Last weekend saw the quarter finals of the Men’s Championship Singles. Once again there looked to be great match ups: recent champions, up and comers, old favorites. Three past Champions and one past semifinalist. Three up and comers, could they win today and change that? The bookies had a view, statistics rule the odds, but was it going to be a punters day?
All games were played on our championship green No2, slight head wind going north, green running a clip over 14 but with a slightly dull finish. Game on!
Steven Goddard Vs John Cumming
This one was anticipated to be a strong match up, almost biblical. Steven “in Hymn we trust” Goddard and John “JC” Cumming, 2006 Champion, with the Wilsonator marking. The scoreboard was written up in a very curious way by the marker, using only the first four letters of the players surnames, I’m not kidding.
An even start with 2 all on the 4th, then a 4 count for JC. But Hymn came back strongly scoring 7-2 over the next five ends including a 4 on the 9th, 11-7 Steven. And single to JC then a 2 to Steven, JC wins the next three ends and its 13-11 Hymn. A single then a 3 to Steven, 17-11 Steven. We are on 17 ends, still early for a singles match but it is looking like a little dicey for “Chooky” so how do you counter? Steel yourself and bowl, chase you last delivery to the head as it converts (I saw that as I was about to bowl) and score a 3. 17-14 Steven.
Trading shots over the next 8 ends and its Steven 23-17. Six shots are ok at this stage, not too hard to reel in. JC goes on a run scoring 4 singles 23-21 Steven. 30 ends into a singles match and it is the business end of the game. What happens in a bowler’s mind after 3 hours of competition? Relax, focus, think of a beer? Not Hymn. He summoned an almighty five ends including two x 2 and a 3 to close out the game 31-21 on end 35. A close game until the plague of shots at the end. Well done Steven, into your first semi at the home of the Saints and commiserations John, a great effort.
Chris Carey Vs Rod Silber
Possibly the most highly anticipated match of the round, maybe the event. The current joint Dick Carey Bowlers of the Year 2019 pitted against each other in a drawing, converting feast! Well no, not today. This game was a rather scrappy affair by both players accounts.
Ridley got off to a flying start, CC could not find his line and dropped a 3, a 2 and a 1. 6-0 Rod. Then CC hits back with a single, short to the ditch and picks up a 2, picks up a 1, 6-4 Rod. Roddy goes out to 9-4 CC picks up a 4 on a medium to nothing length bags a single and it’s 9 all. This was shaping up to be a thriller, maybe not.
Rod did something to his quadricep on the 4th end, CC then did something to his lower back on the 11th both players were not at their best. Exchanges of 1’s then Rod bags two 2’s on ditch to ditch. 19-12 on the 20th. Roddy roles a medium to long end. Is down 2 then pulls the jack back to two bowls off the ditch with a little wick. CC draw the shot with 6” to spare. 19-13 Rod. Is a comeback on the cards?
Rod scores a 3 and a 1 and it’s 25-14. As we have reported before, the player behind starts to tense up, arms feel like lead and the head is thinking of the bar. No, focus you can do it! Rod draw three good bowls and CC is wayward with his grass. “Jimmy” Rod calls. No answer. “Jimmy” Rod calls. No answer. Rod to CC “is he asleep”, Jimmy “do you have a question Rod?” Rod “Yes” Jimmy “well why don’t you ask it” Rod “what’s the position”, Jimmy “holding 3”. On his last bowl CC chases the bowl down and draws the shot only for it to fall backwards, 2 to Rod. 27-14. Rod bowls well ditch to ditch and closes the game out 31-18. Well done Rod, too good on the day.
Fred Alexander Vs Greg Smith
The bookies liked this one. A relatively new bowler up against the most prolific singles winner in St Ives history, should be close as Greg is a very improved bowler but 14 Championships? Fred “the Fox” Alexander against Greg “the Tiger” Smith, both predators but of a slightly different nature. And so, the game unfolded.
