The Cecil-Harford 700 Club presented its final tournament of the season at Forest Hill Lanes on Sunday, April 9. The 2nd Chance Tournament consisted of five qualifying games and a stepladder final.
Steve Tarbert of Bel Air came close to winning his second 700 Club Tournament title in two months but ran into a red-hot Steve Finley of Havre de Grace.
Tarbert had teamed with Michele Bucey to claim the title in the February Mixed Doubles event at Bel Air Bowl. In the singles at Forest Hill he qualified first after the five qualifying games; he averaged 233 for the five games.
In the championship match against Tarbert Finley pounded the pins for a 247-188 victory.
Finley has lived his entire life in Harford County; his tenpin career began when he was teen-ager.
Currently bowling in four leagues at Harford Lanes in Aberdeen, he is averaging 213.
"And, of course, I sub whenever I can," Finley said. "I try to get in 14-15 practice games every week. I'd like to get back to the same consistency I had in 1985."
In an era where even casual tenpin bowlers carry four, five, six or more bowling balls at all times, Finley has two.
"I'm using the Nitro R2 and the Quantum right now, both drilled by Dave Davis [who has his pro shop in the same building as Harford Lanes]."
Finley is not afraid to switch balls in the heat of a tournament.
"After the first [qualifying] game I could see that the Nitro R2 wasn't taking out the ten-pin," the right-hander said.
"So I went to the Quantum, that has a little more side weight and from then on I left just two tens."
It was in 1985, Finley's banner year, that he shot his career high three-game series, the same year that he captured eight tournament titles.
Using one of his 300 games as a cornerstone he fashioned a 834 set; one of his titles came as a member of the team that won the state championship in Hagerstown.
It was 1985 that Finley was the Greater Baltimore Bowling Association Bowler of the Year.
It appears that now he's rolling his way back into that winning form.