The field for this year's Mens Handicap Pairs is a small one but the competition was fierce in the two semi-finals played on Saturday. Both matches were close throughout and both ended in cliff-hanging style.
John Swann & Steven Goddard started with a 3-shot handicap deficit against Greg Smith & Geoff Rose but they wiped that out immediately with a 5 on the first end. John & Steven had their noses in front most of the way; leading by 6 shots after 15 ends. This sparked a comeback from Greg & Geoff and after 20 ends it was a 20-20 tie. Two shots on the last end saw Greg & Geoff progress into the final.
In the other semi-final it was Gerard Coggans & Jim Vatiliotis with a 3-shot handicap advantage over their opponents David Stubing & Peter Sullivan. Gerard & Jim kept their advantage in the early ends but David & Peter fought their way into the match and it was a very symmetrical scoreline after 12 ends, 12-12! From there Gerard & Jim built a lead with crucial wins on end 14 (3 shots) and 16 (4 shots). So there was a 20-16 edge for Gerard & Jim with one end to go. Now the nerves kicked in- with four bowls left, David & Peter were holding 5 shots (which would have won them the game) and it was still that way with Jim to bowl the final bowl of the match. With steely determination Jim drew into the head and cut it back to just 2 shots. So Gerard & Jim held on to win 22-20.
Gerard Coggans 13 November 2018