The Tiger is away, 3 and a 1, 4-0 Tiger. The Fox returns serve with a 1 and a 2, 4-3 Tiger. This one was at the other end of the green so I didn’t see much until I had capitulated and could watch with a comforting schooner. The dance continued with great conversions and great draw bowls. The 16th end saw it 14-13 Greg. A couple of 2’s and it’s 18-14 Tiger, could this be an upset? The Fox had other ideas and piled on a single and a 3, 18 all on 21st. Fred bags a 3 on the 25th and it’s 22-20 the Fox, he’s hit the front. But the Tiger is all concentration and score 3x2 to a 1, 26-23 Tiger. Fred is holding and runs at the head to make a multiple but just misses. 26-24 Greg.
A less experienced bowler usually feel the “heat”. Fred draw a resting toucher, Greg tries to draw him off. It’s not working. Fred covers. The Tiger with his last bowl runs at the head and kills the end with a menacing draw. What heat? Greg scores a 4 next end and draws a single to finish the game on end 32. 31-24 Greg. A fantastic effort from Greg to overcome Fred. I can tell you, I have watched a lot of bowls and played Fred many times, he did not bowl badly. He bowled very well and would have beaten most players in the club that day, but Greg had all the answers and all the shots this day. Congratulations Greg, well played, commiseration Fred, well played.
David Gill Vs Tim Walton
Well this was a nice match up, Gilly, a semi-finalist in 2013 and Tim “the tool man” Walton, always up there and a great draw bowler. A very even contest at 9 all after 14 ends. No big score yet. Tim bags a few 2’s and a single to be 14-10 after 18, a long way to go yet. Gilly wins the next 5 ends with precision drawing, 16-14 Gilly. Both bowlers are on song, the heads are so tight and there is a meter between all eight bowls.
Gilly scores a 3 on the 26th end and it’s 20-15 Gilly. This is where it’s make or break. You have a lead, consolidate and get to within 4 shots of game without dropping too many shots. Keep a five shot lead over the next 6 ends. And Gilly does just this. Tim scores 2, Gilly scores 3, 23-17 Gilly. Tim scores 1, 23-18 Gilly. Gilly holding 3 with two touchers and Tim runs the jack into the ditch with his last bowl, great shot. Gilly goes to the head, seeing two touchers he runs at one with controlled weight, puts it in the ditch on the jack. 1 to Gilly, 24-18. Nerves of steel and no emotion, that’s good bowling. They say bowls is 20% physical and 80% mental, Gilly was 95% metal and 40% physical. David went on to score 5 shots in the next 3 ends, Tim came back with a 2, but David closed it out 31-20 on the 38th end. A great game with super skills shown by both bowlers. Well done Gilly and commiserations Tim.
Next week it’s the semis Steven Goddard vs Greg Smith and Roddy Silber vs David Gill. Both will be crackers and I will have the privilege of marking one. Grab a beer and watch or make sure you are playing social bowls as this will be an afternoon to remember. 2020 could see a new Champion (75% chance). Good luck to all. Bowls will be the winner.
Report by Chris Carey
The Men’s Championship Singles for 2020 have begun. Due to COVID-19 flight restrictions, Paul the Octopus, who famously picked most of the winners in the 2008 World Cup Football (soccer to us Aussies) was unable to perform this year’s draw for the club as he could not fly out of Germany, so it was left to the match committee. This meant we have two very even sides of the draw, both with past winners, current grade 3 and 4 players and some mouth-watering potential match ups. What was very pleasing was to see 39 entries this year and all our new members, “the Michaels and Alan” entering. The best way to improve your bowls is to enter all club Championships plus it’s great fun.
Rounds 1 and 2 saw no surprises and mostly comfortable wins for the more favoured players, the bookies did well. Round 3 would be a little different and a lot closer score lines.
Round 3 was held last weekend and there were some thrilling matches. Games were played on No1 our new Tiff, very true and a clip over 14 seconds, and of course our Championship cooch green No2, running on or about 15 seconds. Slight head wind running south.
