12:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013
By Andrew Simpson
AFTER waiting half a century to celebrate a first solo success, Comberbach bowler Dennis Leather intends to savour the moment.
And so he should after beating Thomas Vickers to win the Cowley Cup, his first singles title since joining the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association as a teenager.
He is now 66.
“I’m over the moon,” he said.
“In my eyes, to beat Tom is to win against the best player in the league at the moment. He nearly had me too.”
Leather lay game at 19-10 at Rudheath, only for the Wharton Cons star – already crowned Roberts Bakery Cup winner earlier this season – to record a break of nine to draw level.
His opponent stopped the sequence at the next end, holding his nerve to complete a 21-19 victory.
He added: “I just tried to stay focused on what I needed to do.
“There’s no point in worrying if a player like Tom has a run like that, he’s capable of it. I could hear my clubmates reminding me I only needed to have one more solid end.
“I had a lot of support around the green, so it was a relief to get over the line when I did.”
A former member at the Middlewich Road venue, he told the Guardian that knowledge of the green’s quirks helped him.
Leather said: “I had kept an eye on Tom’s semi final win against Nick [Hamman], and noticed that he’d found a mark that worked and he stuck to it.
“I knew I had to keep him away from there to stand any chance. Luckily I managed to.”
Leather was 20-19 down against Comberbach teammate Craig Bourbonneux in the semi finals, recovering with a strike to squeeze through.
Victories against Anthony Hallwood (Barnton) in the quarter finals and Jason Cornes (Castle Private) in the last 16 made for a difficult run to the first prize.
He plans to put his cash reward towards a holiday with his grandchildren.
Leather said: “That’s not me done now I’ve got my hands on a trophy at last. I’ll keep playing a while yet.”
His success adds to an impressive season for Comberbach, also home to newly-crowned Guardian Cup victor Matthew Thurlwell.
Vickers ended the run of three-times former winner Gerald Merry (Delamere) in the quarter finals before a ruthless 21-4 victory over Hamman in the last four.
Bourbonneux made the semi finals after a slender 21-20 victory against youngster Joe Bell (Beech Tree).
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