The finals of the annual men's and women's Presidents Singles competition were played off last weekend at Ramat Gan. Both games provided outstanding bowling with dramatic finishes and last-bowl deciders.
Once again it was Kiryat Ono's international star Ruthie Gilor seeking to add yet more silver to her collection, and once again it was up against her co-international, Ramat Gan's Tami Kamzel, who has shown recently to be more than capable of offering serious challenge to Gilor's domination. Indeed, this time it was Kamzel who took the top honors for her second title in a row and fourth since 2004. In the men's final Ra'anana's Raymond Sher beat his clubmate Zvika Hadar.
The women's game of 23 ends saw the lead change consistently throughout, however level at 13-all at the 14th end and then again 18-all at the 19th end. Kamzel then collected two singles to lead 20-18. Gilor, the 2006 and 2010 champion, than countered for 20-19. In the final end Gilor lay a shot touching the jack for 20-all.
Kamzel had her last bowl for facing out the lying shot for game, but with the risk of moving bowls round the head to Gilor's advantage and possible game. Kamzel had the option of not playing her last bowl to concede the one shot and to start the last end 20-all. But Kamzel, always positive in her thinking, went for the kill and delivered the perfect bowl of the day to remove Gilor's bowl for the shot and 21-19 win.
In the semifinals Kamzel beat clubmate Edna Zomberg 21-11, while Gilor downed Ramat Gan's Tzila Gavish also 21-11.
The men's final was a 24-end game which saw each player alternatively in the lead. Sher led 9-4 after nine ends, and after 14 ends it was Hadar in the lead at 15-10, having won four successive ends. But then Sher countered, winning five ends to lead 19-15.
Hadar closed the gap to start the last end 19-20 down, but with two lying bowls for game, Sher still had to play his last bowl. Sher aimed to promote one of his short bowls up to the jack, and under pressure his delivery was dead on for the winning shot and a 21-19 win.
Ramat Gan's Yossi Driks, a relative newcomer with no previous national achievements, was the surprise of the tournament, advancing to the semifinal before falling to Hadar 21-20 on the last head.
In the preliminary rounds he beat experienced competition winners Harry Katz of Haifa and Ra'anana's Israel Meushar. He then disposed of Haifa's Noam Yehudai, who earlier this year won the Pre-Passover singles title. In the other semifinal Raymond Sher trounced Motti Pollack 21-7.
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