MARK ROSENBERG v GREG SMITH
First up on the cooch we saw Mark Rosenberg against Greg “the Tiger” Smith. St Ives welcomed Mark to our club this year after a long time away from bowls, a young family will do that. Mark is no beginner having won many titles at Linfield when it was in its heyday and skipping the Grade 1 and 2 Pennant teams there. He is not only a great bowling addition to our club but a great clubman too. Greg was another welcome addition to our club 2 years ago as a new bowler and has been improving quickly. Who do you back?
What a game, a 41 end cracker that was last to finish on the day. Close all the way with great draw bowls and equally good on shots and a blistering drive from Mark to covert. By the 29th end it was 19-18 to Mark. Then Mark broke away with a 3 and another 3, 25-18. Keeping his cool, the Tiger grabbed a 4 and a 1, 25-23 Mark. A 2 to Mark then Greg hits back with a 3, 27-26 Mark. As you know in bowls, when an opponent gets to within 4 shots of victory you can start to feel a little tightness in the body.
The next 6 ends were terrific, Mark takes a 1 to be 28-26. Greg then wins the next three ends to hit the front for the first time in the match on end 39 with a two to make it 30-28 the way of the Tiger. Mark wasn’t finished though taking a 1 on the 40th 30-29 Greg. The bowler’s terrace was packed, and a few schooners being consumed as Greg drew the winning shot on the 41st end. A great game well played both and congratulations to Greg. Mark no doubt we will see you progress further next year.
JOHN CUMMING V GEORGE ROSETTENSTEIN
Also on the cooch John Cumming (2006 Champion) vs George Rosettenstein (many Championships at Lindfield), a match up of two very experienced players. JC got out to a good start adjusting to the speed quickly and pulled away to an 8-1 lead. Georgie slowly clawed him back but John kept scoring singles to lead 16-8 on the 17th end. George had a resurgence and scored 9 shots over the next 4 ends to lead 17-16. The lead ebbed and flowed from here on with it all square on 31st end at 23 all. Chooky then scored two singles and a 3, 27-23 JC. George came back with a 2 and John a single and a 2, 30-25 JC. A single to George but then John finished the game with a 2, 31-26 JC on the 38th end. A close game and a long one, showing the quality of the bowls. Well done John and commiserations George.
Up on No1 there were some more cracking matches.
In what some said was the match of the round, “Fearless” Fred Alexander was against Wilson “the Wilsonator” Cheng. Fred, as we know, is prolific at winning singles titles having won multiple titles in every decade since the 1980’s at St Ives but will he win again in this new decade? Wilson, our 2018 Champion, has been in scintillating form on the back of Zone honours in the State Interzone Championships this year. This was a match up we wanted to witness.
FRED ALEXANDER V WILSON CHENG
Fred jumped out of the blocks and got away to a 10-1 lead by the 6th end. Wilson then got the pace and scored 10 shots over the next 5 ends to make it 11 all on the 11th. The Wilsonator kept this going for the next 6 ends with precision drawing and strong conversions to lead 18-13 on the 17th end. Fred has been here before, more times than I have played bowls probably, and kept himself in the game with superb drawing and some multiples until it was 22-21 to Wilson on the 25th end.
Wilson then flicked the switch and scored a 2 and a 3, 27-21 Wilson. As said before, reaching 27 normally lifts you to close out the match and your opponent can feel a tightness come over his being. You drop short, you play through, you miss your line, pressure does strange things as we will see in another match later. What pressure Fred? Fred found another gear and in six ends piled in the bowls and piled on the pressure, not dropping a shot. Wilson tried to convert. Missing by millimetres or getting a wrong slide or wrong bowl, that’s why bowls is not an Olympic sport. However, Fred was in great form and scored 10 shots in those 6 ends to take the match on the 33rd end 31-27. This was a high standard game between two of our best bowlers, congratulations Fred and great effort Wilson.
