Ramat Gan squared off against Ra'anana last weekend at the Ramat Gan bowls club when they won both the men's and women's National pairs, having the previous week lost the fours.
The men's final brought forward an unranked and unexpected couple, Ramat Gan's Avigdor Gaminer and Banny Cukerman, who started off and continued their run to the final, accounting along the way for upper ranked recognized players. Their prize scalp was their semifinal 18-11 win against Israel's top seeded Zvika Hadar, playing with Gordon Silberstein.
In the final they faced up against two international players, Colin Silberstein and Yair Bekier. The latter two had battled in their semifinal against Ramat Gan's Herzel Dunsky and Yossi Driks and had come through with a one shot win. But they were not able to hold out against inspired bowling from both Gaminer and Cukerman and went down 21-12.
The Ra'anana pair, after leading 7-1 after 5 ends, then failed to score for seven successive ends for Ramat Gan to lead 18-7, and then followed through with an exciting deserved win.
Leading for the winners was Cukerman, a recently arrived Australian league bowler who showed his skill with consistent accurate drawing. Gaminer followed suit in grand form, particularly with his running drives often reversing the counts in the heads.
The women's final was between Ramat Gan's Tzila Gavish and Riri Merav against Ramat Hasharon's Yaffa Lavin and Lola Katz. The game was evenly contested with accurate bowling by all four players, and the scores were peeled at 7-all after seven ends, 12-all after 12 ends and then 14-all with two ends to play.
Gavish drew the winning shot to start the last head 15-14 up. Ramat Gan was laying two shots, and Lavin had her last bowl to save the game.
Israel's women's team manager, showing she had lost none of her past skill, drew a precision bowl a few inches from the jack for a tied game of 15-all and necessitating an extra head to be played.
Ramat Gan's Merav drew her first bowl onto the jack and with following bowls all clustered around the head. Lavin this time could not get through to save game.
The Ramat Hasharon duo had won its semifinal 14-12 against Haifa's Tova Libman and Sarah Shapira, while Ramat Gan had beaten Ra'anana's Denny Galland and Beverley Polatinsky 18-13.
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