October and November each year sees the Neutral Bay Sports and Bowling Club run the prestigious Peter Russell Memorial Trophy Competition where a large number of Zone 9 clubs are represented plus some very highly competitive Zone 10 clubs all vying for the honours. Saturday 2nd November your St Ives team of “Rocket” Rod Silber, “Pistol” Pete Shlager, Jimmy “Midgy” (apparently a Scottish insect) Barclay and Chris Carey battled the parking dilemmas to arrive ready for a 9am kickoff.
Neutral Bay has a synthetic green and a blustery wind making precise draws difficult and on a 25 degree day it seems like 35.
First drawn team was a strong outfit form Carlingford comprising mostly No1 pennant players. The Saints began strong winning several ends to lead 6-1. Rocket was all over the jack and Pete just added more. By the 17th the Saints were up 22-9 and the Carlingford skip kept killing ends. CC called short to the ditch to stop the interruption of lunch and the game was over 24-10 St Ives.
Round 2 in the afternoon had St Ives up against No1 pennant club The Hills who won this event last year. This team boasted two zone 10 players and one NSW Seniors player, no worries. This was an extremely tight game with superb bowls from both sides exhibiting drawing and conventions in difficult, windy conditions. By the 13 end it was 13 all. All of the Saints were playing superb bowls in the conditions and we had the Hills rattled as they couldn’t understand how we kept changing heads, drawing resting touches and just being general menaces.
14th end saw the Hills convert from 4 down to 1 up and it looked like the momentum had changed, 14-13. Not according to Rod, a resting toucher behind and one in front had St Ives on the front foot. Great shots from the next three and St Ives are 1 up. 14 all.
A quick chat and rev up and the Saints went ditch to ditch scoring two singles in the next two ends, one we were 3 down and Jimmy with 10 cm to draw goes a very closed forehand sliding in to gain a shot clean, followed by another close end and it’s 16-14 St Ives, 17th end. Close game. Then boom!
Great drawing from Rod and converting from Pete saw us holding 3 with no change. 19-14 St Ives. Two killed ends from the Hills when we were holding multiples. Rod and Pete draw one each. jimmy covers with positional bowls. CC draws one more. Hills skip drives misses, CC goes long. Hills skip tries a swinger and misses, 3 to the Saints. 21-14 one end to play and the Hills boys shake hands knowing there is no way and 8 will be gained.
Well done St Ives, into the Semifinals. I may be wrong but I can’t remember St Ives getting this far and we have not won this tournament before. We play our old friends and sometime nemesis Asquith in the semi with Boof skipping. If, sorry when we get through we play either Manly or Belrose for the championship.
It is a great privilege to play with three great bowler who are always up both mentally and bowls wise. I love this game. Bring it on!!
This report provided by "Scarey" Chris Carey.