JOE SHOFER V STEVEN GODDARD
Our next match was an intriguing one, the fox and perennial crowd favourite Uncle Joe Shofer, proud winner of two No1 State Pennant flags, and Steven “he who is with you” Goddard, the ever-improving top grade lead. Do leads make the best singles players? Many believe so but how do they handle pressure and conversions? We’ll see in a game of 3 distinct 3rds.
Another game with a fast start, Steven out to 10-0 after 6 ends playing long ends, dropping 4 shots in the next 11 ends but picking up 11, 21-4 to SG. Uncle gets a 2! But so does Steven, 23-6 SG. At this stage of the game the leader knows 8 shots and I’m home. Ones won’t kill me, focus, control/minimise any losses and make the big scores when on offer. The player behind is looking for the number of the truck that hit him and wondering why he plays this game. But the Uncle has danced this waltz before. A mistake on the jack roll and the bear has been poked. Joe changes the length and he’s away. Suddenly the clock has been rolled back to the eighties and those State titles. 15 shots in 9 ends, an amazing comeback is on. Everyone’s Uncle is drawing and converting at will. The old bull is walking down the hill whilst the young bull is avoiding the cattle. The 26th end see Uncle bag a 2 and it’s 24-21 Steve. As said earlier, tension can break your rhythm, your arms feel weird and your weight transfer is off, where is my line? How did he covert that? This doesn’t happen when I lead. But Steven has matured as a bowler and showed us what he is capable of. SG wins a 1 on the 27th , reverts to his favourite length, forgets the game plan and bowls. 6 shots in four ends and it’s over. 31st end Steven 31 Uncle Joe 21. Another good tussle, mentally and bowls wise. Well done Steve and Joe.
MICHAEL GUZIN V DAVID GILL
This one was always going to be a little one sided. Michael Guzin, one of our new bowlers of 6 months, and David Gill who’s been playing about 10 years. David made the Semis in 2013 losing by 1 shot to Tony Wright and is a very handy bowler, Michael new but showing significant promise. This one was down the other end of the green so I didn’t see too much but what I saw was Michael played very well, drawing some nice shots and converting with weight when needed. He took a 3 off Gilly on the 15th end but David consistently drew shot and ran out the winner 31-15. Congratulations Gilly and well done Michael, the more Championships you enter the better bowler you will become.
GRAEME MANNING V ROD SILBER
Also on No 1 was Graeme Manning and Rod “Rid” Silber our 2016 club Champion. I played Graeme last year and he gave me a good run particularly on long ends, this one may be interesting. Roddy shot out to a 6-2 lead but Graeme gets a 3. Ridley concentrates and is 11-5 up on the 10th end. On the 14th it’s 12-11 to Rod with Graeme bagging a single and another 3. This is not going to script. Rod gets a 3 and Graeme two singles, 15-13 Rod. Ok Rod needs to change it up and goes medium securing 4 shots then GM bags another 3. End 21 and it’s 19-16 Rod. Rod again pushes ahead with a single and a 2, 22-16 Roddy. GM gets a single, the mat and goes long wins the next two ends and its’s 22-20 Rod. He is not going away Rod what to do? Rod won the Singles in 2016 and was been a Zone rep for many years. He takes a 2 on the 27th , end 24-20 Rod, and goes short to the ditch, unusual for Rod as he is known for his long ends. It does, however, work and he wins the next five ends straight to close the match out 31-20 on the 32nd end. Congratulations Rod and well done Graeme.
