The Haifa men's lawn bowls team won the Wingate Fives competition on the weekend after edging Ramat Gan in a competition that went down to the wire.
With their victory, the Haifa side, comprising Harry Katz, Yossi Greenberg, Ari Ben-Dor, Issy Freeman and Jack Lief, reclaimed the title that the club last won in 1999 and 1998.
Haifa and Ramat Gan started the last day of competition each having qualified for two of the finals in the four disciplines, and each in good position to win the overall trophy.
Ramat Gan obliged its adversaries by losing its morning fours final, while Haifa returned the favor in the afternoon by losing its trips final.
The end result then fell to the decider of the afternoon pairs final, which was none other than a Haifa-Ramat Gan clash with both teams going into the clash unbeaten in the preliminary rounds.
In the end, it was the Haifa pairing of Harry Katz and Ari Ben-Dor who did their club proud when they deservedly beat Ramat Gan's Boaz Marcus and Herzel Dunsky 21-15 in a game that was decided only in the closing stages.
The Haifa pair led throughout the game by simply playing better bowls than their opponents, and in the 15th end they were 18-11 ahead.
With determined bowling, Ramat Gan closed the gap to 18-15 with two heads to play, but Ben-Dor at lead and Katz at skip maintained their accuracy for a two- and a one-count for their 21-15 win, and for the Haifa club to claim the overall "Andre Spitzer" trophy.
The Haifa pair themselves collected their "David and Bernice Pillemer" pairs trophy.
A reverse win would have given the overall trophy to Ramat Gan but it also conceded the runner-up slot to Ra'anana's "Green" team.
The most coveted trophy among the four disciplines still remains the singles, and this year saw a new face emerge as the Wingate Fives champion when Meir Eitan, one of Kiryat Ono's "Sabra" players, an enthusiastic convert to the game who has featured among leaders in recent years, claimed victory.
In the final against Savyon's international player Amir Yaron, Eitan was consistent with accurate drawing to the head and gave his opponent no leeway when he swept through to a 21-5 win to collect the "Shmuel and Shifra Grant" trophy.
Filling the third slot in the singles was Zvika Hadar, who beat his clubmate Faz Kusman, 21-12.
In other singles playoffs, Ben-Dor won 21-10 against Marcus, and Motti Dreyfus (Jerusalem) beat Netanya's Arie Kaplan 21-18.
In other pairs games, Gerald Sacks and Dennis Phillips beat their clubmates Faz Kusman and Lionel Samuelson 27-11 for third log position, while Savyon (Yaron and Kosovsky) won 23-20 against Kiryat Ono.
Jerusalem's Berel Kosoff with Norman Abrahamson had an excellent 25-21 win against Netanya's Norman Panovka and Gus Sadowitz.
In the morning four's final, the Ramat Gan side of Rami Oron, Micha Farkash, Avi Rakiya and Herzl Dunsky looked set for a win when they led 14-8 at the 15th end, and then 15-11 at the 17th end against Ra'anana's "White" side of Ivan Kantor, Lionel Samuelson, John Goldberg and Erwin Kanarek.
The Ra'anana side then collected a three for 15-14, which was followed with a single for 15-all. The single was collected when Kantor's last wood sliced in a wide-lying bowl for a shot against Ramat Gan's lying bowl.
The rejuvenated Ra'anana side then took a single on each of the last two heads to win 17-15 and claimed the "Jessel and Cynthia" trophy.
In other fours games, Ra'anana's Gordon Silberstein, Sam Goldblatt, Sacks and Phillips won 31-8 against Jerusalem's Koseff, Monty Zion, Abrahamson and Chaim Deri.
Netanya's Panovka, Hillie Linde, Neil Bobrov and Sadowitz won 34-17 against Kiryat Ono, while Haifa (Harry Katz) beat's Savyon (Yoel Mlockier) 21-17.
In the triples, Haifa forfeited their chance for the gold when their trio of Greenberg, Freeman and Lief went down 28-14 to Ra'anana's Silberstein, Hadar and Mel Trevis, the latter trio winning the "Ellie and Queenie Goldblatt" trophy.
Yoel Mlockier's Savyon trio beat Ramat Gan (Rami Oron) 18-15, after peels at 15-all, while Ra'anana's "White" side beat Netanya (Niel Bobrov) 19-17 by collecting four on the last head.
For Jerusalem, Zion, Dreyfus and Deri had an excellent win against Kiryat Ono's Avraham Kama, Rami Mitrani and Gideon Lichtenstein after trailing 11-16 and collecting in successive heads one, four and two to win 18-16.
Haifa's overall winning score was 35 points, followed by Ra'anana "Green" 30, Ramat Gan and Ra'anana "White" 28 each, Savyon 26, Kiryat Ono 21, Netanya and Jerusalem 7 each.
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