Lawn Bowls / European Finals / Israel Takes Fourth Spot in Cyprus

Israel's four-up squad of two men and two women bowlers finished fourth in the biennial European Championships last week in Cyprus. The foursome - Zvika Hadar, Tami Kamzel, Arie Ben-Dor and Irit Grencel - were up against top ranking players from the powerhouses of the four U.K. countries, which usually dominate the top log slots. This year, however, Israel finished above Ireland and Wales.

Scotland won overall with 248 points, two ahead of England on 246, followed by Guernsey on 218 and Israel on 208. For Scotland this was its fourth win in the seven tournaments, England having won twice and Ireland the first-time winners in 1997.

Finishers below Israel in the overall log included Jersey, also on 208, Ireland on 204, Spain on 202 and Wales on 194. This was Israel's second best performance in six tournaments, having finished fifth in 2007, sixth in 2005, second in 2003, sixth in 2001 and fifth in 1999.

The overall singles winner was Jersey's seasoned international Cyril Renouf, with 69 points out of a maximum 84, followed by Guernsey's Lucy Beere with 68 and Scotland's Colin Peacock with 67. Among the 64 players, best for Israel was Arie Ben-Dor in 13th slot with 59 points, followed by Tami Kamzel with 51, Zvika Hadar with 50 and Irit Grencel with 48.

Points were based on the number of sets won in the two-set games, the overall score being a tally of the points scored in the individual singles games and the mixed pairs.

In the seven 14-set round-robin games in each discipline, Ben-Dor won ten, Hadar nine, Kamzel eight and Grencel eight with one peel. In the pairs Ben-Dor with Kamzel won nine sets and peeled one, while Hadar and Grencel won seven.

The event was held in Paphos for the second consecutive time at a magnificent four-green seaside complex. The next tournament, in 2011, will be in Holland. Israel, however, reluctantly turned down the opportunity due to unavailability of funds.