Canyon Lanes bowlers Eleanor Forman

Canyon Lanes bowlers strike gold

Team prepares for B.C. Senior Games following the national championship win in Ontario.

Three Canyon Lanes bowlers have been crowned the Canadian champions of women’s age 55+ 5-pin bowling.

Sadly, there was no ticker-tape parade when Julia Boldt and Lillian and Eleanor Forman got back home from the tournament in Cambridge, Ontario. The trio had 9 wins in 10 games, finishing three wins ahead of Northern Ontario and Saskatchewan.

“Other than from when I went to high school in Burnaby, this was my first big win,” said Eleanor, who has bowled for five or six years in Boston Bar and has just joined the 55+ group this year.

“They sure hosted a good tournament,” added Eleanor. “On one of the days, they even served roast beef for lunch.”

Eleanor led her team on the first day, June 22, with four games of about 40 points over average. In the ten games, she only slipped twice below her normal score of 145. Her best game was a 191.

“It was very well run,” agreed Eleanor’s mother-in-law, Lillian. “We had ten games in two days — four on the first day. There were five other teams, so we played each team twice.

“We won all four games on the first day and I think that sort of psyched the others out. They were saying, ‘So you’re the team to beat, we hear.”

The first game of Day Two — against Northern Ontario — was a big let-down, with only Lillian holding onto her usual average of 128, while the other two took a bit of a crash. They picked up their socks in the next game, to edge out Northern Ontario by 5 pins.

Lillian was the solid rock of the team, with all ten games at average or better. Her best bowling was in Game 4, where she bowled a 186. All three bowlers were on a roll in that game, beating their normal team-average of 400 by 132 points. The only other women’s team to break 100 points over-average was Northern Ontario, with a 115 on their second game.

In each of their final two games against Southern Ontario, the Boston Bar bowlers only bested their average by 2 points. Thankfully, their opponents were -21 and -23, so the wins were assured.

Bowl Canada provided the transportation and accommodation for the team. Lillian’s husband Lloyd and their son Myles, who is Eleanor’s husband, paid their own way so they could tag along. Boldt headed home right after the tournament but the Formans stayed an extra couple of days to visit Niagara Falls and the Welland Canal, which are southeast of Cambridge.

This is not the first national win for the “little club that could.” In 2007, Rick Campbell, Bob Conners and Gordon Paquette won Gold and the Canyon women won Bronze.

“I was on that team in 2007, that went to Regina,” said Boldt, who now lives in Lytton but still plays once a week in Boston Bar.

Boldt had knee replacement surgery on both legs in 1994 and ‘95 and started bowling in 2003.

“I was bowling four times a week when I lived in Boston Bar but Lytton doesn’t have a bowling alley,” she said. “It takes about a half hour to drive each way, as long as the roads are good.”

Next up for the Canyon Lanes is the B.C. Senior Games, in Trail next month.

“Lloyd and I are going, along with Syd Hambly, Cora Dunlop and Derek Bowman,” said Lillian. “Our five bowlers with the highest points-over-average got to go to the zone playdowns in Abbotsford and we won the ‘A’ division.”

This year’s games are hosted by Trail, Nelson and Castlegar, though all the bowling takes place in Trail. The event runs from August 16-20.

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