Tim Walton and Peter Larcombe vs Rod Silber and Chris Carey
Well the final of the Men’s Championship Pairs has been and gone. Held on Wednesday 23rd to a packed No1 green and round 2 of the consistency singles on 4 rinks on Green No2, on our championship No2 green, rink No9 was the battlefield for this contest.
Two times Champions Tim “the Toolman” Walton and Peter “Cyclone” Larcombe were up against two times runners up Roddy “Rid” Silber and Chris “Scarey” Carey. Could team Cyclone pull off a Threepeat in the rematch of last year’s final?
Last year’s final was held on a day with cyclonic conditions which did not worry Peter who defied the wind all day for a convincing win. The conditions on Wednesday were much better, No2 running a clip over 15 seconds, slight but relatively consistent breeze running south east at a slight angle to the clubhouse. Bright sunshine, great to be alive and great bowling weather.
The rollup saw Rod go long and Tim go medium, no surprises here. On the first end Rod with the mat rolls dead short to the T. Hang on isn’t this guy the ditch to ditch king? Rid and CC score a 1 as Tim and Peter play some good draws. Ridley goes long, ditch to ditch and picks up a single, 2-0 team Scarey. Rod goes short to the ditch and the boys pick up a 2, 4-0. Rod goes ditch to ditch, is there a pattern developing? Bowls is a funny game; the first few ends are all about testing your opponents and looking for the weakness. Were Ridley and Scarey looking to upset the rhythm of their opponents?
Well the test failed and with great draw bowling Tim and Peter are holding 3, CC comes to the mat runs on the backhand and crosses the head. Peter draws a shot on the back hand. CC tries a draw on the backhand and drops short, Peter draws on the forehand and team Cyclone score a 5, 5-4 Tim and Peter.
Tim rolls a medium end, good drawing from Rod sees team CC score a 2, 6-5. Ridley goes long and Tim and Peter score a single then follow up with another singles, 7-6 team Cyclone after 7 ends, this one is close. Tim roles a medium end, Rod draws two good shots and Chris another two but Peter gets third shot, 2 down. Rod then plays a telling shot taking out Peter’s bowl after Tim went past the head a metre, holding 5 Rod and Chris. Peter misses with his first through the head shot. CC draws another and Peter again mises. 6 shots to Rod and Chris and 12-7 lead.
There are turning points in many games, sometimes multiple shots that change the course of the game. That shot of Rod’s created a momentum that would prove unstoppable, that and a change in tactics. Experienced bowlers know a few tricks and tips and CC learnt this one from his late father Dick Carey, life member of the Saints. Chris pulled Rod aside, Rod “I’m not sure the long game is working” CC “my father always said, “play a shorter man long and a taller man short” we are going short”. And off they went.
Short to the ditch south, short to the middle north, short to the ditch, short to the middle. Some say this is the same length, can’t be that hard. Well when you have a cross breeze that is bouncing off the club house in the middle and just pushing past the club house south the other way it makes four completely different hands in weight and grass.
Good draw bowls see Rod and Chris pick up two singles and a 3, 17-7 on the 11th end halfway mark. Rid goes short to the ditch and team CC hold 3 shots, Peter runs and the jack and puts it in the ditch for 2, a 5 shot turnaround and a great shot. Chris tries to draw on the backhand but hangs out wide. Peter draw another shot on the forehand and holds 3. Rod and Tim draw and Rod cuts it down to 2 shots. CC and Peter try to draw and get caught up in traffic. CC with his last bowl draw on the backhand leaving his bowl one inch in front of the jack. Peter runs at the bowl and just misses, 1 to team CC, 18-7. Rod and Chris continue the relentless pressure, Tim and Peter drawing in to cut down and Rod or Chris would trail the jack or remove the bowl. On the 18th end Tim and Peter pick up a single and it’s 28-8 to Rod and Chris who had just won 10 ends in a row prior. It is very difficult to claw back 20 shots with three ends to go and so the game concluded on the 19th end 32-8 to our new Pairs Champions Rod Silber and Chris Carey.
Commiserations Tim Walton and Peter Larcombe, you had a very good tournament and it is a significant achievement to win two in a row and be in the final three years running. No doubt we will see you feature prominently in next year’s Championship. Congratulations Rod and Chris, first time for everything!
Report by Chris Carey from the home of the Saints