Earl Ball Writing in 2008

WOW!!  WHAT A FINISH!!  (Hawthorne, FL)

If you weren’t there you really missed it!  Grisly old veteran, Paul Prescott playing like a hungry young kid and the up and comer, who surely is up there now, David Earle, put on a show to see in winning the Hawthorne Championship making everyone there as proud as can be. 

They took on the FSA’s top show in Stan Williamson and Earl Ball and won the 1st and 3rd games by the narrowest of margins.  In game one, Stan had the winning block on the board but couldn’t cover it well enough to keep Paul from running the alley and not only getting it off but scoring an absolutely necessary block as well.  At the foot David stuck on a hide block and Earl got one half hidden but David got it off and stayed on the board forcing Earl to play a hit and roll behind the hide which he did but didn’t get David’s block off.  David, facing game on the board, not so calmly made his hammer for victory!  Game three was another nail bitter as Stan and Earl came roaring back from a huge deficit.  Stan tried all the tricks to get two blocks from 55 but cagey old Paul would have none of it and just to top it off got one hidden to move into the 60’s.  Stan calmly put one dead center in the ten for 65, giving Earl one last chance at victory.  David, who pulled a stunning two block trick at Bradenton a couple weeks ago for a major upset would have none of Earl’s tricks for two blocks so Earl put his 3rd shot on the center line forcing David to leave the ten open or give up a winning double, Earl picked that time to come up short, by a hair missing the ten.  Paul worked Stan up around the point giving him no chance at a kitchen and with his hammer made a double 10-8 by a hair for victory, Rob Robinson’s “bleacher bums” went wild as did David but  grisly old veteran, Paul acted as he should, just like he’d been there before!

All of that and yet the shot of the tournament went to Chuck Stansburge.  On Monday evening he and Henry Strong came from way back but it looked like they were going to lose on the last shot.  Cecil Bannister had game on the board even though he trailed in the game.  He put his last shot dead perfect in the high ten and Chuck didn’t even have a straight shot at it but he swallowed hard and let it go and don’t you know he hit his only non scored block on the board making it good and Cecil’s block wound up on the line.  Only Chuck!! 

Ellen Davis and Roberta Day won the Women’s event but I didn’t see it as they were just starting the third game when I left.

Submitted to THE SHUFFLER by Earl Ball.  2008 12 03.

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