JIMMY BARCLAY V CHRIS CAREY
Our last game promised to be another cracker and it did not disappoint. 2018 runner up Jimmy Barclay up against 2013 and 2017 Champion Chris Carey. Two top grade bowlers in action on the new tiffy. The wind proved a little tricky as did the opponents in a 35 end tussle. CC won the toss, kept the mat (unusual) and throws ditch to ditch, Jimmy takes a 1 with good draw bowling. Jimmy throws medium and CC scores a 4. This was going to be a strange game, and so it was. CC edges ahead but Jimmy pulls him back, 8-7 to Chris 9th end. CC holding 1 Jimmy plays a firm draw to promote his bowl but gets one of CC’s and goes down 2, a very unlucky result as it was a good bowl. Jimmy pulls back a few shots and CC wins a few more 14-9 Chris on the 15th. Each player is looking a little nervous and has not settled into a rhythm yet, changing lengths and mat positions.
Jimmy then makes a number of good draws and conversions winning the next three ends including a 3 count, 15-14 Jimmy. Chris wins the next three ends short to the middle, 18-15 CC. Jimmy wins the next three ends with singles, 18 all on 24th end. Both players were in the groove now. Chris picks up a three but then drops a 2 and a 4, a very good drawing end from Jimmy and a poor end from CC. 24-22 Jimmy.
When you drop a 4 you must come back hard, refocus, concentrate, simply your thoughts. It is a must win end. Jimmy is a little tight and CC dead draws the first bowl for shot. Jim draw his next two and CC puts one two foot short in front of the jack. Chris with his last bowl arrives on the front bowl pushing the jack between his back bowl scoring 2. He then picks up a 3 on the next end and the lead changes again, 26-24 CC. Jimmy gets a single and Chris wins the next two and it’s 28-25 CC. 3 shots to win vs 6, you feel confident, you feel good, you feel relaxed. Wrong. Next end is short to the ditch Jimmy is holding 1 and CC has two bowls at the back. Chris looks to covert to a 3 by trailing the jack, misses it by a few millimetres and hits his second shot. He is now down 3. Jim plays a safe draw and takes the 3 - 28 all.
Jim then score a 2 with great drawing and its 30-28 Jimmy. Bowls ain’t fair sometimes. Jim rolls a medium to long end, with one bowl to play Chris is holding 3, all about 2-3 feet from the jack. Jimmy unfortunately falls short and CC declares the head. 31-30 to Chris. The game had some great shots and some scrappy heads at times. Both players played well and both felt the pressure and frustration at different times. That’s why we love bowls, it’s always changing, mentally and physically. Well played Jimmy and unlucky on the day.
Next week sees the quarters with Fred vs Greg Smith, John Cumming vs Steven Goddard, Chris Carey vs Rod Silber, Gilly vs the winner of Chris “I may run at any time” Wood and Tim “good night John boy” Walton to be played this Wednesday. These will all be quality games so make sure you play social or have a beer and watch. It should be a great afternoon. Bowls will be the winner.
Report penned by Chris Carey
Di McBryde and Anne Cowlishaw played the Singles Final in beautiful sunshine this morning. Well done to both ladies for getting through to the finals!
Congratulations to Di McBryde who won today and will now represent St Ives in the Champion of Champions event.
In chilly and windy weather today, we watched some excellent bowls in the Women's Singles Semi-Final.
Di McBryde had a very good day, resulting in a win over Vicki Bartrop.
Anne Cowlishaw and Joan McCullagh fought it out end by end. It was 20 all before Anne broke ahead to win.
Everyone played beautiful bowls - well done ladies.
Weather permitting, we will play the finals next Tuesday.
The mens major singles has reached round three. Matches will be played on Saturday 18th July. See the draw below
There were some great matches played today in beautiful sunshine. A couple of the matches went right down to the wire. Good bowls ladies.
We had the pleasure of watching a wonderful Women's Singles first round match today. Vicki Bartrop played Shizuko Hashimoto - both ladies are previous singles champions!
Shizuko got off to a strong start and was leading through the mid game. However, Vicki came back and was up for the last few ends. The final result was 25:22 to Vicki.
What great bowls were played by both ladies.
With the resumption of normal bowls this week, it is exciting to be returning to our club competitions. We have some making up to do, having missed several months of bowls. Our competitions have been rescheduled to fit the new district and state timetables.
We will start our Women's Club Singles next week.