Submitted by Katie Sullivan
East Hartford, Conn. — Bill Webb of Guilford, Conn., defeated Derek Hamm of Raynham, Mass., 227-175 to earn his fourteenth New England Bowlers Association title. The championship moves Webb up on the all-time champions list. He is now tied with fellow-NEBA legends Chris Rebstock and Barry Warshafsky.
Webb earned himself the No. 2 seed in matchplay, and a first round bye, qualifying with 1,127 for five games in the second qualifying squad where the cut was 1,048, but several NEBA veterans stood in his way, vying for their own spot in the championship round. Webb faced off with George Tignor of Winchendon, Mass., first, then moved on to R.J. Broege of West Hartford, Conn., in Round 3, after topping Tignor 236-181. Webb defeated Broege 201-184, sending him to the quarterfinals where he drew Jon Van Hees of Charlestown, R.I.
“The competition is much tougher these days, because there aren’t any easy matches,” said Webb. “Now it’s ‘I don’t want to bowl that guy.’ Now, there is virtually no advantage.”
But Webb found a way to give himself the advantage. The seven-time NEBA Bowler of the Year advanced to the finals after besting his National USBC teammate Chris Viale by a score of 212-196 in the semis. Their team, Cambridge Credit 1, has finished in the Top 10 the past two years at the USBC Open Championships, finishing in fourth this year.
Webb, who has dominated NEBA for the past couple decades, was able to work a little magic on tough lane conditions once more, beating Hamm by 52 pins to claim victory and the $1,450 first place prize money.
The tournament, hosted by AMF Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn., received 171 entries. The cut for the 6:00 p.m. squad was 1,095, 9:00 a.m. squad was 1,048 and the 12:30 p.m. squad 1,068, while the at-large cut was 1,041 and the senior cut was 1,043. Miles Coplan was the high qualifier shooting 1,133 over five games of qualifying.
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The next NEBA tournament will be held at Nutmeg Bowl in Fairfield, Conn., the weekend of September 15 and 16.
NEBA has run monthly scratch tournaments throughout New England since 1963. Since 2010, more than 900 bowlers from 15 states have participated. Just this year alone, more than 500 bowlers have entered in a NEBA tournament.
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