Fresh from winning their Zone 9 flag the St Ives Grade 7 pennants side headed up the Pacific Motorway to compete in the State Finals against the other 15 zone winners from across New South Wales.
St Ives were drawn in Section 3 and played their first game on Friday afternoon at The Greens at The Entrance against the Grenfell Goldminers. The skies were blue and there was just a light breeze. The green was playing at a medium pace (certainly compared with the zone finals at Harbord) so overall conditions were good for the match. St Ives got off to a fast start, leading by nine shots after 15 ends. Grenfell had a small but vociferous following at the side of the green and as the match progressed they had plenty to cheer about. The Goldminers started to pull off some really excellent shots on all three rinks and by 43 ends the score had reversed with St Ives down by 11. Momentum was with the westerners and St Ives fell short 44-75 on the big board- Wes Taylor pulled off a narrow win but our other two rinks went down.
Day 2 saw the action relocate 20 minutes north to Munmorah United BC. With an early start there was a chill in the air exacerbated by a strong breeze. The green was playing surprisingly slowly so there were adjustments to be made. Our Round 2 opponents were Club Jamberoo; a very small club with just twenty-five active bowling members. However our opponents from down south were not to be underestimated. As the game got underway St Ives quickly fell behind on the big board. It became apparent that our boys couldn't match their rivals and by games' end Jamberoo had racked up a big win 94-34 with all three rinks notching up victories.
With qualification for the semi-finals now out of reach there was some juggling with our rink lineups for Round 3 against Camden RSL. The weather was becoming a factor now as the wind was gusting & swirling very strongly and the pace of the green had quickened markedly. Camden jumped into an early lead on the big board but as our side got a handle on the conditions the fightback began. Bob Balmer's rink was first to finish losing narrowly 21-19. With 5 ends left on the big board St Ives led by 8. Mike Gallagher's side were 2 up after 20 ends but heartbreakingly lost 4 on the last end and went down 20-18. Wes Taylor's rink had 1 end left with St Ives having an aggregate lead of 4 shots. With a strong effort they took the last end and won their match 25-15. The overall score was a 62-56 St Ives win!
What a positive end to two days of intense competition, bested by some very talented teams but with credit to everyone who took part.
Playing Squad: Bob Balmer, David Bottomley, Gerard Coggans, Peter Crumpler, Ian Finlay, Michael Gallagher, Iain Howell, Ross Johnson, Gidley McCullagh, Andrew Murphy, Chis Stirling, Wes Taylor, Jim Vatiliotis, Trevor Whitehead, Ross Yates
Side Manager: Peter Sullivan
Gerard Coggans 19 August 2018
STOP PRESS Jamberoo have won the Grade 7 State Pennants flag for 2018. They beat Wangi 66-49 in the semi-final & went on to win the final overcoming Taree West 60-57.