King Alfred’s Barry Lowden defeated Gareth Jones 21-19 in a thrilling final as the Furness & District Bowling League Division One play-offs reached a fantastic conclusion last Sunday.

On his way to the final, Lowden beat Graham Rigg 21-14, Mark Dickinson 21-10, Derek Yates 21-15 and, in the semi-finals, Darren Naylor 21-18.

Jones dispatched Bill Thompson 21-15 before defeating Darren Woodend 21-18 and Chris Johnson 21-15 to book a meeting with Lowden, for a match that saw the momentum swing several times.

Dalton Cricket Club player Jones looked to be heading for victory when 13-9 and 16-11 up, but three twos for Lowden took him into the lead before Jones regained it again at 19-18.

A double and a single then gave Lowden the spoils.

With Lowden also taking the Division One merit prize as well, he repeated his success of 2015 and is one of only four players who have done the double in the 56 years since the merits were introduced in 1963.

Derek Hurley performed the feat in 1970, 1973 and 1989, while George Barrow did it in 1971 and Bill Burgess in 2010.

At Lindal Bowling Club, the Division Two final was also a tense affair, with West Shore’s Jon Richardson taking the narrowest of 21-20 victories over Glaxo Sports Club stalwart Derek Bell.

Richardson looked to be coasting when 12-7 and 17-9 in front, but Bell pegged the game back to 17-15, then found himself 19-15 down, before taking the lead for the first time in the game at 20-19.

Richardson then pulled off a double to win the game to snatch a wonderfully dramatic win.

Richardson had two comfortable opening wins against Tony George, 21-11, and Dave Lee, 21-10, before only just overcoming his quarter final opponent Dave Phizacklea 21-20. He then hit top form in the semi-finals by beating the impressive Colin Haworth 21-8.

Bell opened with an impressive 21-6 victory against Geoff Maudsley, before 21-18 wins against Les Johnson and Division Two merit winner Dave Hird to set up a semi-final encounter with Jordan McNamee, which he won 21-17.

Dave Pullin made the most of home advantage, as he lifted the District & Furness Bowling League Division Three trophy, following a closely-fought final at Red River Bowling Club against Ian Parkinson last Sunday.

The play-off final was finely poised at 14-13 to Pullin, but four ends later the home boy only needed a single for victory after pulling clear in dominant fashion.

Parkinson, who plays for Kirkby, made him wait to seal victory as he added four points himself, but Pullin then managed the required single for to fianlly seal the game.

Pullin’s route to the final began when he beat Keith Birkbeck 21-17 before he saw off Barry Morrow, 21-7, and Dave Thompson, 21-19, which was also the score by which he defeated Martin Carpenter in the last four.

Parkinson beat Stephen Sloan 21-12 in the first round before he defeated Jack Huitson, 21-7, and Steve Lackey, 21-12, and in the semi-final, Ian Worthington was edged out 21-18.

Division One results

Quarter finals: Barry Lowden 21 Derek Yates 15, Ian France 14 Darren Naylor 21, Darren Woodend 18 Gareth Jones 21, Chris Johnson 21 Ian McDonald 9

Semi-finals: Lowden 21 Naylor 18, Jones 21 Johnson 15

Final: - Lowden 21 Jones 19

Division Two results

Quarter finals: Derek Bell 21 Dave Hird 18, Jordan McNamee 21 Les Vickers 15, Dave Phizacklea 20 Jon Richardson 21, Colin Haworth 21 Darren Mountford 16

Semi-finals: Bell 21 McNamee 17, Richardson 21 Haworth 8

Final: Bell 20 Richardson 21

Division Three results

Quarter Finals: - Ian Worthington 21 Stewart Worthington 20, Steve Lackey 12 Ian Parkinson 21, Dave Pullin 21 Dave Thompson 19, Martin Carpenter 21 Mick Jones 20

Semi Finals: - Worthington 18 Parkinson 21, Pullin 21 Carpenter 19

Final: - Parkinson 17 Pullin 21