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Craig Ford takes out the BHBR Ballarat Region Singles title

Craig Ford - BHBR Ballarat Region Singles Champion 2021-22

In warm and sunny conditions Craig Ford took on Greg Brown from Ballarat in the BHBR Ballarat Region Singles.

With solid and consistent draw bowling, Brown gained the early ascendancy 5 – 4, however, Ford then began to turn things around and pull ahead to take a commanding 16 – 9 lead.

As is often the case, as the game wore on, it became obvious that each player was performing better travelling in the opposite direction. This made for some crucial last bowls, as each of the players had to scramble to save from dropping numbers, resulting in a number of dead ends coming from precision weighted shots.

After trading shots throughout the middle stages, Ford pushed out to a 21 – 14 lead and seemingly had the title in his grasp. At 22 – 15, holding 2 shots, Brown was able to push back nerves and drove, putting the jack out of bounds. After Craig got one shot closer to victory, Brown staged a comeback. Using earplugs to block out the deafening VBC supporters, Brown tightened up his draw shot, putting Craig under extreme pressure and made closing out the game near impossible. At 23 – 21, Brown played the ultimate drive with his last bowl, sending the jack into the ditch close to his back bowl and having his toucher follow truely to sit next to the jack, picking up 2 shots.

Each player added another shot each to get to the cut-throat deciding end. Brown rolled a short end and drew close with his first. Craig came up short with his first effort. Greg came up short with his next bowl. Craig changed hands to avoid the bowl, however, still ran in to his opponents bowl. Brown pulled up short again with his third. Craig’s third managed to sneak between the shot bowl and the jack finishing behind the head. With his last, Brown played a magic shot, feathering the jack and pushing it off line to another of his bowl making it much harder for Craig to get shot. With the final bowl of the match, Craig lined up his forehand, looking to sit out the shot bowl with weight to leave his bowl in second shot as the winning bowl. In the clutch fashion we expect from Craig, he was able to do exactly that and after a few moments of confusion from the crowd, it was confirmed that Craig had done enough to take out the title. A jubilant VBC supporter base took to the green to congratulate Craig, who had survived a marathon final of close to 4 hours.

Well done, Fordy. You’ve done us all proud.

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