 2 where either could have won, he held on to win by 6 pins.  Congratulations to Thomas (Redman) on a super performance over the day finishing in an excellent 4th place (+ 20 pins o/a otd) and hopefully a springboard for many more successes.

Semi Final –
Tyler Lewer (Manchester) 444 v Cara Pleasance (Barnsley) 429
Another memorable game as Tyler met another in-form youngster Cara Pleasance (B), who despite only qualifying in 32nd place had improved every round with some impressive scores and had the experience of finishing in 6th place last year. Like Match 1 both were extremely well matched and traded ball for ball. After game 1, Cara was ahead by 5 pins, however those who thought that Tyler, in his 14th consecutive game would tire, were completely wrong; in fact he seemed to find another gear and despite Cara’s 171(s/c) second game, he bowled 203 (s/c) to win by 15 pins.
Mixed emotions for 12 y/o Cara, however she should be well pleased with an excellent 3rd place (+ 26 pins o/a over the day) and as a bonus, her 248 h/c (203s/c) in round 3 won her the High Handicap Girl Trophy. Proof of the saying ‘It’s not where you start it’s where you finish’, particularly if you are as good as Cara.
Grand Final–
Luke Timbrell (Wolverhampton) 423 v Tyler Lewer (Manchester) 412
A large vocal crowd had stayed in anticipation of an intriguing final, where young Tyler had perhaps his biggest challenge yet in 17 y/o Luke Timbrell (W) who had consistently scored big in every round but was giving away 17 pins.

Luke continued to pepper the pocket but without stringing the strikes together and every time he looked to be getting away, Tyler, less aggressive but just as accurate, would hit back, Luke eventually edged game 1 204 h/c to 202. This exciting pattern continued to and fro and it could have beeen anyone’s title right up to the 10th frame, where critically Tyler spared and Luke’s double was just enough to give him the title 423 to 412. 

Tough on Tyler, pity we can’t have two champions, however he should be well proud of a super-human  feat, bowling 16 consistent games, under intense pressure to finish in a magnificent 2nd place (+16 pins o/a otd), bring on the next tourney.

Presentation -

So after 9 hours of bowling and 390 games, worthy DBJGP Champion for 2014, Luke Timbrell of Hollywood BE (Wolverhampton) stepped up to receive the perpetual shield, winner’s trophy and £40 in vouchers. After qualifying second in Rd 1, he then led the field all the way to the final with a powerful and consistent performance, bowling 12 games at an impressive average of 205, (+25 pins o/a), a great achievement for Luke and Hollywood BE in their first GP.

Many thanks to Andy Long and his team at Ilkeston MFA Bowl, to Lynda, Simon and all of those who assisted, but most of all, to you bowlers (and parents) that made it another successful and memorable tournament. Sorry I couldn’t mention everyone, however you were all a credit to your coaches and YBC’s, showing huge potential for the future.

Final Result – Trophies + Cash Vouchers
 Final Result – Trophies

1st Luke Timbrell (Wolverhampton) £40.00             

2nd Tyler Lewer (Manchester) £30.00

3rd Cara Pleasance (Barnsley) £25.00

4th Thomas Redman (Chesterfield) £20.00

5th Thomas Nicholls (Lakenheath) £15.00

6th Barrie Warren (Chesterfield) £15.00

7th Kyle Watkinson (Chesterfield) £10.00

8th Cara Houghton (Manchester) £10.00

High H/Cap Game Girl Cara Pleasance (Barnsley) 248        

H/Cap Game Boy Harry Hodgkinson (Ilkeston) 266

Roll-Over Winner Girl Emma Plampin (Ilkeston) 167

Roll-Over Winner Boy Luke Warren (Chesterfield) 233

Roll-Over 3rd Place Anderson Hallet (Manchester) 229

Roll-Over 4th Place Brandon Jacques (Chesterfield) 212

Youngest Girl – Bowling Pin – Emma Plampin (Ilkeston)

Youngest Boy – Bowling Pin – Brandon Jacques (Chesterfield)

Graham Elliott 22/07/2014
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