Unbelievable finish

Section: Sports,  Page: B6

Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ten frames weren't enough. After 1,808 games, the championship match of the sixth annual Joe Donato Scratch Singles tournament came down to a rolloff Sunday night.

In the battle for a $4,000 winner's check, Darrell Coonrad of Waterford and Ray Cyr of New Hartford tied 208-208. Cyr, who had a 34-pin lead early in the game, needed an 8-count on his fill ball to win but left a 3-6-10 spare. They went to a 9th- and 10th-frame rolloff. Cyr struck to begin, and Coonrad followed with four in a row. Cyr carried his first strike in the 10th before a 4-pin leave foiled his bid.

"That was an awesome match," tournament director Tom Donato said. "At the beginning of the game I was going to write out the check, `Ray Cyr.' But he left a 4-9 (in the fourth frame), and Darrell came back. He got one break, but he gave himself a chance. I give him credit."

The tournament, which had its first qualifying squad Feb. 23, drew 469 bowlers, a drop of 71 from last year. The entry fee went up $5, which might account for the lower turnout. Donato said he was approached about forming a "Triple Crown" series with the Coors Light tournament in Utica and the Bud Light event in Oswego. Those are three big-money affairs that annually attract upstate New York's best bowlers.

What was good about Sunday was that Coonrad, 34, the only Capital Region bowler in the final four, won the title.

It's nice to keep the money in the area.

National news

A Feeding Hills, Mass., team that includes Brian Boghosian and Bill Webb - both occasional participants in area tournaments - has taken the lead in the U.S. Bowling Congress championships in Albuquerque, N.M. The event runs through June. Their companion team, which includes Schenectady native Dan White (now of Agawam, Mass.), is currently fourth. ... Meanwhile, Boghosian and Mike Colby , another face seen in Capital Region tournaments, took the lead in the Bowlers Journal doubles competition in Albuquerque.

Pete Dougherty's column is published Tuesdays during the bowling season. Items to be considered for publication can be submitted by fax (454-5819) or e-mail (pdougherty@timesunion.com).