Here we are, the business end of the season, the semi-finals of the Men’s Pairs Championship and the crowd was at fever pitch!
Well maybe it was Uncle Joe holding court prior to the cards being called with comments of his team being “full of Spring Boks”. Even before the game began there was controversy. Some players had rolled up on the rink they were to play on and the same happened on the other match rink, so the skips quickly agreed to swap rinks. Your scribe was not involved as he only arrived 5 mins before the game after witnessing Waverly demolish his son’s team Barker in the U14’s rugby.
The green was running a shade under 14 seconds with no material breeze. Conditions were prime for some great bowls and we got them.
Rink 9 hosted Ross Yates and John Swann against “Rocket Rid” Roddy Silber and Chris “Scarey” Carey. Jumping out to a 9 shot lead after 4 ends Rod and Chris looked the goods. But Ross kept drawing nicely and placing his opponents constantly under pressure and by the 10th end Ross and Swanny had won 4 ends to 6 but trailed 13-5. Still in the hunt. Then they throw a short end and the Ridster drew beautifully with CC adding a couple. Swanny ran at the pack narrowly missing, 5 to Rid and CC.
Ross and John fought back drawing nicely and collecting a 3. 18-8 Rod and Chris. Some good draw bowling and conversions saw Roddy and CC win the next 5 ends which put the game out of reach with Rod and Chris closing it out on the 20th. Well done Ross and John and commiserations, tough opponents but you put up a sound fight.
Rink 10 saw Geoff “Puss” Rose and Chris “Dead Eye” Bergman taking on Tim “the tool man” Walton and Peter “No 10” Larcombe. 8 ends to 12 is relatively close but multiples again played their part. Puss got on the jack early and he and Chris started with a 2. 3 all on the 4th and this was looking close. But a 2 then a 4 and a couple of singles to Timmy and Pete saw them out to an 11-3 lead. Chris was dreadfully unlucky on several conversions and Peter was heard to say “great bowl, unlucky result” more than once. We have all had those days, hit the wrong side of a bowl, get a little rub when you don’t want it, sail through a hole the size of a bowl, frustrating as it is that is bowls. And that’s why it is not an Olympic sport.
And on it went with Puss and Chris managing to score singles but not the multiples to catch up. Take nothing away from Tim and Peter, they bowled very well with Peter converting many ends. 19th end saw Chris down looking to drive the jack dead only to send it in the pit 1 down. All done on the 20th with Tim and Peter closing it out 21-11. The score differential doesn’t reflect the quality of the bowls. Commiserations Geoff and Chris and congratulations Tim and Peter. Can you go back to back?
So, the final is next Saturday, and it will be a cracker! I can’t wait but I am a little nervous. Therefore, an early start next Saturday morning for me with some quite time listening to Ravi Shankar before heading to the club. Hope to see you all there. Even if you are not playing join the gallery and have a few beers, it will be well worth watching this display of (hopefully) precision bowls from some of our club’s best.
Story by Chris Carey. Other budding storytellers are welcome to submit their stories of club events to Gerard Coggans, Sue Byrne or Mike Heath to be considered for the website.