Lawn bowls / Ruthie Gilor, Yair Lieberthal demonstrate mastery of their roosts
For Kiryat Ono's Ruthie Gilor and Ramat Gan's Yair Lieberthal it was a weekend of outstanding achievements at Ra'anana. Both won the Masters titles, adding it to their National singles titles which they each had won earlier this year.
Lieberthal's performance was an outstanding achievement. Twenty one years ago - at the age of 17 - he was Israel's youngest Master bowler, and in 2000 he was in Israel's team at the quadrennial World Championships. He was then absent from the game for several years because of military service and studies. Striding quickly back into form, he won the President's Singles Trophy in 2009.
In his final Lieberthal was up against 2000 winner Colin Silberstein of Ra'anana. Silberstein was playing in his 22nd consecutive Masters tournament.
Recognized as a consistently accurate drawer he could not, however, match Lieberthal's nagging accuracy, and was down 17-7 after 16 ends. Resisting strongly Silberstein won four of the next five ends to close the gap to 18-16, failing however to stop Lieberthal's three-count for a final 21-16 score.
Among the 12 ranked players, based on a point system and divided into two six-up sections, Silberstein had won four of his five games, while in the other section Lieberthal headed the log only on shot difference against Ramat Gan's George Kaminsky, who shared the bronze medal with Ra'anana's Zvika Hadar.
Among the men bowlers the double title was last achieved back in 2005, by Israel's international star Jeff Rabkin. He claimed 15 Masters titles out of 23 performances, which had included seven doubles. No other men's bowler achieved the double since the tournament's inauguration in 1980.
For Gilor, too, records continued to fall by the wayside. Her win was for a third consecutive year out of a record seven titles, among which were five double wins. Previously it had only been Miriam Jankelowitz with four doubles in the early 1980s, and Molly Skudowitz in 1986 and Tessa Futerman in 1988.
True to pattern, it was once again Gilor up against her top challenger Tami Kamzel, and in a keenly contested game Gilor led 10-7 after 13 ends. At the 17th, Gilor led 13-8, but then collected a four-count setting herself on the way to victory, winning eventually 21-14.
Kamzel won her section on shot difference against both Edna Zomberg and Yael Bar-Ner, with three wins each. Gilor just edged out Haifa's Irit Grencel by a single shot, each having won four games. The bronze medals went to Grencel and Zomberg.