Four local bowlers have qualified for the P.O.A. (pins over average) provincial championships next month in Thunder Bay.
Rich Walton and Rob Paterson combined for a +231 total to snag top spot over 14 other duos in the Hi-Lo Doubles portion of the zone round held Saturday and Sunday at Plaza Lanes here.
Paterson, whose tournament entry average was 176, rolled games of 217, 186, 207, 236, and 157 to finish at +123.
Walton, sporting an average of 181, finished the five-game roll-off at +108 with scores of 245, 171, 217, 201, and 179.
The Fort Frances duo of Mike Behan and Rob Kinsman, meanwhile, captured the second provincial berth in Hi-Lo Doubles by finishing second overall at +181.
Kinsman, whose entry average was 165, led the team with a +107 total after games of 248, 168, 207, 187, and 122.
Behan managed to finish the five-game roll-off at +74 above his entry average of 202 with scores of 208, 267, 200, 247, and 162.
The Dryden duo of Robert Keeper and Darryl Rollins were a close third at +162.
Behan and Kinsman set the bar early—being one of two Hi-Lo Doubles teams to bowl the Saturday morning shift.
They then had to sweat out the Saturday afternoon shift, as well as the final one Sunday morning, to see if their total would be enough to advance to the provincials set for Feb. 21-23 at Mario's Bowl in Thunder Bay.
“It was nerve-wracking," Behan admitted. "Rob and I both struggled in our final game and I really wasn't sure +181 would be enough.”
In the end, it was. They dodged 13 bullets over the final two shifts—with only Walton and Paterson being able to top them.
“I didn't realize until after the final results from the Saturday afternoon shift were posted how close Robert and Darryl came to catching us,” Behan said, noting the Dryden duo gained 104 pins in their fifth and final game to vault up the standings.
“It came down to a difference of just 19 pins.”
The other local duos competing in the Hi-Lo Doubles event included Tylar Wilson and Marla Fedeniuk, who finished in 11th spot overall with a minus-62 total.
Fedeniuk was at +31 above her 195 average with games of 196, 230, 208, 190, and 182 while Wilson was minus-93 below his 185 average with scores of 159, 166, 161, 159, and 187.
Bill Plumridge and Missy Wilson of here were next in 12th spot with a minus-68 total.
Wilson was at +2 above her 153 average (142, 185, 142, 142, and 156) while Plumridge finished at minus-70 below his 204 average (167, 189, 206, 169, and 219).
Meanwhile, it was an even closer margin in the Treasurers Division of the Executive portion of the tournament, where local bowler Kathy Bois missed out on advancing to the provincials by just eight pins.
Bowling in the Sunday morning shift, Bois finished at +57 over her 192 entry average thanks to games of 226, 194, 224, 166, and 207.
But Barry Miner of Dryden managed to catch her over the final two games. After games of 165, 155, and 168, Miner finished with scores of 283 and 234 to wind up at +65 above his 188 average.
Linda Lacroix of Kenora finished third at +24 above her 150 entry average.