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Wintry conditions were not enough to dampen the spirits of Israel's veteran bowlers or the country's newer bowlers in the novices competition.

Semifinals of the annual competition were played off at Ra'anana this past weekend, and the over-65-year-old veterans determined still to prove to themselves, and to others, that they have lost none of their skill or talent over the years.

This was no more evident than the display of 92-year-old Eugene Freund of the Ramat Gan club.

Having notched admirable preliminary round wins, including one against past international Joe Goldberg, Freund faced Netanya's Selwyn Arenson, some 20 years his junior in the semifinal and who only a few years earlier had won a provincial veteran's title in South Africa.

The ageless wonder almost made it - falling only in the three last heads to lose 17-21 after peels at 17-all. Earlier, Freund had come back from 2-9 down to lead 15-12 at the 15th end.

Arenson will now meet clubmate Hilly Linde for the veteran's single trophy.

For Linde, this will be an attempt for a second title, having won the trophy in 1999. He reached this year's final by beating another Netanya player, Moshe Schwartzberg, in a game also decided in the final ends, when the scores were peeled at 17-all before Linde scored a single and a three for his 21-17 win.

For the Lindes it will be a family day out, as Hilly's wife, Dolores, will make her veterans debut final as she tries to match Hilly by bringing home the singles trophy in a final against Ramat Hasharon's Ruth Gorali. Dolores reached the final in a 21-16 win.