A beautiful day for bowls and the Championship final between Col Hebblewhite and Mark Groves never let the title down.
The quality of bowls was excellent at times and Hebby's consistency was the deciding factor in him adding a 10th Club Championship to his tally. From the first end when Mark sliced the jack from his advantage to Col's two bowls it showed that control of line and speed was to be a big factor in the outcome.
Twice more Mark was to do the same, turning advantage to disadvantage but Col was not so generous and showed very good control over his bowls and it was this form that made the difference.
Col led 8-0 before he lost the mat and it was obvious that control of the mat was to be crucial as Mark pursued short ends to Col's medium to long. By end 19 Col had a 19 to 9 lead, then Mark managed a comeback winning 6 of the next 8 ends to get back to a 20 to 23 deficit on end 26.
Again the mood changed as Col surged again winning 6 of the last 9 ends and running out the Champion by 31 shots to 23. Col has now equalled club legend Tom Donohue winning 10 championships and who would bet against him taking more in the years to come. It was fitting that Tom was one of the first to congratulate Col as he left the green.
The grade 4 teams visited Tuncurry for the final match of the season knowing a 10 point haul was needed to give them a chance to overhaul Forster and win the flag. And that was just what they did with a huge win on the main board and all three matches in the bag.
With the news that Forster had lost to Blackhead the boys could start the celebrations and a quick trip back to our club and the party was on.
Col Hebblewhite, Bruce Wilson, Steve Brown and Allen Rose (deputising for Steve Higgins) were far too good for their opposition winning 30 to 19 and similarly John Andrews, Phil Wilson, Tony Tersteeg and Bob Charman had a good 27 to 16 win. Lastly Col Linton, Kevin Everett, Andrew Henderson and Lu Urby finished the rout winning 24 shots to 16.
The main board favoured Gloucester 81 shots to 51, a huge win. The teams can now look forward to August when the State play offs will be on. Congratulations to the teams and players for a fine performance all season. Grade 6 teams were in a safe third place and even if results went their way only second place was available.
Our opponents were Pacific Palms and they needed a good win on the day to stop themselves from relegation next season and they came at the Gloucester teams quick and determined. Two teams were 7-0 and 10-0 down in just a few ends and things looked black. Calm heads from the two skips, Barry Wade and Gordon Pritchard encouraged their teams and with Craig Yates and his team doing well it soon changed.
Winning 12 of the remaining 17 ends Barry's team of Bob Jones, Mike Sheely and Steve Howlett took a 17 to 16 win and Gordon had Kevin Burley, Jim Whittaker and John West improve and come very close to a win but it finished a close loss by 23 to 20. Craig Yates combined with Vic Hebblewhite, Clive Redman and Nico Duynhoven to have a close dice throughout. Leading 13 to 7 they had a lapse of concentration to be down 17 to 16 with 2 ends to play.
Two wins and the final result was 19 to 17 which made the main board a draw at 56 all. Gloucester scored 5 and a half points to PP 4 and a half. Two matches in the pairs first rounds were also played on Sunday with Bob Jones and Jack Collins getting the better of Alex Cuthbertson and Mark Tull by 23 shots to 12 and in a high quality clash John Andrews and Allen Rose won 22 to 19 against Vic Hebblewhite and Lu Urby. Twenty eight bowlers played in 5 matches, four of triples and one of pairs. Some high scorers on the green today with 15 bonus points the lowest score.
However with 19 points were Bruno Mills, Clive Redman and Gordon Pritchard who scored a 6 on the last end to add 2 extra points and 19 was enough for first position. They won by 32 to 16 against Jim McIntosh, Neville Holstein and Steve Howlett. Second prize went to 18 point scorers Bob Charman and John Andrews who beat Andrew Henderson and Kevin Everett by 27 to 15.
This week there is social bowls on Thursday and Saturday and the first round of the pairs continues on Sunday at 9:30am.