England Reign

by Bob Johnson 0

Hey Nonny! A bright and sunny day here in Aalborg, although the temperatures outside the Lovvang Bowl are slowly sliding down the slippery slope.

But all is well on the lanes and there is some hot bowling taking place.

Bethany Hedley and Hannah Frost

After the Boys Doubles excitement yesterday we not progress to the girls doubles, once again a six-game affair with two squads, one morning, the other afternoon.

Game one saw four teams over par, Denmark leading the way with 446 and neighbours Finland just four pins behind. Turkey got into the frame in third place (410) and Germany slid into fourth (410).

Top individual score came from Finland’s Heidi Polkonen with 247.

Strangely, game two saw a drop in the scoring levels as not one team managed to break 400. Denmark’s 364 helped them maintain the lead with 810 and Turkey came up into second place with 393/803 as Finland dropped to third, 323/765.

The high has been upped to 254 by Turkey’s Hande Yesilkaya.

Halfway house and the opening squad and Denmark still the frontrunner as others fall by the wayside. Denmark lead with 1207 after a 397 and Turkey, previously in second place slump out of contention after a cruel 293 game and now 1096 total, dropping down to fifth place.

Now it is a Scandinavia 1-2-3 as the Norwegians managed a 423 to sneak up into second place with 1143 and the Finns hold third on 1116.
254 remains the high game.

Game four and some 400-plus team games are making a re-appearance, although those Danes just keep rolling along and now top the leader board with 1599, their fourth game being 392. England come into the frame with a second place total of 455, the highest team game score so far today. Their 1548 is three pins ahead of Finland who had 429.

Shining star for England was Hannah Frost who had her high game of 241, the third highest game of this squad so far, and one of only three girls averaging 200-plus: Frost with a cool 836, Finland’s Heidi Poikonen 825 and Stine Johansen, Denmark 809.

At the end of game five, Denmark still have four wheels on their wagon, but one maybe wobbling a bit as they lead the tourament by just a single pin, 1964-1963 over the English duo, with Norway taking hold of third place with 1895.

England and the Netherlands were the only two teams to shoot over 400, but the Dutch are presently down in eighth place. Frost of England is still the overall leader with 1092 over five games, the only 200-plus player at the moment.

Defending Girls Doubles champions Bethany Hedley and Hannah Frost from England came through to be pole position on the leader board at the end of the six-game squad one with a total of 2353 to set the target for the second and final squad this afternoon. Although Frost dropped to a 192 in her final game, she remains the only player to exceed a 200 average to day, posting 1284 for a 216.
Denmark failed to keep up the pace and dropped to second place, 15 pins behind the English on 2338 and Norway retined third place with 2290. fourth for this evening’s play-offs were Russia, 2259.
The English pair were fourth at the end of qualifying last year in Munich with 2398 but won through to the finals of the play-offs to beat Russia, 363-357 for the gold medal.
Hannah Frost comes from Whitstable in England, Bethany Hedley from Watford. Both are experienced international players and as aforementioned are defending EYC Doubles chsmpions.

“I just couldn’t hit my mark in the first game,” explained Frost. “But then I relaxed and found my line. Lovvang Bowl is really nice and I like the lanes. I’ll say our two teams are pretty equal, so it will be interesting to see how they play against our total.”

“It is hard here today,” added Hedley. “I don’t have very much area. If I go outside I have nothing and it is the same inside.”

Squad 2 take over the lanes this afternoon from 13.15 local time.

Then the top four Boys  and Girls Doubles teams play their semi-finals and finals for the medals from 17.30.

Full tournament results and information on www.eyc2012.eu.                                                  Keith Hale

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.