A 12-member team from the Merritt Bowling Centre finished seventh overall at the annual Inter-City ‘A’ Championships, held on March 20 and 21 at the Lincoln Lanes in Vernon and the Capri Lanes in Kelowna. A total of 20 teams from around B.C. took part in the two-day event.

Competing in the 10-team ‘A’ division, the Merritt squad of six men and six women bowled an aggregate total of 25,564 points for 24 games to finish ahead of teams from Castlegar, Trail and North Kamloops and just behind Fruitvale.

In first place overall for the second year in a row was the host team from Lincoln Lanes with a total of 28,188 points, followed by Rutland’s Bowlarama in second (27,341) and Juniper Lanes from Cranbrook in third (26,917).

In the men’s competition, the MBC team of Bill Campbell, Patrick McKinney, father and son Stuart and Derek Cornies, Mark Pattison and Harold Aljam placed a very credible third overall with a grand total of 9,466 points. South Kamloops’ Bowlertime was the winner (9,870), while the Cariboo Bowling Lanes from Williams Lake finished second (9,689).

On the women’s side, Merritt’s team of Helen Campbell, Dorothy Clarke, mom Dianne Walker and daughter Chandra Bonthoux, Debbie Tancsa and Doreen Nikkel placed eighth out of 10 teams with a total score of 7,646 points.

First went to Lincoln Lanes with an impressive 9,222 points — over 400 better than the Bowlarama squad in second.

The MBC mixed team, which saw every one of the 12 bowlers roll at least one game, also placed eighth with a score of 8,452 points. Lincoln Lanes was way out in front in this event with 9,824 points — 634 more than second place Bowlarama.

For the second year in a row, the husband-and-wife pair of Bill and Helen Campbell were Merritt’s top individual bowlers. Bill finished seventh overall in a field of 117 men with a 261.86 average, while Helen placed 24th out of 116 female bowlers with an average of 217.75 points.

Three Merritt bowlers had ‘300’ games on the weekend, led by Pattison’s 325 in the fourth game of the men’s competition. He was followed closely by Campbell (310 and 309) and Cornies (305).

Cornies’ 237.94 average, 29th-place finish overall and high block score of 986 in the men’s division earned him top rookie honours in this year’s competition.

The top four scores by a Merritt bowler on the ladies’ side were Campbell’s string of 278, 271, 270 and 269, followed by Nikkels with a 256.

The highest single game score on the men’s side went to North Kamloops’ Stu Ryan with a 393, while Yvonne Walker from Vernon topped the ladies’ field with a 360.

In the ‘B’ division at the Inter-City Championships, Sunshine Lanes from Grand Forks finished on top, followed by Creston’s Romano Runaway Lanes in second and Village Lanes from Chase in third.

“It seemed like all the scores were higher this year,” Campbell said. “It was extremely stiff competition.”