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Craig Cashes In Again

posted Jul 3, 2016, 12:02 PM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Jul 6, 2016, 11:09 PM ]

Craig Owen didn’t finish work until 3.45am on the morning of Saturday 2 July - but 15 hours later he was being crowned the League's Senior Merit champion for a second time.

The Broseley left hander, who had a pre-competition nap on a bench at host club Maddocks, was soon wide awake as he repeated his triumph of 2010.

The 53-year-old gave a masterly display of corner bowling to see off Donnington Wood young gun Kieran Buckley 21-8 in the final in just 21 ends.

“The final could not have started any worse for Kieran as, after losing the coin toss, he immediately found himself in the corners where Craig quickly established an 8-0 lead,” said referee and league prsident Mike Potter.

“That rapidly turned into 15-2 and despite Kieran getting onto his crown mark and winning the next four ends to get to 15-8, he found the relentless corner to corner accuracy too much to handle as Craig lifted the W. G. Harris Trophy as a worthy champion.”

It was top class bowling all afternoon in warm sunshine with Owen also racing past Paul Bradburne 21-8 in his semi-final while 2014 Under-18 Merit winner Buckley was getting the better of past winner Les Mumford 21-16.

Watched by his father Sam, who also won the Senior Merit in 1987, Owen was simply the best bowler on the day but Buckley, who accounted for 2015 County Merit winner Rob Roden in the last eight, will surely be back for another crack.

Father and son qualifiers, John and Rob Clarke of the Wrockites, both lost in the first round.,along with 2008 winner Paul Beer (St Georges).

League competition secretary Phil King thanked hosts Maddocks before Potter made the presentations.

Quarter-final scores – Rob Roden (Bowring) 14 Buckley 21, Mumford (Madeley CC) 21 Josh Cotton (Wrockwardine Wood) 13, Bradburn 21 Chris Lodge (Madeley CC) 11,POwen 21 Simon Hall (Sinclair ) 13.