ANDREW Tate, of Cross Hills, was the worthy winner of the Skipton Merit at Alkincotes Park in Colne when he narrowly defeated four-time champion Richard Hargreaves, of Keighley BC, 21-18 in a match which went down to the wire.

Both players were the best two on the day and deserved their place in a final spoilt by the cold conditions and persistent rain.

It was Tate’s first success in this event, despite losing a previous final while it was Hargreaves’ sixth appearance at this stage.

Losing in the semi-finals were Chris ‘Jockey’ Wilson, of Keighley, and Settle’s David Leeming, while also in the money were Trevor Hargreaves, Len Buxton, Keith Moore and Warren Burnett Junior.

At the same time, Keighley’s Mark Barker, of Myrtle Park, won the Aire-Wharfe Eady Rose Bowl Pairs alongside team-mate James Pollard when they comfortably defeated Dianne and Danny Teale, of Guiseley, 21-13 at Yeadon Park.

The Skipton Veterans Inter-District team play their final match of a difficult season tomorrow when they meet Wakefield at Cross Hills in the home leg at 1.30pm while the away squad travel to the county border for their game at West Bretton BC.

Their opponents have also had a poor season so both teams will be hoping for a better result to end on.

Also tomorrow, the Skipton and Valley Junior side meet Bradford B in the continuing Yorkshire Junior League Division Two.

Further afield, Silsden’s David Scott plays in the last 16 of the Victory Cup at West Melton near Barnsley at 1.30pm.

In the Skipton Merit League, most teams have three games left. In Division One, Colne Cricket have a four-point lead over Keighley A with Cononley A still in contention.

Colne Legion A have a two-point lead in Division Two over Silsden PF A in a two-horse title race. Rolls Royce head Division Three ahead of Whinfield A and Keighley B, while Craven are almost home and dry in Division Four ahead of Steeton B and Cross Hills C.

In the 54321 League, Keighley A head Division One while leaders in the other three sections are Colne Legion A, Silsden PF B and Craven, who are seeking a double success.

Sunday sees the Dick Keighley Handicap at Silsden PF (1pm start). It is held in memory of a former league secretary and is restricted to all players from the lower three divisions of the Skipton League.