It was Ramat Gan's day at Ra'anana last weekend when they won both the men's and women's national triples titles in lawn bowls.
The Ramat Gan men's trio of Amnon Amar, Barney Zuckerman and Menachem Nitzan caused the upset of the day when they came though against the powerful Ra'anana combination of Raymond Sher, Alan Saitowitz and Dennis Phillips, the 2010 title winners. For Ramat Gan it was an outstanding win - the trio was not considered among the club's top rankers and Nitzan was at lead in only his second year of bowling.
In a mutually supportive effort, each took turns to provide the vital shots. Nitzan was not overwhelmed by his experienced opponent, more than often with his bowls around the jack. Ex-Australian Zuckerman was outstanding with his saving shots under pressure, followed then by skip Amar who often closed the gap when necessary.
In the 15-end game Ra'anana led 7-1 after four ends, but by the 12th end scores were level at 10-all. The following 13th end saw Ramat Gan break through with a four count, Zuckerman brilliantly trailed the jack to Ramat Gan's back bowls for three, and Amar drew a fourth to lead 14-10. Ramat Gan then added a single to start the last end at 15-10.
Lead Nitzan promoted one of his bowls for shot followed again by a perfect draw by Zuckerman for a two-count. Sher went for the drive, hit the jack to the ditch but with the Ramat Gan bowl following for shot, Ramat Gan came through with a well-deserved 16-10 win.
In the semifinals Sher had beaten Ramat Gan's George Kaminsky, Rami Oron and Micha Farkash 12-7, while Amar had won 16-5 against Ra'anana's Gerald Sacks, Steven Cooper and Pinchas David.
In the women's final it was, not unexpectedly, Kiryat Ono's Ruthie Gilor and Ramat Gan's Tami Kamzel, Israel's two top internationals, up against each other. The latter, skipping for Edna Zomberg and Tzila Gavish, simply overwhelmed Gilor, who was skipping for Miriam Cohen and Suzanna Azuri.
Gavish at lead was up to her past international standard, usually with her three bowls around the jack. She was then followed by Zomberg, who often added the extra shot or shots. Skip Kamzel was left only to draw in protective last bowls to counter driving shots by Gilor. The latter in fact had little option but to try and break up the head. While she was often on target, the count invariably added up against her.
In the previous semifinals Kamzel had beaten Ra'anana's Naomi Fix, Mati Lebanon and Rachel Golan 16-10, while Gilor had won against Haifa's Noga Bachrach, Sarah Shapiro and Amalia Levi 13-12, Gilor collecting a winning three count on the last head.
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