Lawn Bowls / Men's Fours Bring Israel the Only Consolation From Cyprus

Israel's men bowlers earned a bronze medal in the fours at the Atlantic Tournament in Cyprus, making sure the delegation did not return empty handed from the 13-nation competition.

Following previous patterns, it was the powerhouses of the U.K countries together with South Africa who claimed most of the top honors. For Israel, outstanding play by the men's foursome of Colin Silberstein skipping for Yair Bekier, Alan Saitowitz and Roy Ben-Ari (Jennings ) earned a bronze medal after the team had come out top of its seven-nation section, losing only one of six games. Only a last-head win, 18-15, by Scotland denied the Israelis a possible silver or gold. Scotland advanced to take the gold also with a last-head win, 20-17 against Ireland.

lawn bowl - Norman Spiro - November 4 2011
Norman Spiro

The creditable performance by the Israeli foursome was the result of cohesive team play, with each player giving his best with top quality bowling.

Israeli singles champion Ruthie Gilor could not repeat her previous gold-medal tournament performance in the women's competition, losing to Scotland's Claire Johnston in the quarterfinal.

The Israelis finished low down in the overall logs, which did little justice to their sterling resistance, which was respected by their opponents.

Just a single shot away

The women trio of Tami Kamzel, Yael Bar-Ner and Riki Ovadia lost by a single shot to Scotland, the latter then going through to win the gold by 18-11 against England. A reversal win for Israel would have included Israel in the knock-out rounds, with Scotland eliminated.

In the men's triples, Zvika Hadar skipping for Alan Saitowitz and Roy Ben-Ari lost their last round by a single shot to Guernsey. A reverse win here would again have given Israel a third slot to qualify, instead of which they dropped right down to the section's sixth position - such were the inconsistencies of teams in the section, a feature somewhat common in many of the disciplines among both men and women.

Zvika Hadar in the singles failed to qualify, the gold going to England's Janie Chestney who beat Welshman Jonathan Tomlinson 21-16.

The pairs combination of Colin Silberstein and Yair Bekier lost their first three games to South Africa, Scotland and Canada, but settled down to beat Cyprus and the Netherlands. South Africa's Jerry Baker and Bobby Donnely won the gold against Ireland 13-10. For the men it was Ra'anana's Gerald Sacks who managed the team.

The women's pairing of Ruthie Gilor with Irit Grencel finished together with Canada and Wales with equal log points, but lost out on shot difference. The Scottish couple of Margareth Letham and Claire Johnston beat the South Africans 20-12 for gold.

The women's fours of Kamzel, Bar-Ner, Grencel and Ovadia found themselves in a powerful section featuring Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, and won their single game against Guernsey. England beat South Africa for the top spot. Team manager for the women was Ramat Hasharon's Yaffa Lavin.

Both England's men's and women's squads were the overall winners, followed in each case by Scotland, and then by South Africa in third place. For the men, England and Scotland tied with points, England winning on shot difference. For the women England beat Scotland by one shot.

Israel's men finished eighth, and the women 10th in the overall log.