Andy Reid is celebrating his second club championship title in three years at Northern, with the 50-year old thrilled to bits at his success after capturing the coveted crown in a spectacular climax against Darren Prentice in the 21-end final.
The destination of the title hung in the balance with peels called at 18-18 after a rollercoaster series of exchanges approaching the winning line and the build-up of end 21 tipped the scales in favour of 23-year-old Prentice, who held shot.
Reid approached the mat to deliver the last of his four bowls realising that an exciting opportunity to clinch the title was knocking for him in the shape of a take-out conversion that demanded boldness combined with precise pace and line.
“My head was filling up with thoughts of its now or never,” said Reid, “but I knew that calmness had to prevail, so I steadied myself on the mat and focused on targeting Darren’s shot bowl with a good yard on aiming to fire it out of the head.”
In a perfect scenario, Reid conjured up a magic delivery that exploded on its target with the accuracy required to reward him with a three shot conversion to win 21-18 and trigger the Champion of The Northern salute.
“It’s every club bowlers dream to see their name in gilt on the honours board, so do it twice brings a sense of pride that you have achieved something special,” said Reid. “There is also the great bonus that the following year you will be carrying the club banner in the national singles championship.”
The result booked Prentice into Heartbreak Hotel as he had come so close to achieving an ambition to join his father (George), uncles Ian and Graham on the Championship Honours Board.
“Andy forced me onto the back-foot early doors in the final as he made a strong start to lead 11-4, but I gave him food for thought with a 1, 1, 3 fight back that settled me into a better frame of mind and I felt good about things when closing to 14-12,” said Prentice.
End 16 was significant with Reid carding a full house count of four to 18-12 but the drama built up as Prentice menaced with a stirring run of 2, 1, 1, 2 to set up a thrilling finale at 18-18.